Two local firms, Carolina Pharmaceuticals and inGenium Research, have signed a partnership agreement to cooperate on late stage drug discovery.

The agreement is a first for both companies, which say it represents a long-term commitment to develop a broad portfolio of products for underserved markets.

“This clearly demonstrates our commitment to growth and developing a robust pipeline of products for the future,” said Craig Collard, president and chief executive officer of Carolina Pharmaceuticals. “We’re convinced that the combination of inGenium’s experience and skill coupled with our dynamic, focused approach to identifying voids in the market will be successful in bringing important, new products to markets that are being underserved.”

Under the agreement, both companies share in development costs, with Carolina Pharmaceuticals focusing on identifying unmet market needs and inGenium leading clinical develop.

“Carolina Pharmaceuticals brings a strong commitment to drug development,” said inGenium CEO Jim Baker. “With inGenium’s resources and experience in many therapeutic areas, and our ability to lead discovery, we hope to assist in bringing to market additional products that improve the quality of life.”

Based in Cary, inGenium Research provides consulting and services in business development, technology acquisition, drug development, regulatory, clinical research, data management and biostatistics to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. It offers services in pre- and post-drug development for early and middle stage companies.

Carolina Pharmaceuticals, also based in Cary, acquired last August the rights to trademarks for Humibida LA, Humibida DM, and Deconsala II respiratory products that offer temporary relief from coughs associated with congestion, infection, sinusitis, and bronchitis. The company, however, re-launched its core products with a patent pending time-release technology that has no generic equivalent.

Since then, Carolina Pharmaceuticals says it has experienced growth by tripling revenues from its acquired product line, without tapping into venture capital financing, and is looking to develop new product opportunities through strategic development partnerships.

inGenium Research: www.ingen-inc.com

Carolina Pharmaceuticals: www.carolinapharm.com