Capitalizing on connection

BioAscent and XenoGesis combine core capabilities

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NEWHOUSE & NOTTINGHAM, U.K.—BioAscent Discovery is collaborating with XenoGesis to offer an enhanced range of integrated drug discovery services, including medicinal chemistry, biology and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK). Both companies also have a track record of producing a series of viable candidates. The collaboration is dedicated to delivering tailored solutions for clients and a more personalized service ranging from target evaluation to candidate nomination and predicted clinical pharmacokinetics and dose.
XenoGesis—a provider of DMPK services, quantitative bioanalysis, in-vitro pharmacology, modeling and simulation for human pharmacokinetic and dose prediction—has a history of delivery in drug discovery. Through a consultative approach, the XenoGesis team helps to identify the potential “winners” and “losers” in a selection of compounds synthesized in drug discovery campaigns, providing significant time and cost savings for R&D companies. Providing iterative feedback to the research team based on the results and recommending next steps is a key focus for XenoGesis. The company’s laboratory tests build a full picture of the ADME properties of a molecule, including required human drug exposure, backed up with advice on how to modify the chemical structure of a compound to make it more “drug-like.”
BioAscent has integrated drug discovery services, including de-novo assay development, target analysis, bespoke screening strategies, compound screening, medicinal and synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry and data management. Scientists at the company have experience with working from assay development through to preclinical and clinical candidates across all biological target classes and major therapeutic indications. As part of its compound management service, BioAscent currently holds and manages more than one million compounds for customers, in liquid and solid formats. Through its Compound Cloud service, the company provides rapid access to an IP-free library of more than 125,000 lead like compounds in screening-ready format.
XenoGesis and BioAscent have both received investment from BioCity Group and are based at BioCity Group sites in Nottingham and Glasgow. BioCity Group, a U.K.-based business incubator that supports the growth of ambitious life-sciences businesses, was founded in 2002. It is home to more than 250 businesses across locations in Nottingham, Glasgow and Alderley Park.
According to Paul Smith, CEO of BioAscent, “There is a longstanding connection between BioAscent and XenoGesis, with a deep understanding of each other’s capabilities and how these interrelate. We saw a gap in the market for a focused, tailored service where the providers have genuine expertise in the three key drug discovery disciplines of biosciences, medicinal chemistry and DMPK.”
Richard Weaver, managing director of XenoGesis, added, “Each company sees a benefit to its clients in the collaboration, allowing us together to offer a truly comprehensive integrated drug discovery service. Both companies share an ethos of putting science and the client first, offering high-quality laboratory services with the best impartial advice from our experts. Based on the complementarity of our expertise and our shared cultural values, we expect this collaboration to thrive over time.”
As Smith explained, “Activities are project-specific and tailored for each discovery program, as no two drug discovery programs are alike. Projects might start with (for example) upfront DMPK consultancy advice from the team at XenoGesis or assay development and high-throughput screening from the team at BioAscent. Clients can then place parts or all of their discovery activities with us, secure in the knowledge they have access to a comprehensive but science-driven drug discovery service.”
“Due to our consultative approach, XenoGesis and BioAscent will work closely together to handle account management in a way that suits the specific project requirements. Furthermore, our dedicated client relationship management teams have the systems and processes in place to manage all client projects from start to finish,” Weaver continued. “The focus will always be science-led, bringing together our combined DMPK, medicinal chemistry and biosciences expertise to benefit our clients’ drug discovery projects. Of course, we are also working together on joint business development efforts.”
Both companies describe the commercial potential of the alliance as “huge.” The global drug discovery market is currently valued at $22 billion, with double-digit growth forecast over the next five years. This growth is driven by a trend towards outsourcing with an increasing need for integrated drug discovery services, and the two companies have identified that there is room in the market for a comprehensive, science-driven drug discovery service. They believe that the combination of capabilities and expertise makes the team unique in the market.

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