Sankyo Pharma, the US subsidiary of the second largest pharmaceutical firm in Japan, has signed a deal to research new drug development in partnership with Gentris Corporation.

Gentris, which is based in RTP, focuses on genetic testing in an attempt to improve drug effectiveness and safety.

The two companies reached an agreement covering three years that includes:

  • Implementation of a pharmacogenomic test panel based on proprietary tests developed by Gentris
  • Working jointly to develop new diagnostic tests that may be important in the approval and prescribing of new Sankyo drugs

“Gentris combines a high level of scientific expertise with an understanding of the regulatory requirements for executing pharmacogenomic studies,” said Dr. John Alexander, president of Sankyo Pharma Development, which has offices in New York and New Jersey, in a statement.

Terms of the agreement were not announced.

Sankyo has developed a number of drugs for the treatment of high cholesterol and cardiovascular problems. Other potential drugs include a treatment for type 2 diabetes, an inhibitor for cancer, treatments for respiratory diseases and also for baldness.