BioAscent records successful first year as fully integrated discovery services CRO

Published: 20 June 2019

BioAscent Discovery Limited has announced a three-fold increase in revenues during 2018, with projections on-track for a further 2.5-fold increase in 2019. These significant results have been driven by substantial contract wins for both BioAscent’s established compound management services and its newer integrated drug discovery offering. In addition to this commercial revenue, the company has recently secured a second, five-year contract as part of the European Lead Factory’s ESCulab Project, to provide the storage and management of more than 500,000 compounds, as well as biological hit characterisation.

Following investment last year and expanding to become an integrated discovery services CRO, BioAscent now supports an international customer base with fully integrated and standalone drug discovery assignments. Projects include assay development, screening (including high throughput screening), medicinal and synthetic chemistry and computational chemistry. The company also continues to provide cost-effective access to state-of-the-art compound management services to customers of all sizes, from big pharma to virtual biotechs, managing compound libraries varying in size from a few hundred up to hundreds of thousands of compounds.

Commenting on the results, Paul Smith, BioAscent’s CEO said: “After just one year as a full-service CRO, we are especially pleased to have won a significant number of competitive bids for integrated discovery projects – even securing business that previously had been outsourced to the Far East. This has resulted in an enviable customer base of biotechs, virtual biotechs, VC-funded academic spin-outs and academic groups. Our compound management service revenue also continues to grow at over 50% year-on-year, not including the ongoing income from ESCulab, and we’re seeing particular demand from virtual biotechs and those with extensive CRO networks. This success across both drug discovery and compound management services is based on a combination of factors that we believe is unique in the market: the quality of our scientific team, and our cost-effective, flexible, consultative and fully-integrated service.”

The company’s focus on hiring, training and developing the best scientific staff has underpinned BioAscent’s results, as CSO, Dr Phil Jones, explained: “From the start we prepared the ground for our commercial success by recruiting, not just more people – we have four times the resource than at the start of last year and envisage ending the year with around 40 staff – but importantly the best people. We’ve integrated highly experienced chemistry and biology teams who have significant track records of drug discovery success, and continue to build the team with high calibre and well-respected scientists to meet the growing demand for our services.”

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