PARIS - Cerep S.A. has signed a three-year research collaboration agreement with Pfizer Inc., under which Paris-based Cerep will screen candidate drugs submitted by the U.S. pharmaceutical company using its proprietary drug discovery technological platform. Cerep will utilize its high throughput profiling and high throughput lead development tools to evaluate the therapeutic potential of chemical compounds emanating from both human and animal health laboratories of Pfizer, of New York.

At the same time, Cerep has reported a substantial recovery in revenues in the first quarter of this year. They amounted to FFr14.8 million (US$2.4 million) which, although it represents a slight drop relative to the corresponding three months of 1998 (FFr16.6 million), was nevertheless a marked improvement following the successive declines in the third and fourth quarters of 1998, when revenues fell to FFr13.3 million and FFr11.3 million, respectively.

Announcing these figures, Cerep's CEO, Thierry Jean, said the company's performance in the first quarter gave it "confidence about its ability to increase turnover in 1999." Last year, despite the downturn in the second half, revenues for the full 12 months increased by 16 percent to FFr56.1 million, from FFr48.4 million in 1997. - James Etheridge