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Sygnature Discovery at BioJapan 2017 – Participating in UK Department of International Trade Mission

11th October 2017 – Yokohama, Japan – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, is participating in BioJapan 2017 from 11th – 13th October 2017 in Yokohama.  Sygnature is part of a UK Department of International Trade (UK DIT) Mission and is located on the UK Pavilion (Booth No. C-48).

The Sygnature Discovery BioJapan team is being led by Dr Steve Young, VP, Business Development.  He is accompanied by Dr Mihiro Sunose, Principal Scientist, Chemistry, and Dr Hiroki Wada, Senior Scientist, Chemistry.

Dr Young commented, “Sygnature Discovery sees a great business opportunity to collaborate with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies located in Japan.  We are already working with a number of Japanese companies and our integrated service-offering co-located in our new, purpose-built facility at BioCity Nottingham has been beneficial to their projects.  In addition, having Mihiro and Hiroki as part of our team enables us to communicate effectively with our clients in Japan.  We are pleased to be part of the UK DIT mission and anticipate a successful time at BioJapan 2017.”

As well as taking part in BioJapan 2017, the Sygnature team will also be meeting with clients and potential clients whilst in Japan.

 



Phoenix Equity Partners announces investment in Sygnature Discovery

9th October 2017 – London and Nottingham, UK – Phoenix Equity Partners (“Phoenix”), a leading UK middle-market private equity firm, today announces an investment in Sygnature Discovery Limited (“Sygnature” or “the Company”) alongside the current management team, led by Founder and CEO Dr Simon Hirst.  The deal will provide Sygnature with additional investment to support the Company’s continued development and growth.

Sygnature is a leading provider of outsourced drug discovery services to UK and overseas with a global client base of biotech and pharma companies. Sygnature operates from a modern, purpose-built facility in Nottingham and employs 200 staff, many of whom are PhD scientists. Phoenix will work with the Sygnature management team to accelerate the growth of the business.

Kevin Keck, Partner at Phoenix, said: “Sygnature is a very well-respected drug discovery business with a strong reputation in an attractive and growing segment of the pharma services sector.  Simon and his team have built a great company with a fantastic track record of undertaking high quality scientific research. We are delighted to be partnering with them at a time of continuing rapid growth and significant opportunity in the drug discovery market.”

Dr Simon Hirst, CEO of Sygnature, commented: “We are extremely proud of our people and our culture at Sygnature, which is focused on accelerating drug discovery programmes towards the clinic in a range of debilitating and often fatal diseases. We are excited to be working with Phoenix – our partnership will provide us with investment and strategic input to expand our business further and to provide a broader range of expertise for our customers.”

Sygnature is Phoenix’s fourth investment from its 2016 Fund and third this year, following investments in The Travel Chapter, Rayner Surgical and Global Freight Solutions.

About Phoenix Equity Partners

Phoenix Equity Partners is a leading private equity investor in medium-sized, UK-based companies. Founded in 2001, the firm has successfully invested more than £1bn in over 40 companies, across a wide range of sectors, backing entrepreneurs and management teams with bold plans to build great businesses. The firm is independently owned by its executives, managing funds on behalf of leading institutions from around the world.

For more information, visit: www.phoenix-equity.com

About Sygnature Discovery

Sygnature Discovery operates a fully-enabled research facility in Nottingham, UK, housing over 180 experienced research scientists with the professional skills required to take on board the most demanding of drug discovery programmes and drive them towards a successful outcome.  The company undertakes target validation, hit identification, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation projects.  Sygnature’s capabilities include medicinal chemistry, bioscience, computational chemistry, DMPK and protein crystallography (in collaboration with affiliate company, Peak Proteins).  Since 2011, ten drug candidates have entered the clinic (Phases I and II) which were invented at Sygnature.

For further information, visit: www.sygnaturediscovery.com



Sygnature Discovery wins Best Contract Research Organisation Award at OBN Awards 2017

6th October 2017, Nottingham, UK – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, has been named as the winner of the Best Contract Research Organisation award at the OBN Awards 2017.

The OBN Awards 2017, now in their 9th year, celebrate innovation and outstanding achievement across the UK Life Sciences industry.  Categories are broad-ranging and include Biotech, Medtech, Synthetic Biology, Digital Healthcare and Investment.  This year OBN launched a brand-new category, Best Contract Research Organisation award, which looks to recognise the critical support services provided by CROs across the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industries.

The awards ceremony took place on 5th October 2017 in Oxford Town Hall, an elegant and prestigious setting in central Oxford.  The evening began with a networking drinks reception, followed by dinner and the awards presentation.  There was plenty of time afterwards for celebrating and catching-up with friends and colleagues from across the pharmaceutical industry.

The Best Contract Research Organisation award was received by Sygnature Discovery’s Dr Paul Clewlow, Senior VP, Business Development, and Dr Steve Young, VP, Business Development.  The Award was sponsored by Ipsen Bioinnovation.

 



Sygnature Discovery focuses on US expansion with the Appointment of Dr Bruce Sargent

5th  October 2017 – Nottingham, UK – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, has appointed Dr Bruce Sargent as Strategic Business Development Lead for North America to assist with the company’s ambitious growth plans for the USA and Canada.

Sygnature Discovery is expanding its business development presence in the USA and Dr Sargent will play an instrumental part of this expansion.

Dr Sargent is a highly-experienced drug discoverer with more than 35 years in drug discovery and development, including 20 years at Boots plc in Nottingham.  He has a proven track record of leading multiple programmes that have delivered drugs into development and will be leveraging his substantial experience to provide local support for Sygnature’s existing and developing US-located client base.  Sygnature will also be utilising Dr Sargent’s business leadership experience to help them with their US business development strategy.

On his appointment, Dr Sargent commented:

“I am delighted to be working with Sygnature Discovery – particularly at such an exciting time in their business expansion plans. Sygnature afford a breadth of capability supported by substantial experience that is rare amongst drug discovery service providers, positioning them in the top class for executing integrated programs. I am proud to be part of the team”

As part of planned expansion of the company’s business development function, Sygnature Discovery is in the process of recruiting additional US-based business developers, who will work closely with Dr Sargent and the business development and marketing team based in BioCity Nottingham.  These newly-created business development roles will be based on the US East and West Coasts and the selected candidates will be responsible for increasing Sygnature’s client base and sales in North America.

Founder and CEO of Sygnature Discovery, Dr Simon Hirst commented:

“Since its foundation in 2004, Sygnature Discovery has always had clients in the USA.  However, to effectively develop even more business opportunities in North America, we need to expand our business development team so that we have a permanent presence there, situated in areas where cutting-edge drug discovery is taking place.  Adding US-based business developers who are scientists at heart will boost our existing activities to win new clients and ensure that we stay on track with our ambitious expansion plans.”

 

 



Sygnature Discovery showcases its Bioscience expertise at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2017

3rd October 2017 – Liverpool, UK – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, is showcasing the expertise of its BioScience department at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2017 In Liverpool from 3rd – 4th October 2017.

Drug Discovery 2017 is ELRIG’s flagship event. Now in its 11th year, the conference brings together the leading lights in drug discovery research across pharma, biotech, academia and the vendor community.  Below is a summary of the Sygnature activities at ELRIG Drug Discovery 2017:

 

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

ESSEN Workshop Presentation:

Dr Bryan Miller

“Use of live cell imaging assays for immuno-oncology in integrated drug discovery programmes”

09:35 – 9:55 – ROOM 11A

Snapshot Presentation:

Dr Marie Fisher

“Adoption of High-Content Imaging Capabilities in Support of Integrated Drug Discovery Programmes”

14.50 – 14.55

“Advances in Imaging” Session

Room – Hall 1B

Posters

  • Dr Bryan Miller (Poster #20): “Live cell and high-content imaging approaches to identify apoptosis inducers in cell models of triple negative breast cancer”
  • Ms Juliet Morgan (poster # 53): “Complementary biophysical approaches to assess fragment binding to the epigenetic target bromodomain-containing protein 3 (BRD3)
  • Dr Marie Fisher (poster #43): “Predicting drug-induced phospholipidosis using high resolution imaging in 2D and 3D cultures”
  • Dr Meera Raja (poster #1): “A phenotypic screen to identify novel neuroprotective agents”

 

Wednesday 4th October Time: 11.50

Poster spotlight presentation:

Dr Meera Raja

Track: Target ID & Validation

Room: Hall 1C



Sygnature Discovery forms a strategic alliance with ApconiX

2nd October 2017 – Nottingham and Alderley Park, UK – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, has announced it is to work in partnership with ApconiX, experts in non-clinical safety strategies and ion channel screening, to offer a broader range of drug discovery services.

Dr Paul Clewlow, Senior VP, Business Development, recently signed the strategic alliance document with ApconiX which will allow them to add extra value and capabilities to Sygnature’s clients, specifically in the area of toxicology. The alliance will strengthen Sygnature’s integrated drug discovery service offering to accelerate the discovery of new medicines from the lab into development for clients.

ApconiX is a team of world-renowned non-clinical safety experts with over 300 years of drug discovery and development expertise. They provide advice that helps scientists to make better decisions on drug safety, from project initiation through to worldwide marketing approval, guiding you towards scientific and regulatory success.

Based in the BioHub at Alderley Park, Cheshire – part of the BioCity Group where Sygnature Discovery is headquartered – ApconiX delivers high quality, cost-effective pre-clinical safety packages that align with drug discovery projects.

Dr Clewlow of Sygnature Discovery commented:

“Toxicology and functional electrophysiology assessments are essential aspects of the drug discovery and development process to ensure the safety of a potential drug prior to administration in humans.  The specialists at ApconiX are world renowned scientists in non-clinical safety strategies and their skills will be of great benefit to our clients.  The alliance between Sygnature Discovery and ApconiX will be mutually beneficial and together we can offer a more comprehensive integrated approach to any clients’ drug discovery programme.  We are very much looking forward to working with ApconiX and introducing them to our clients.”

Dr Michael Morton, Director and Co-Founder of ApconiX, commented:

“The combination of our expertise in discovery toxicology and ion channel testing, with that of Sygnature’s medicinal chemistry-driven integrated drug discovery services, will help clients to make safer drugs. Our ability to run high-throughput screens for important ion channel targets also compliments Sygnature’s extensive biology capability. This is a hugely exciting partnership!!”

 



Sygnature Discovery presenting at 19th RSC/SCI Medicinal Chemistry Symposium – Corcept Therapeutics and Pulmocide collaborations

10th September 2017 – Cambridge, UK – Two of Sygnature Discovery’s leading medicinal chemists are giving presentations at the prestigious 19th RSC/SCI Medicinal Chemistry Symposium:

Dr Iain Walters, Director of Chemistry, is presenting an up-date on our on-going glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist project collaboration with Corcept Therapeutics.  To date this integrated drug discovery collaboration has delivered several promising clinical candidates, including CORT125134 which is currently undergoing Phase II clinical evaluations in patients with Cushing’s syndrome and patients with solid cancer tumours.

Dr Mihiro Sunose, Principal Scientist, is presenting a poster entitled, “Discovery of PC945, a novel anti-fungal agent for inhaled administration” with Pulmocide LimitedPC945 is a novel, potent, fungicidal anti-Aspergillus compound.  It is the only potent, novel triazole anti-fungal that has been specifically developed as an inhaled treatment for pulmonary aspergillosis.  It has been designed to deliver high local lung concentrations, retention in lung tissues that offers a long duration of action and minimal systemic exposure.  PC945 is undergoing initial Phase I clinical trials in healthy volunteers started in April 2017.

About Sygnature Discovery Limited

Sygnature Discovery is the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise.  Founded in 2004, the company operates a fully-enabled research facility in the Discovery Building at BioCity Nottingham housing over 170 experienced research scientists (80% with PhDs) with the professional skills required to take on board the most demanding of drug discovery programmes and drive them towards a successful outcome.  Sygnature undertakes target validation, hit identification, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation projects.  The company’s capabilities include medicinal chemistry, bioscience, computational chemistry, DMPK and protein crystallography (in collaboration with affiliate company, Peak Proteins).  Since 2011, 10 drug candidates have entered clinic which were invented at Sygnature Discovery.

About Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated

Corcept, based in Menlo Park, CA, is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialisation of drugs that treat severe metabolic, oncologic and psychiatric disorders by modulating the effects of cortisol. Korlym®, a first-generation cortisol modulator, is the company’s first FDA-approved medication. The company has a portfolio of proprietary compounds that modulate the effects of cortisol but not progesterone. Corcept owns extensive intellectual property covering the use of cortisol modulators, including mifepristone, in the treatment of a wide variety of serious disorders, including Cushing’s syndrome. It also holds composition of matter patents covering its selective cortisol modulators.

About Pulmocide Limited

Pulmocide, based in London, UK, is a unique biopharmaceutical company with a mission to treat common acute and chronic respiratory tract infections associated with serious complications and devastating effects on patients’ quality of life.  Unlike currently available treatments for fungal and viral infections in the lung, our innovative approach to drug development provides targeted delivery to the lung so that infections can be treated with minimal unwanted systemic effects.  The Pulmocide team has an extensive track record in the discovery and development of novel inhaled medicines for respiratory indications. The team has particular expertise in the identification of compounds with optimal characteristics for lung delivery.

 

© 2017 Sygnature Discovery Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Sygnature Discovery Limited is a company incorporated in England, with company number 05210563, whose registered office and principal place of business is at BioCity, Pennyfoot Street, Nottingham, NG1 1GF, United Kingdom.

 

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Sygnature Discovery to Partner with UCL School of Pharmacy for £1M Pancreatic Cancer Research Project

3rd August 2017 – Nottingham, UKSygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, has been appointed by UCL to lead an optimisation project targeting pancreatic cancer.

The project is based upon research done by Professor Stephen Neidle’s group in the UCL School of Pharmacy, in collaboration with the UCL Drug Discovery Group, led by Dr Richard Angell. It is funded by a £1 million investment from the £50 million UCL Technology Fund, managed by Albion Capital in collaboration with UCL Business.

Professor Neidle is a pioneer in the design of drugs which effectively ‘switch off’ the functioning of cancer-related genes. His group has developed a new drug which is designed to target quadruplex structures in DNA.  Such quadruplex structures are more prevalent in certain cancers than in normal cells, providing opportunity for targeted killing of these cancer cells. One type of cancer cell shown to be affected by this type of molecular approach is pancreatic cancer.

Sygnature will apply its expertise in medicinal chemistry, parallel synthesis, cell imaging and biophysics to optimise the lead molecules identified by Prof. Neidle.  The aim of this optimisation process is to improve the therapeutic properties of the molecules.

Dr John Unitt, Sygnature’s Director of Bioscience said: “We are excited to be chosen to partner with UCL on this oncology project. As a research organisation we are always looking to apply our oncology expertise to exciting new targets like Professor Neidle’s G-Quadruplex project.”

“Despite the availability of many new cancer therapies, pancreatic cancer still has a very poor outcome for patients and remains one of the most significant unmet needs in oncology. We believe that ultimately this novel cancer therapy could offer hope to patients whose prognosis today remains very poor.”



Sygnature Discovery presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017 at VIP ceremony to confer the Grant of Appointment

25th July 2017 – Nottingham, UK – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, has today been presented with one of the UK’s most prestigious business awards – the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – at a special VIP ceremony.

Founder and CEO of Sygnature Discovery, Dr Simon Hirst, received the award in recognition of Sygnature’s international trade success. Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Sir John Peace, presented the award at a special ceremony held at Sygnature’s new facility, the £30m Discovery Building in Nottingham. The ceremony was attended by staff, clients and close contacts of the company as well as The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Michael Edwards and other dignitaries.  The ceremony offered an opportunity for guests to view the new Discovery Building, its super high-tech laboratories and its Corona sculpture.

Dr Hirst is a Medicinal Chemist with almost 30 years of industry experience, winning the Chemistry World ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award in 2016. He founded Sygnature Discovery in 2004 and now employs over 170 dedicated scientists researching potential new medicines to treat a range of debilitating diseases. This expertise is exported to clients around the world.

Dr Hirst commented, “To receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, International Trade is a tremendous honour and the recognition for our success overseas is very gratifying for the whole team at Sygnature Discovery.  As a company we have always viewed drug discovery as an internationally important sector to work in and as such, international trade has always been a significant part of our strategy.”

Dr Simon Hirst and Sygnature’s Chief Operating Officer, Dr Jonathan Williams were also recently invited to a Buckingham Palace reception attended by Her Majesty The Queen.

Dr Hirst added, “It was a huge privilege and truly humbling experience to be invited to Buckingham Palace to meet members of the Royal Household. Being recognised with a Queen’s Award is something the whole team at Sygnature Discovery can be very proud of as it marks the significant achievements we have made over the last 13 years.”

Sir John Peace and Dr Simon Hirst

(Image: Mark Fear, Nottingham Post)



STOP PRESS: Sygnature Discovery named as Finalist in OBN Awards 2017 Best CRO category

26th July 2017 – Nottingham, UK – Sygnature Discovery, the UK’s largest independent provider of integrated drug discovery resource and expertise, is pleased to announce that it is a finalist in the OBN Awards 2017 Best Contract Research Organisation category.

The OBN Awards 2017, now in their 9th year, celebrate innovation and outstanding achievement across the UK Life Sciences industry. Categories are broad ranging and include Biotech, Medtech, Synthetic Biology, Digital Healthcare and Investment.

This year OBN is launching a brand-new category, Best Contract Research Organisation which looks to recognise the critical support services provided by CROs across the pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech industries.

The Awards dinner will take place on Thursday 5th October 2017 at Oxford Town Hall.  For more information on the OBN Awards 2017, go to: http://www.obn-awards.com/

 

 





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