Galapagos acquires Cangenix, a structure-based drug discovery company

Also sets up third drug discovery division called Fidelta

Belgian biotechnology firm Galapagos has bought Cangenix for £1m to add structure-based drug discovery to its Argenta service offering.

The firm has also set up a third drug discovery division called Fidelta.

Cangenix, a gene-to-structure biotechnology firm, was formed in 2011 by scientists from the Structural Biology and Biophysics Group at Pfizer, Sandwich, Kent, UK. Its team of four have more than 70 years’ combined experience in the application of protein crystallography and biophysical techniques to drug discovery.

Galapagos’ Argenta division will integrate all of Cangenix’s assets, expertise, personnel and service contracts. The Cangenix team will continue to operate from its premises in Kent.

The assets and expertise of Cangenix really address a growing client need at Argenta

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Galapagos will pay a further £440,000 potential earn out payment to Cangenix provided that certain conditions are met.

‘We welcome the Cangenix team and their clients to the Galapagos group,’ said Onno van de Stolpe, CEO of Galapagos. ‘The assets and expertise of Cangenix really address a growing client need at Argenta. We look forward to extending and expanding this business.’

Galapagos has also announced that its research site in Zagreb, Croatia, acquired in 2010 from GlaxoSmithKline, will form the basis of Fidelta, its third service division, operating alongside Argenta and BioFocus.

The 100-staff team at Fidelta have a long history of drug discovery within Pliva, GlaxoSmithKline and Galapagos. The team has extensive chemistry, pharmacology (both in vitro and in vivo), biomarker, toxicology and ADME/PK capabilities, with specific experience in inflammation, infectious, metabolic, and oncology diseases. The company, to be led by Phil Dudfield, who has extensive experience in drug discovery within big Pharma and 5 years’ running fee-for-service groups at BioFocus, will differentiate from Argenta and BioFocus through its expertise in in vivo pharmacology, toxicology and inflammatory models.

‘With the creation of a third service division we can offer a broader range of services to our customers,’ said van de Stolpe.

‘With this change we can further strengthen our worldwide leadership position in drug discovery services, ranging from target discovery all the way through to the delivery of preclinical candidates, in key disease areas for our clients.’

The Galapagos Group employs more than 800 people and operates facilities in five countries, with global headquarters in Mechelen, Belgium.

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