Sygnature Discovery completes acquisition of SB Drug Discovery to further strengthen its market-leading capabilities

Sygnature Discovery (“Sygnature”) is delighted to announce the acquisition of SB Drug Discovery, a world leading provider of ion channel and receptor drug discovery research delivering cell line generation and compound screening solutions in neuroscience and other therapeutic indications.

Sygnature Discovery’s acquisition of SB Drug Discovery

This transaction will offer a strategic advantage for both companies, to enable further expansion of the businesses and their capabilities, and forms part of Sygnature’s strategic plan to continuously invest in the expansion of its leading integrated drug discovery solutions.

“Having worked with Sygnature Discovery during a recent collaboration to access our ion channel expertise which we presented at the Society of Neuroscience Conference in November 2022, it became apparent to Sygnature that our breadth of capabilities and expertise reached far beyond ion channel electrophysiology, to areas including cell line generation, screening and inflammation”, said Dr Ian McPhee, Scientific Director at SB Drug Discovery.

Commenting on the acquisition, Ian continued, “Our company values and goals fit perfectly with Sygnature’s in becoming a leader in drug discovery services, and we are delighted to become an integral part of the Sygnature Group”.

SB Drug Discovery, in operation for over 20 years and with more than 50 employees, will continue to operate out of its high-quality Glasgow facilities with further investment and expansion of its capabilities and services planned over the months ahead.

“We are excited for this step forward and believe that the acquisition of SB Drug Discovery is another great addition to the services Sygnature Discovery can offer our customers on our journey to be the world’s leading drug discovery partner. SB Drug Discovery are a like-minded company that complements Sygnature’s existing services, and we believe together this provides a strong partnership,” explained Dr Simon Hirst, CEO at Sygnature Discovery.

Meeting together in Glasgow to announce the deal to staff, Ian and Simon, along with Dr David Dalrymple, SB Drug Discovery’s Business Development Director, further outlined that customers will not notice any interruptions in service or performance as a result of this transaction, and the leadership are committed to working with internal teams to continue the growth of both organisations.

This is the second acquisition by Sygnature Discovery in the last year – following the investment by Five Arrows in Summer 2021 – after the acquisition of Peak Proteins in April 2022, and the fifth in five years. Previous acquisitions included RenaSci in 2018 as well as Alderley Oncology and XenoGesis in 2020.


About Sygnature Discovery

Sygnature Discovery is a world-leading integrated drug discovery partner, offering expertise across a broad range of therapeutic areas and biological target classes. Based in Nottingham and with facilities in Alderley Park and Macclesfield, employing over 600 people.

About SB Drug Discovery

SB Drug Discovery is an industry leader in specialist contract research, providing critical data for novel drug development through cell line generation, assay development and compound screening services. SB is based in Glasgow and employs 55 people.

About Five Arrows

Five Arrows is the alternative assets arm of Rothschild & Co and has €23 billion of AuM with offices in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Luxembourg. With over €9 billion of assets under management, the corporate private equity business of Five Arrows is focused on investing in companies with highly defensible market positions; strong management teams; business models with high visibility of organic unit volume growth and strong unit economics; and multiple operational levers that can be used to unlock latent value. Sectors are limited to data and software, technology-enabled business services and healthcare.

For all media enquiries about Sygnature Discovery’s acquisition, contact:

Paul Overton, PhD

Chief Commercial Officer

Sygnature Discovery


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