BioAscent secures investment to expand its integrated drug discovery services

Published: 26 June 2018

BioAscent has secured £1.6m in funding from Maven Capital Partners (“Maven”).

The investment will facilitate BioAscent’s growth through its unique offering of integrated drug discovery, and compound management services, from its state-of-the-art facility at BioCity, Scotland. This offering of expert compound management and integrated drug discovery services from one facility is a key differentiator and is expected to drive BioAscent’s growth.

BioAscent’s team of expert biologists and medicinal chemists has extensive previous experience working in major pharma and biotech and a track record of taking drugs from concept to clinical candidate across all major therapeutic areas. In addition, for the past five years BioAscent has been a key participant in the European Lead Factory, collaborating on more than 70 projects and producing a range of highly biologically active and drug-like molecules across a broad range of target families.

As well as having the infrastructure to house client libraries ranging in size from a few thousand to millions of compounds, the BioAscent laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art drug discovery instrumentation. This includes 400MHz NMR, LCMS, super-critical fluid chromatography and HPLC, and the team can perform a broad range of synthetic procedures including microwave-assisted reactions, hydrogenation and flow chemistry. In the bioscience laboratories, acoustic dispensers facilitate efficient screening using a variety of cellular, biochemical and biophysical techniques including microscale thermophoresis, dynamic mass redistribution and differential scanning fluorimetry.

Paul Smith, CEO at BioAscent, said: “BioAscent offers enviable, world-class expertise in the key drug discovery disciplines of biosciences and medicinal chemistry to the increasing number of companies that are outsourcing their drug discovery. Smaller companies want to avoid building a costly drug discovery capability, while larger pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies want the increased cost-effectiveness, flexibility and efficiency compared to developing in-house infrastructure and research staff. With our experienced teams, established compound management and screening facilities, we can work with clients right from the earliest stages of the drug discovery process, and this gives us a stand-out advantage over other providers”.

David Milroy, Investment Director at Maven, added: “BioAscent, with its highly regarded team and impressive state-of-the-art facility is ideally placed to capitalise on the increasing demand within the market for high-quality drug discovery services. Maven’s investment will be used to expand BioAscent’s service offering and critically hire additional leading scientists and I very much looking forward to working with Paul’s team and with BioCity to scale the business.  

Glenn Crocker, CEO at BioCity Group, said: “This is a major milestone in the development of BioAscent, with the investment from Maven validating the successful development of the business over recent years. I am very pleased BioCity remains a major shareholder in the company and look forward to continuing to work with Maven and the management team to grow the business further.”

Editors’ Notes

BioAscent Discovery Ltd.

Founded in 2013, BioAscent is a leading provider of integrated drug discovery services based at the former Organon / Merck Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) R&D site in Newhouse, Scotland. Our drug discovery services include de novo assay development, target analysis and bespoke screening strategies, compound screening, medicinal and synthetic chemistry, computational chemistry and data management. Our team of expert scientists has experience of successfully 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 over 1 million compounds for our customers, in both liquid and solid formats. Through the Compound Cloud service, the company provides rapid access to an IP-free library of ~125,000 lead like compounds in screening-ready format.  Since 2013, the BioAscent team has been responsible for:

About Maven Capital Partners UK LLP      

Maven Capital Partners UK LLP (Maven) is a lower-mid cap private equity house focused on the provision of growth capital and mezzanine finance to SMEs across the UK. It is one of the most active private equity fund managers in the country, managing over £415 million of assets for a variety of client funds, including Venture Capital Trusts, UK regional debt and equity funds, and Maven Investor Partners – a syndicate of institutional, family office and experienced investors.

Headquartered in Glasgow, and with ten other offices throughout the UK, Maven has nationwide coverage of the market for SME finance and is introduced to around 400 deals per year through 40 regionally based investment executives. With over 70 staff and partners, Maven executes a range of private company transactions, offers hands-on proactive portfolio management to investee companies and provides a fully integrated back-office support function to client and third party fund managers. Since 2009 Maven has invested over £347 million in SMEs across the UK.

For more information about Maven visit: @maven_cp

About BioCity Group

BioCity is a life science incubation company operating from four sites in the UK, including Newhouse, Glasgow. The business builds new start-up companies, makes investments and provides growing companies with the best facilities and infrastructure to enable them to succeed. With over 200 companies based at its sites employing thousands of people, BioCity is the UK’s largest bioincubation business. The Newhouse site, along with the world class facilities used by BioAscent, was acquired by BioCity from MSD in 2012. BioAscent was created in 2013 and operated as a subsidiary of BioCity until the investment by Maven.

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