In addition to running its own drug discovery projects in the area of respiratory medicine, Argenta operates a contract research business with a 70-strong team offering medicinal and synthetic chemistry services.
It also has researchers handling computer-aided drug design, assay development and screening as well as in vivo functions such as pharmacokinetics and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and toxicology).
The rationale for joining forces with PRECOS lies in the company’s expertise in preclinical oncology research, and particularly in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo cancer models and expertise. In simple terms, Argenta’s strengths in chemistry will sit alongside PRECOS’ expertise with in vivo cancer models.
Dr. Christopher Ashton, Argenta’s CEO, said that while the company has carried out a number of medicinal chemistry-driven cancer drug discovery contract research projects, it has been “looking at ways of enhancing our capabilities in this therapeutic area.”
“We have several ongoing cancer-focused contract research programmes and a number of projects in the pipeline which are likely to benefit from PRECOS’ support and know-how,” he added.
PRECOS has developed a series of animal models of cancer that are designed to reflect the clinical situation for each aspect of disease progression, encompassing pre-cancerous lesions, primary tumours and metastasis.
“We have been planning ways of expanding our business and this partnership with Argenta should help us to accomplish this goal,” said Professor Susan Watson, scientific director of PRECOS.