WuXi PharmaTech, the R&D outsourcing company based in China, has announced a strategic partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb under which WuXi will set up an analytical testing facility in Shanghai to conduct stability testing of BMS’ small-molecule new chemical entities in support of global marketing applications.

Under the agreement, which builds on an existing relationship between the two companies, WuXi will construct, equip and operate a dedicated, fully current Good Manufacturing Practice-compliant, 25,000 sq ft analytical testing facility in Shanghai, which will store and test stability samples as well as performing other services for BMS. No financial details were disclosed.

WuXi will also employ dedicated staff for stability testing, sample management, analytical testing, pharmaceutical science, quality assurance, metrology and other services, including stability data reporting for all global dossier submissions by Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“This new agreement expands our already productive relationship with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a valued customer for many years,” commented Ge Li, chairman and chief executive officer of WuXi PharmaTech. “We will continue to help them to improve their R&D productivity with our innovation-driven, cost-effective and fully integrated R&D service platform.”

BMS said the arrangement would also enhance its presence in China. Mark Powell, senior vice president, non-clinical development, cited the partnership as “an example of our R&D organisation executing our company's BioPharma model by using selective integration to leverage the strengths and talents of both Bristol-Myers Squibb and a valued partner”.

Last June, BMS announced three-year agreements with contract research organisations ICON and Parexel for “joint strategic, operational and capability support” of the company’s clinical development programmes.

Fourth-quarter results

WuXi PharmaTech has also announced that its operating income in the fourth quarter of 2010 grew by 38.1% year on year to US$18.8 million, reflecting a 17% increase in gross profit and a 2% reduction in operating expenses due to cost-control initiatives.

Net revenues were up by 19.9% over the fourth quarter of 2009 to US$88.6 million, with increases of 16% in Laboratory Services and 59% in Manufacturing Services.