Charles River Laboratories said today it has agreed with Eisai to extend their 2-year collaboration focused on discovering new treatments for tropical and neurological diseases, the value of which was not disclosed.

The companies will continue for another year their early discovery collaboration, which is based at Eisai's 14.5-acre European Knowledge Centre in Hatfield, U.K.

Eisai and Charles River said in February 2016 their collaboration would include “a range of synthetic and medicinal chemistry projects” to develop treatments for malaria and neurological diseases. Initial research was funded by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund).

Under the extended collaboration, researchers from Charles River and Eisai will continue working with investigators from the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a multinational fund designed to support the discovery of new antimalarial compounds that aim to fight drug-resistant strains of the disease.

“This partnership supports Eisai's commitment to investigating and developing innovative treatments, in line with our human health care mission,” Gary Hendler, chairman and CEO Eisai EMEA (Europe-Middle East-Africa), said in a statement.

That mission, Eisai states on its website, includes developing new treatments in two therapeutic areas, neurology and oncology. Eisai says the extended partnership with Charles River reflects its commitment to Open Innovation and novel collaborative working practices.

Central nervous system is one of eight areas in which Charles River researchers carry out research. The other seven are cardiovascular, inflammation, metabolic disease, musculoskeletal disease, oncology, ophthalmology, and respiratory.

The extension marks the third time in 6 weeks that Charles River has continued a drug discovery partnership with a developer of new therapeutics.

In March, Charles River and Chiesi Farmaceutici extended their 6-year-old integrated respiratory drug discovery program. A month later, Charles River agreed with Nimbus Therapeutics to advance new therapeutic programs focused on immunology, metabolic disorders, and oncology from the discovery phase through IND, in an extension of a longstanding partnership.


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