A key step in drug discovery research is the identification of small molecules that bind to a drug target. In structure-based drug design, the three-dimensional structure of a drug target is used to guide the discovery of such small molecules. It is a rapidly growing segment of the drug discovery market, having generated molecules for approved drugs and numerous candidate drugs in clinical development. Sareum's structure-based approach specifically makes use of x-ray crystallography to discover chemical fragments for recombination into lead compounds. This approach has proven to accelerate drug discovery in many programs, both in its internal R&D and in services contracts with top pharma clients.
Under the agreement, Galapagos has acquired all of Sareum's ongoing services contracts relating to structure-based drug discovery, the Crystal Bank (a set of protein target structures), a fragment screening library and the specialized equipment needed to perform structure-based drug discovery. This technology fits very well and will be incorporated within BioFocus DPI's capabilities in screening and medicinal chemistry, and will complement its services offering. A team of five Sareum employees will join BioFocus DPI (Chesterford Park, Saffron Walden, UK) and continue to operate the platform, securing a smooth transition of the business.
"We are pleased to have acquired Sareum's structure-based drug discovery assets and welcome their team and their clients to BioFocus DPI," said Dr Chris Newton, Senior Vice President BioFocus DPI. "The assets and expertise acquired from Sareum strengthen our drug discovery, adding a novel technology that our customers are expressing interest in. We look forward to extending and expanding this business within the BioFocus DPI client base."
"I am confident that the acquisition of Sareum's expertise in structure-based drug discovery services will further enhance BioFocus DPI's leading position in global drug discovery service provision", added Dr Tim Mitchell, CEO, Sareum Holdings plc.