Selcia exploits in-house IP with demerger

Forms Mitopharm and Selcia Pharma to protect IP while attracting external investment

Selcia, which provides contract research services to the global life sciences industry, has demerged all internally generated intellectual property into two new companies, Mitopharm and Selcia Pharma.

The Ongar, Essex-based firm, which provides custom radiolabelling, integrated drug discovery, fragment screening and medicinal chemistry services, is seeking to protect its IP while attracting external funding.

Simon Saxby, chief executive of Selcia, said: ‘We want Selcia to remain completely independent of external shareholders, allowing us to be more flexible and creative in our agreements with CRO clients.

‘To date the IP projects have all been funded with proceeds from the core CRO activities, but now require additional external funding to progress to clinical studies as rapidly as we would like.’

The firm intends to demerge its mitochondrial dysfunction and novel non-cyclosporin cyclophilin inhibitor molecule (NCCIM) programmes into Mitopharm, and its anti-infective programmes into Selcia Pharma.

Saxby said this would enable the firm to raise investment more easily from a variety of sources with interests in specific therapeutic areas without it having an impact on the operation of its CRO business.

Saxby added: ‘Having demerged the IP we are already in discussions with a number of potential partners for all of the IP programmes, with a number of compounds currently under evaluation by pharma companies. We expect to sign at least one licensing agreement for one of our NCCIM molecules in 2012.’

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