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The Alderley Oncology team (left to right) Lorraine Mooney, Jane Kendrew, Emily Harris.

  • Deal enables a wider suite of pre-clinical testing services in oncology
  • Enhances services to clients in the growing cancer drug discovery sector

Sygnature Discovery, a leading independent integrated drug discovery and pre-clinical services company, is further strengthening its oncology and immuno-oncology capabilities with the acquisition of Alderley Oncology, a focused in vivo pharmacology service provider which undertakes high quality in vivo services for biotechs, pharmaceutical companies and academics. Until the acquisition, Alderley Oncology was run by Bruntwood SciTech, owners of Alderley Park. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

The Cheshire-based team offers a variety of in vivo services for cancer drug discovery. The acquisition will add significant in-house expertise at Sygnature in the design, conduct and interpretation of pivotal oncology in vivo pharmacology experiments that help identify promising pre-clinical candidates. These assessments also help define the path to the clinic and identify the anticipated patient populations who might best respond to treatment.

Alderley Oncology was established by Jane Kendrew in 2017. Jane and the team have a wealth of experience in the field, much of it gained at AstraZeneca. ‘We are delighted to be joining Sygnature Discovery,’ Kendrew says. ‘We look forward to working with them as part of the wider team serving the oncology drug discovery community, and patients living with cancer.’

“We are pleased to welcome Jane and her colleagues to Sygnature Discovery,” says Dr Stuart Onions, Director of Research Management at Sygnature. “The team’s expertise in oncology and immuno-oncology in vivo models will significantly enhance our integrated oncology provision, delivering further value to our integrated projects for clients and, importantly, allow us to more efficiently and effectively deliver potential new therapeutics into pre-clinic development.”

The deal complements the 2018 acquisition of Nottingham-based RenaSci, which added complementary in vivo expertise in abuse and dependence, metabolic diseases, CNS disorders, and liver and kidney disease to Sygnature’s in vitro services. The company is now able to offer its clients a full suite of in vitro and in vivo laboratory assays and considerable intellectual input in cancer drug discovery, too. It also expands Sygnature’s existing footprint at Alderley Park, where it currently has part of its DMPK department.

Sygnature CEO Dr Simon Hirst added that the new capabilities will help the company build on its track record of success for clients. “The acquisition of Alderley Oncology expands and enhances our drug discovery services portfolio, and further boosts our on-going investments in oncology,” he said. “We have already delivered five oncology pre-clinical candidates for clients. Sygnature has an expanding portfolio of integrated programmes in oncology and immuno-oncology with clients in the USA and Europe. The added expertise gained from Alderley Oncology will greatly assist in advancing these projects into pre-clinical development.”

Dr Kath Mackay, Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech – Alderley Park, added: “We’re really proud of the amazing work Jane and her team have delivered over the last three years to create Alderley Oncology and grow it into a successful business. Now is the time for it to scale with the support of Sygnature and accelerate its growth, so that it can play an ever more critical role in supporting UK and global oncology development.”

About Sygnature Discovery
Sygnature Discovery is a leading independent integrated drug discovery and pre-clinical services company. Private equity-backed since 2017, they operate fully enabled research facilities in Nottingham and Alderley Park, UK, housing more than 250 research scientists (over 80% of whom hold a PhD) and have an office presence in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US. Their experienced drug-hunters possess all the professional skills and know-how required to undertake the most demanding of research programmes, and drive them from target validation through hit identification, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation to pre-clinical development candidate. Since 2011, 31 compounds discovered by Sygnature for clients have entered pre-clinical development and so far 15 of these have progressed to clinical trials (Phases I, II and III). In 2017, Sygnature Discovery received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

For further information, visit: www.sygnaturediscovery.com