BioAscent reports promising growth as it marks its tenth anniversary

Paul Smith CEO of BioAscent

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 partners around 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 prevails. 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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