BioAscent and Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH, part of the Merz Pharma Group, have entered into a Master Service Agreement (MSA), under which BioAscent provides a comprehensive outsourced compound management service for a significant part of Merz Pharmaceutical’s compound collection, in both solid and liquid forms.
The compound management MSA is part of Merz Pharmaceutical’s outsourcing strategy to improve operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Under the agreement, which has been in operation since August 2016, BioAscent is responsible for the storage, plating, distribution, logistics and tracking of Merz Pharmaceutical’s compounds, supplying screen-ready plates as and when they are required. BioAscent’s Newhouse facility offers pharma and biotech companies scalable and highly secure infrastructure, with the flexibility to manage solid and liquid compounds in a wide range of tubes and microplates, between ambient and -20 °C. As well as having the infrastructure and specialist skills, BioAscent uses Titian Software’s industry-leading Mosaic sample management software for efficient transfer of data.
“Having reviewed the tender submissions, it was clear that BioAscent’s capabilities and management team were ideal for our requirements”, said Dr. Ulrich Abel, Principal Scientific Expert Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Merz. “Having made the decision to outsource our compound management to BioAscent, we have been very happy with the service; we have complete control and our requests are managed accurately and promptly. We were also really pleased with the ease of the hand-over process, which was less than one week, during which there was no overall disruption to our screening workflow.”
Dr Sylviane Boucharens, BioAscent’s COO/CSO commented:
“Our facilities offer significant advantages for small to medium size organisations which may not have the day-to-day screening requirements to justify the investment in compound management equipment and facilities. Our modern facility – a former Pharma research site – has everything in place so that we can cost-effectively manage compound collections for screening workflows on an outsourced basis.”
BioAscent Discovery Ltd.
Founded in 2013, BioAscent is the rejuvenated former Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) automated compound management and logistics facility, based within the BioCity Scotland site at Newhouse, Scotland, UK. The company consists of a state-of-the-art facility run by a range of highly skilled management, scientists, and technicians with extensive experience in managing specialist compound libraries. It offers the safe and secure storage of customer compound collections, in addition to formatting and worldwide logistics. BioAscent was selected as the Centre of Excellence for the compound management activities of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)-funded European Lead Factory, providing secure storage and logistics of the 500,000 sample collection to all seven major pharmaceutical company partners. In addition to the management and distribution of sample collections, BioAscent provides access to chemical collections through www.compoundcloud.com, offering a completely customisable ex-pharma compound collection in ready to screen formats. Compound Cloud is also used to promote novel compound collections to the world-wide BioAscent drug discovery network, on behalf of the collection owners.
Merz Pharma Group
With approximately 3,000 employees and 34 subsidiaries, Merz is a leading global provider in the fields of Aesthetics and Neurotoxins. Privately held for more than 100 years, the company is distinguished by its in-house research and development, solid financial strength and continuous growth. Complementing its unique portfolio of products for minimally invasive and non-invasive skin rejuvenation and tightening, Merz also develops neurotoxin therapy to treat neurologically induced movement disorders. OTC medicines, dietary supplements and skincare products round off the offerings from the company, which is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. In fiscal year 2015/16, the Merz Pharma Group generated revenue of EUR 1,092.9 million. More information is available at www.merz.com.