Sigma-Aldrich gets foothold in S. Korea with API deal

Sigma-Aldrich ($SIAL) is tapping the South Korean market with a deal to provide development support for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) for new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) from a South Korean company.

Sigma-Aldrich's custom manufacturing and services division, called SAFC, will work with CrystalGenomics for the APIs for the NSAIDs it is working on. CrystalGenomics uses structural chemoproteomics to develop new drugs.

CrystalGenomics will lean on SAFC services in Cambridge, U.K., to determine the physical properties of APIs. SAFC also will work with the South Korean company to determine the selection of the best crystallization processes, "ensure batch-to-batch consistency in manufacturing and help to maintain efficacy and patient safety," the company says in a statement.

South Korea has become a target of the outsourcing world. The number of clinical trials conducted there more than doubled from 2006 to 2009, and CROs like Icon ($ICLR), INC Research and Catalent Pharma Solutions have recently looked to partner and expand in the country.

- here's the release

Special Report: South Korea -- Top Emerging CRO Markets