Tranzyme Pharma has entered a joint research collaboration with Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories (SNBL), Japan’s largest CRO, to develop non-human primate models of human diseases for medical research and drug discovery.

Under the terms of the deal, Tranzyme will provide SNBL access to its functional biology and gene delivery technology (TExT). SNBL will apply the technology to ex vivo and in vivo applications using cells and tissues from non-human primates.

SNBL will provide research support for the collaboration and will have an option to license Tranzyme’s technology for commercial purposes. Additional financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Established in 1957, SNBL has an international presence with state-of-the-art facilities in Japan, U.S., Europe and China. In June 2003, SNBL made a strategic equity investment in Tranzyme.

“We are pleased to continue to grow our relationship with SNBL,” said Vipin Garg, president and CEO of Tranzyme. “This collaboration is expected to provide models of human diseases that are otherwise not available, resulting ultimately in the discovery of new pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, these unique animal models will provide enhanced efficiency for ongoing drug discovery efforts.”