Sunderland-based Onyx Scientific in team-up with Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research is working with Wearside pharma firm Onyx Scientific to drive forward its drug developments

Denise Bowser at Onyx Scientific
Denise Bowser at Onyx Scientific

Wearside pharmaceutical firm Onyx Scientific has been appointed by Cancer Research UK to manage several of its drug development projects.

The Sunderland-based business, which employs around 40 people, has grown to become one of the leading chemistry services companies in the UK and Europe and a preferred supplier to large pharma and biotech clients.

The contract research and manufacturing organisation, established 14 years ago, is now supporting the charity across a portfolio of drug substance campaigns, covering the development and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for use in clinical trials.

Cancer Research UK’s Drug Development Office is using Onyx Scientific’s expertise across a range of projects including process development, solid-state chemistry and synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) for use in the Phase I clinical trials.

The charity’s drug development office initially selected the North East chemistry specialist for a project in 2011 and there have been further successful campaigns since that first project.

Onyx Scientific is now one of the charity’s preferred providers for API development and GMP (good manufacturing practice) synthesis, which has resulted in a greater volume of work being placed with Onyx due to the quality of its work, compliance, communication and ‘can do’ attitude.

Dr Nigel Westwood, drug supply manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Over the last few years, the team at Onyx Scientific has worked proactively with us on several challenging synthetic chemistry projects and provided exceptional value for money, which has led to us to select them for several new projects based on the company’s competitive costs and ability to deliver on time.

“Having sufficient quantities of API available in a timely manner is critical for our drug development activities.

“Onyx Scientific is a reliable partner that can meet deadlines and deal with complex chemistry in a cost effective manner.

“It therefore makes total sense for our organisation to work even more closely with Onyx Scientific as a partner.”

Onyx Scientific, which was acquired by Indian pharma giant Ipca Laboratories Ltd in 2011, assists companies in developing new drug products.

The firm’s labs deal with complex chemistry to deliver early stage programs which it can then scale-up using its commercial manufacturing sites in India.

Denise Bowser, commercial director at Onyx Scientific, said: “Our team has developed an excellent partnership with Cancer Research UK and so we are naturally delighted to be working with them on such a raft of important projects.

“It is very pleasing that our track-record and reputation in solid state chemistry and GMP API manufacturing continues to grow. This has led to us to work with several of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world alongside many smaller drug developers and charitable bodies.”

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