Bend Research, in nod to Pfizer, eyes biotherapeutics drug delivery

Bend Research plans to expand its drug delivery and manufacturing technology know-how into developing better biotherapeutics and vaccines. And it looks like we have Pfizer ($PFE) to thank for it.

The privately owned company offered few financial details. But the Bend, OR-based enterprise acknowledged in its announcement that the new initiative builds, in part, on a 7-year exclusive drug-delivery partnership the company had with Pfizer, during which it worked to develop "new tools and models" to advance Pfizer's biotherapeutics drug candidates. That exclusive partnership deal ended in 2008, the Bend Bulletin previously reported, though the companies still work together non-exclusively, according to Bend's website. And now Bend will search for many other biotherapeutics drug company partners.

Bend's drug-delivery research areas include spray-dried dispersion technologies, plus modified-release, inhalation and particle engineering. On the biotherapeutics side, the company says it focuses on using its tech and manufacturing expertise to improve a drug's performance.

Pfizer seems supportive of the initiative, and one of the company's executives even supplied a statement for Bend's big announcement.

"Pfizer's partnership with Bend Research has focused on developing innovative new technologies in bioprocessing and integrated process analytics," said John Ludwig, Pfizer's vice president in biotherapeutics and pharmaceutical sciences for the company's global R&D division. "We are pleased these technologies are supporting advancement of our biotherapeutics and vaccines portfolio."

More recently, Bend has inked deals with Eli Lilly ($LLY), Merck ($MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), among other pharmaceutical giants, involving the licensing of its spray-dried dispersion technology, access to its other drug-delivery tech or use of its drug-formulation services.

- here's the release