BioAscent reports promising growth as it marks tenth anniversary

Released: Monday 8th April 2024

(Newhouse, UK, 8 April 2024) Integrated drug discovery services provider
BioAscent, which marked its tenth anniversary in 2023, has reported promising
growth in the wake of sustained demand for its services.

Despite challenging market conditions in 2023, BioAscent saw an increase in
revenue across its service offerings including 20% growth in compound
management, 27% for in silico discovery, and 14% in biosciences.

Established initially as a provider of compound management and logistics services
after acquiring Merck Sharpe and Dohme’s state-of-the-art automated compound
management facility at Newhouse near Glasgow, the company has developed into a
leading integrated drug discovery CRO, working with many of the most innovative
biotechs across the globe to drive their small molecule drug discovery programmes.

Over this time, BioAscent has invested £3.5m in its facilities, and has reached some
key milestones, having delivered:

- >150 biochemical, biophysical and cellular assays for drug discovery projects,
  across all key target classes including GPCRs, multiple enzyme classes
  (including covalent programmes), nuclear receptors, protein-protein, protein-
  DNA and protein-RNA interactions.
- Multiple HTS and fragment screens using multiple libraries of up to 250k in
  size and triaged the outcomes of over 120 HTS campaigns.
- >50 hit validation/characterisation projects.
- >30 hit-to-lead campaigns, including successfully driving a project to
  candidate selection and out licensing to big pharma, and driving a second
  against an unprecedented target from initial hit finding to in vivo efficacy.
- Currently providing full compound management and logistics services to 75
  biotechs in the US, UK, Europe and Australia, managing all aspects of compound 
  aggregation, storage, QC, plating, tracking and shipping to testing partnersaround the world.
- >100,000 screening plates to global customers and partners.

The company has continually developed its fully integrated drug discovery offering,
capable of taking a target from concept to candidate, and has since experienced
significant year-on-year growth, growing from a core of eight staff as recently as
2018 to over 85 today. Critically, BioAscent has achieved this growth without diluting
the expertise of the team.

Paul Smith, CEO at BioAscent says: “Drug discovery is underpinned by having the
best scientists and the required kit and instrumentation. Our scientists have a
median of 15 years industry experience, which we believe is unmatched in the
industry, and it is this which is driving our growth. As a young and dynamic CRO, we
need to continue to invest in technology and capabilities, win work competitively, and
deliver excellent science which results in customers coming back with more projects.

“2023 has been a challenging year across the industry, yet despite this difficult
economic climate, customer demand for our specialist services and expertise
Whilst the economic environment remains challenging, but we are cautiously
optimistic about the year ahead, owing to the strength and expertise of our scientific
team that continues to attract customers from across the world.”

Last month saw the opening of the company’s protein production facility, marking the
latest key investment, further strengthening its in-house drug discovery capabilities
with the ability to deliver protein production in house, thereby implementing the most
informative screening cascades for its customers.

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