Southern Research Institute today recently announced that it has entered into a joint collaborative research program with Schering-Plough Corporation to discover novel compounds as potential new products to treat infectious disease.
Building on leads generated from Southern Research’s proprietary compound repository, scientists from both companies will interact closely as a drug discovery team in a lead expansion and optimization program. Southern Research Institute will share in intellectual property and receive milestone payments gained from the efforts.
“We have conducted drug discovery work for decades through self-funded research and various government contracts and grants, and have been successful,” said John A. Secrist III, Ph.D., vice president of the Drug Discovery Division at Southern Research. “We welcome this opportunity to work with Schering-Plough, a world leader in the discovery and development of innovative therapies. We will be able to combine the strengths of two successful scientific teams in drug discovery with a singular focus to bring new drugs to market to treat unmet medical needs.”
Southern Research has a proven track record in the early discovery and synthesis of anticancer drugs. Its medicinal chemists have discovered and synthesized six of the FDA approved cancer drugs now on the market with Clofarabine being the most recent to win approval in late 2004. The company also creates and tests drugs for neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases, including HIV, Hepatitis, Herpes, Tuberculosis, SARS, Hantavirus, Avian influenza and West Nile virus.
“While our organization is unique in the drug discovery and development environment we have created, all of our efforts are focused on finding new compounds that show promising activity against disease targets, and doing what’s necessary to get those drugs to market,” said David R. Harris, director of Drug Discovery business development at Southern Research Institute. “Being able to work with Schering-Plough complements their strategic efforts and expertise.”