History

Vernalis as it is now came into being back in 2003, with the merger of British Biotech plc, Ribo Targets Holdings plc and Vernalis Group plc. The company currently has two sites:

  • Granta Park in Cambridge, UK - the base for our Research team
  • Winnersh, Berkshire, UK - where our Corporate Head Office is located

With a team experienced in structure-based drug discovery since 1997, Vernalis Research has been committed to growing its external research collaborations. External endorsement of its discovery capabilities comes from major pharma companies around the world and which include: Novartis, Servier, GSK, Lundbeck, Genentech, Daiichi Sankyo and Asahi Kasei Pharma.

The team has generated five development candidates in the past six years and cell active lead compounds against an additional nine targets with the most recent successes being compounds entering Phase I for Mcl-1 and Bcl-2.

Below is a summary of the evolution and successes of Vernalis Research at Granta Park:

  • 1997 – structure-based drug discovery against RNA targets; established macromolecular NMR and fragment based drug discovery
  • 2000 – structure-based discovery of inhibitors of the 30S subunit of the ribosome; established crystallography
  • 2001 – research changed focus to oncology protein targets; development of the SeeDs fragment based discovery platform
  • 2003-4 – series of mergers brought CNS targets (gpcr pharmacology at Winnersh site), DMPK capability, clinical pipeline and a marketed product, frovatriptan
  • 2004 – HSP90 pre-clinical candidate partnered with Novartis
  • 2006 – research concentrated on Granta Park site with in-house projects on oncology targets
  • 2007 - first research collaboration with Servier; growing expertise in biophysical methods such as ITC and SPR
  • 2008 – the present – series of collaborations established with GSK, Genentech, Lundbeck, Servier, Daiichi Sankyo and Asahi Kasei Pharma on oncology, anti-inflammatory and CNS targets; in-house projects in oncology and anti-infectives