ALDERLEY PARK, U.K.—ApconiX, a nonclinical safety company working with the pharmaceutical sector, has achieved a fivefold sales increase in its second year of trading, far exceeding its predicted annual forecast. On top of that, the business recently received the accolade of Start-Up of the Year at the 17th awards hosted by BioNow, the northern England biomedical and life-sciences membership organization.
The company’s early success is based on delivering expertise in safety toxicology and ion channel electrophysiology to a changing pharmaceutical sector, in which more companies are outsourcing their essential drug safety testing and analysis, according to ApconiX.
Founded in 2015 by Prof. Ruth Roberts, Dr. Richard Knight and Dr. Michael Morton following many years working at AstraZeneca, ApconiX has already recruited a group of leading scientists with wide-ranging skills in preclinical drug safety. The company now has more than 60 clients across the United Kingdom, United States and Europe, including Pfizer, UCB and Gilead, as well as biotechs, startups and university spinouts. Current clients also include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Institute for Cancer Research.
“We formed the company with a drive and ambition to create a world-renowned business known for nonclinical expertise supporting drug discovery and development. Since then, the take-up of our services has gone way beyond our expectations and includes companies, venture-capital funded organizations, charities and academia,” said Roberts, ApconiX director as well as co-founder. “Our cost-effective, flexible approach complements the way the pharmaceutical industry has evolved in recent years, with large pharma reducing its internal capability and outsourcing key skills to trusted partners. Meanwhile, there are many more pharma sector SMEs [small- to medium-sized enterprises] needing access to specialized services. That’s why we have established our own laboratory to help meet the market need for high-quality data.”
ApconiX is building a number of strategic alliances with organizations—for example, a close relationship with one local pharma company has led ApconiX to act as an outsourced safety department across its operations. ApconiX has also established several, strategic international alliances, including French company PhysioStim, therefore creating a European center of excellence for preclinical cardiovascular safety evaluation. Its recent alliance with Sygnature Discovery ensures the Nottingham-based contract research organization can provide its customers with a broader range of drug discovery services.
“Ultimately, our knowledge and expertise helps companies developing new drugs to make better decisions on drug safety,” said Roberts. “As identified in the government’s life sciences review [for 2016], drug discovery and development needs greater collaboration to de-risk the process and reduce the number of project failures caused by safety toxicity. The changing face of drug discovery and development means a safe pair of hands is needed to help companies navigate the difficult pathway towards safe, effective and profitable drugs.”