Show results for
  • Sygnature
  • News
  • Drug Discovery
  • Therapeutic Areas
  • Events
  • Vacancies

Company History

Since 2004 Sygnature Discovery has been offering high-quality drug discovery services and providing guidance and support to clients for the discovery and development of novel medicines.

The once small company has grown into a multi-awarded winning company with a global presence. Operating out of the UK, Sygnature Discovery serves organisations around the globe operating in a variety of therapeutic areas and with different strategies for drug discovery. Sygnature Discovery remains flexible and strives to provide innovative solutions designed to fit every customers’ needs.

 

Simon’s Journey

What motivated you to embark on this journey and establish the company?

“Having worked in big and medium-sized pharma, I had been involved in outsourcing a number of services and found it a pretty unsatisfactory experience. Once working with a company, we often discovered they didn’t have the skills to do what we wanted to do. They were not set up the right way, nor did they invest in having the right facilities, the right research capabilities.

Communication was also generally poor. The temptation for well-minded people, when things go wrong, is to go and try to fix the problem before raising the issue; before you realise it three months have passed with no progress. This meant that managing outsourced projects was very difficult and we didn’t feel in control. Skill sets, capabilities and communication were not right. I felt this could be done a lot a better! It needed to be done better because drug discovery must succeed if at all possible.

It was clear to us that outsourcing drug discovery was going to grow and be part of the future for this industry. Drug discovery had to continue to be done, and be done well and successfully. Everyone will be a patient one day, and as we get older, the likelihood of needing a treatment increases. The old pharma model was not working, it was too rigid and lacked innovation; outsourcing was the new model. A flexible model that would create efficiencies and support the adoption of innovative new approaches. This flexibility just could not happen in big pharma companies.

Through my contacts and my own experience as medicinal chemist I decided to create a drug discovery CRO, Sygnature Chemical Services, in 2004. The company started as a small chemistry group with computational chemistry support. We started with chemistry, that was where we had experience, but the intention was always to create an integrated discovery service offering. I knew it was going to be a challenge to integrate a bioscience group that would be credible but relatively small. I had to find people with a good track record in drug discovery, who would be equally flexible and could broadly cover bioscience. This opportunity came along in 2011 with the closure of the AstraZeneca site in Loughborough. Further expansion of our services and incorporation of DMPK happened in 2015. Science, of course, never stands still and we continue to develop new capabilities and in 2017 we saw the emergence of discovery toxicology to complement our DMPK and Physical Sciences offering.

This journey is highly inspired by our clients and their needs; we always look to innovate and bring in new services and technologies we know are going to create value. Just like from day one, our vision remains for drug discovery to be done better. We believe in doing things differently, to invent and implement new effective processes and pathways that will improve the chances of successful project outcomes.

Aug 2004

2005

2006

Oct 2008

2009

Sept 2011

Sept 2011

2012

Oct 2014

Jan 2015

2016

June 2017

July 2017

Aug 2017

Sept 2017

Aug 2004

Aug 2004:

Sygnature Chemical Services is founded at BioCity Nottingham with 4 chemists.
2005

2005:

Computational Chemistry support added via a consultant.
2006

2006:

Sygnature moves into BioCity’s Stewart Adams Building and employs 15 chemists. The company achieves £1million in sales.
Oct 2008

Oct 2008:

Sygnature moves into new, purpose-built laboratory and office space in BioCity’s Laurus Building.
2009

2009:

Sygnature employs 35 chemists and sales exceed £2.5 million
Sept 2011

Sept 2011:

Bioscience department founded.
Sept 2011

Sept 2011:

Sygnature Chemical Services rebrands as Sygnature Discovery to reflect its integrated drug discovery service-offering.
2012

2012:

Official opening of Lab 4, Laurus Building
Oct 2014

Oct 2014:

Sygnature celebrates its 10th birthday. The company employs 111 staff, including 70 medicinal chemists, 20 biologists and 5 computational chemists.
Jan 2015

Jan 2015:

DMPK department founded.
2016

2016:

Dr Simon Hirst, Sygnature’s Founder and CEO, wins the Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
June 2017

June 2017:

Move completed into new, purpose-built Discovery Building at BioCity Nottingham.
July 2017

July 2017:

Sygnature presented with a Queens’ Award for Enterprise: International Trade.
Aug 2017

Aug 2017:

200 full-time employees.
Sept 2017

Sept 2017:

Company takes private equity investment from Phoenix Equity Partners – the first external funding in Sygnature’s history–with co-investment from the senior management team.

Aug 2004

Aug 2004
Aug 2004 - Sygnature Chemical Services is founded at BioCity Nottingham with 4 chemists.

2005

2005
2005 - Computational Chemistry support added via a consultant.

2006

2006
2006 - Sygnature moves into BioCity’s Stewart Adams Building and employs 15 chemists. The company achieves £1million in sales.

Oct 2008

Oct 2008
Oct 2008 - Sygnature moves into new, purpose-built laboratory and office space in BioCity’s Laurus Building.

2009

2009
2009 - Sygnature employs 35 chemists and sales exceed £2.5 million

Sept 2011

Sept 2011
Sept 2011 - Bioscience department founded.

Sept 2011

Sept 2011
Sept 2011 - Sygnature Chemical Services rebrands as Sygnature Discovery to reflect its integrated drug discovery service-offering.

2012

2012
2012 - Official opening of Lab 4, Laurus Building

Oct 2014

Oct 2014
Oct 2014 - Sygnature celebrates its 10th birthday. The company employs 111 staff, including 70 medicinal chemists, 20 biologists and 5 computational chemists.

Jan 2015

Jan 2015
Jan 2015 - DMPK department founded.

2016

2016
2016 - Dr Simon Hirst, Sygnature’s Founder and CEO, wins the Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

June 2017

June 2017
June 2017 - Move completed into new, purpose-built Discovery Building at BioCity Nottingham.

July 2017

July 2017
July 2017 - Sygnature presented with a Queens’ Award for Enterprise: International Trade.

Aug 2017

Aug 2017
Aug 2017 - 200 full-time employees.

Sept 2017

Sept 2017
Sept 2017 - Company takes private equity investment from Phoenix Equity Partners – the first external funding in Sygnature’s history–with co-investment from the senior management team.

Meet Our Team

We thrive on diversity. Our management and business development teams encompass a rich mix of backgrounds, experiences and skills. Passionate scientists, chemists, biochemists, biologists, computational chemists, and DMPK experts, work…

DISCOVER

Who We Are

Sygnature Discovery prides itself on offering a unique, high-quality, distinctive and tailored integrated drug discovery service to our clients. Our mission is to be admired for the science we do,…

DISCOVER

Get in Touch

For more details on how we can provide innovative support to your project please use this contact form.

CTA Form

The information you supply will be processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. For further details about how Sygnature Discovery collects, uses and stores personal data, please refer to our Website Privacy Notice available here.