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 three sites:
- Granta Park in Cambridge, UK - the base for our Research team
- Winnersh, Berkshire, UK - where our Corporate Head Office is located and
- Berwyn, USA - where our Commercial Operations are 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, Asahi Kasei Pharma and Taisho.
With six development candidates generated in the past seven years and cell active lead compounds against 15 targets the team has worked towards repeating the recent success for internally initiated programmes such as V158866 against FAAH, for the management of neuropathic pain and V158411 against Chk1, for cancer.
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, Asahi Kasei Pharma and Taisho on oncology, anti-inflammatory and CNS targets; in-house projects in oncology and anti-infectives