Washington Editor

Tripos Inc. could pull in upwards of $100 million from a four-year chemistry collaboration it signed with New York-based Pfizer Inc.

The deal disclosed Monday is the third multiyear agreement the companies entered in the past week. Financial details of the first two agreements were not released.

Tripos, a St. Louis-based company that employs 250 people worldwide, provides discovery chemistry and software products and services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

“Drug discovery and pharmaceutical companies are starting to recognize the power of our integrated offering,” Melissa Jacobs, Tripos’ director of marketing and communications, told BioWorld Today. “We basically supply the products and services for drug discovery. The strength of our offer is that we’ve designed software for so long that we know what companies are looking for. We understand the chemistry, and we can actually produce the materials that the chemistries are designed for, and offer design compounds. We have intellectual properties that can refine compounds to do certain things toward certain characteristics.”

The agreement calls for Tripos to design, synthesize and purify compounds to build the Pfizer library, Jacobs said. The number of compounds was not disclosed.

“We have reached the partnership level with Pfizer, which is a great place to be,” Jacobs said.

In a prepared statement, John McAlister, president and CEO of Tripos, said, “The success of high-throughput technologies in pharmaceutical research is highly dependent on the close coupling of informatics and experimental science. With its fully integrated, information-driven chemistry operations, including cutting-edge ChemCore and ChemSpace technologies, Tripos is positioned to add value to the chemical libraries delivered to Pfizer.”

Under the first of the earlier agreements, Tripos will develop and deploy Lithium, a new software platform that enhances the speed and efficiency of drug discovery. And in the second agreement, Pfizer in-licensed Tripos’ software worldwide.

Jacobs would not say whether other deals with Pfizer are pending.