Sygnature Discovery, the world-leading integrated discovery and preclinical solutions provider, has acquired Peak Proteins Ltd. Following an extensive partnership between the two companies, this deal will enable seamless integration of protein production and related structure determination projects within Sygnature. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Peak Proteins was set up in 2014 by scientists previously from AstraZeneca’s protein biochemistry and structural biology groups. Spearheaded by CEO, Mark Abbott, the company now employs 35 people, most of whom are scientists. Peak Proteins will continue to operate out of their new research facility in Macclesfield, near Sygnature’s Alderley Edge site. The Peak Proteins leadership team will also remain with the business.
Its core technologies include protein expression and purification, alongside protein crystallography, structure determination and mass spectrometry services. The acquisition will expand the scope of Sygnature’s in-house drug development capabilities, bringing increased value to partner projects and future patients. Peak Proteins has collaborated closely with Sygnature Discovery for several years and together the companies have supported a number of integrated drug discovery programmes.
The acquisition is part of Sygnature’s strategic plan to continuously invest in the expansion of its drug discovery capabilities. Steve Young, Sygnature Discovery VP of Business Development, says that “The Peak Proteins expertise will sit perfectly alongside our HTS and extensive biophysics capabilities. Their world-class expertise in protein crystallography will enhance our fragment screening and analysis activities, as well as our structure-based drug design work.”
Mark Abbott, CEO of Peak Proteins, commented: “We have always valued Sygnature Discovery’s support and are now really pleased to be joining them. It will enable us to work more closely on integrated projects in addition to our existing client base where we provide both proteins and protein structural information on a very wide range of proteins to clients across the world.”
This transaction represents the fourth acquisition that Sygnature Discovery has made in the last four years, and the first since Five Arrows Principal Investments made a significant equity investment in the company in 2021.
Sygnature Discovery’s CEO, Simon Hirst, stated: ‘We are delighted to welcome Peak Proteins and its talented scientists to the Sygnature family. Accessing high quality proteins efficiently is often a major stumbling for projects and protein structural information is still the gold standard when it comes to drug design. The closer integration of Peak Proteins into our projects will be extremely powerful in driving programmes forward.’
About Sygnature Discovery
Sygnature Discovery is a leading independent integrated drug discovery and non-clinical services company. Private equity-backed since 2017, the company operates fully enabled research facilities in Nottingham and Alderley Park, UK, housing more than 400 research scientists (over 80% of whom hold a PhD), and has an office presence in Cambridge, MA, and South San Francisco, CA, in the US.
Their experienced drug-hunters possess all the professional skills and know-how required to undertake the most demanding of research programs, and drive them from target validation through hit identification, hit-to-lead and lead optimisation to pre-clinical development candidate. Sygnature’s in vivo pharmacology arm was formed by the incorporation of RenaSci, acquired in 2018, into Sygnature’s fully integrated drug discovery platform. In 2020 Sygnature added to this with the acquisitions of in vivo oncology firm Alderley Oncology and DMPK provider XenoGesis.
Since 2011, 37 compounds discovered by Sygnature for customers have entered pre-clinical development and, so far, 20 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, and in the last year has won both the Medilink Outstanding Achievement Award and the Bionow Company of the Year Award.
About Peak Proteins
Peak Proteins is a rapidly growing contract research organisation that provides three key services; tailor-made protein reagents, protein structure information using X-ray crystallography and protein mass spectrometry. Founded in 2014 by Dr Mark Abbott, they are based in recently acquired purpose-build research facilities at Tytherington Business Park in Cheshire UK. The company employs 35 staff, most of whom have years of drug discovery experience and in-depth scientific knowledge needed to produce bespoke protein reagents suitable for use in a wide variety of applications. Their crystallography team are highly skilled in crystallography and interpretation of protein X-ray structure data working with medicinal chemistry design teams to fully exploit structural information. in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. They have an excellent record of successful and timely delivery, working collaboratively with partners in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Their strong, interactive client relationships has led to their rapid, global growth.
About Five Arrows Principal Investments
With assets under management of approximately €4.9 billion, Five Arrows Principal Investments (“FAPI”) is part of Rothschild & Co’s Merchant Banking business which manages over €18 billion globally, with offices in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and Luxembourg.
FAPI focuses on investing in middle-market companies with highly defensible market positions; strong management teams; business models with high visibility of organic unit volume growth and strong free cash flow conversion; 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.
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