Initial $10 million funding will target development of at least one Phase I candidate.

AMRI received a five-year contract worth $43 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to support NINDS’ initiative to treat CNS diseases. AMRI will provide chemistry and other drug discovery technologies for the institute’s Medicinal Chemistry for Neurotherapeutics Program (MCNP), part of the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network.

The financing depends on the number of approved projects and availability of funds. An initial amount of up to $10 million applies to the first phase of the project, expected to begin this month, with the objective of delivering at least one Phase I candidate.

AMRI will begin providing medicinal chemistry services to neuroscientists throughout the U.S. The company will utilize its drug discovery capabilities involving exploratory chemistry, hit-to-lead chemistry, and lead optimization. Specific services to be provided include compound design, synthesis, and management together with in vitro metabolic testing.

AMRI has been collaborating with NINDS since 2005 on treatments for spinal muscular atrophy. “After a highly competitive, rigorous application process, AMRI was selected for this contract award because of our proven track record on projects of similar scope with a number of global pharmaceutical companies,” according to AMRI’s chairman, president, and CEO, Thomas E. D’Ambra, Ph.D.

“The company’s deep bench strength, scale of operations, and strong global footprint enables us to consistently deliver high performance and quality for our clients on a cost-effective basis,” adds Dr. D’Ambra. “This significant award demonstrates the NIH’s new focus on helping support the translation of basic research discoveries in areas of unmet medical need to potential drug candidates.”

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