Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline is to take full control of Cellzome, a company specialising in the study of protein structures and functions.
Glaxo, which currently owns just under one fifth of Cambridge-based Cellzome, is paying £61m in cash to buy up the rest of the company, which will become part of Glaxo's research and development (R&D) organisation.
Cellzome's proteomics technologies can be used throughout the drug discovery process from screening to selectivity profiling of compounds in different cells and also in patient samples.
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The technologies that Cellzome has developed differ from other traditional methods used in early drug discovery by assessing drug interactions with target proteins in a setting which more closely represents that found in a whole biological system. This allows scientists the opportunity to observe how candidate drugs affect both intended and non-desired targets in a close-to-physiological environment and may pinpoint potential safety issues earlier in the process.
Glaxo and Cellzome have two active early stage research collaborations using these discovery capabilities within the immune-inflammation therapy area.
Simultaneous with the acquisition, Cellzome shareholders, including Glaxo, intend to create a spin-off company, which would hold the rights to certain of Cellzome's assets and activities that Glaxo does not want as part of its drugs development pipeline.
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