2018 has been another exciting year at XenoGesis, the highlight of which has to be the move into our new home in the state-of-the-art Discovery building at BioCity. The 5,500ft2 space is an 83% increase on our previous laboratories and offices, allowing us to expand and also future-proof our business. We celebrated with an official opening event in September which saw 60 clients, contacts, and friends come together for a drinks reception along with guest speakers and tours of the laboratories. Thank you to all of those who came and showed their support and made the evening a massive success.
We also had another year of continued growth as we have welcomed 30 new clients, and our revenue continues to remain ahead of target. In the autumn we launched our due diligence service aimed at investors, VCs, Biotechs and licensees who require an independent view on the quality of the pre-clinical data package of a small molecule asset prior to investing or licensing. For the lab we purchased a new live-cell imager and introduced several new DMPK and pharmacological assays.
Here is a selection of other 2018 highlights:
First full year of Rachel in post as Head of Global BD
This year has been our first year with dedicated BD in place. Dr Rachel Hemsley joined us in November 2017 to drive and support our ambitious growth plans. Throughout the year, Rachel has been building strong and trusted relationships with current and new clients and has helped firm our standing and reputation in the UK. Our increased presence ‘out and about’ has included visits to Barcelona, Madrid, Copenhagen, and a first-time visit to BIO in Boston as part of the Midlands Engine.
Further adding to our year of growth, in February we took virtual tenancy at BioHub, Alderley Park, as part of our wider growth plans for the UK and internationally.
Integrated Drug Discovery Alliance
This year we announced our alliance with BioAscent Discovery Limited, a fellow company in the BioCity group, to offer integrated drug discovery services. The two businesses are closely aligned and offer great synergies for our clients, providing a seamless relationship that will reduce costs, improve timelines and increase success rates for our clients.
Inhibitor for late-stage prostate cancer enters clinic
CellCentric began clinical testing of CCS1477, a novel, first-in-class drug for late-stage prostate cancer, following regulatory clearance in the UK. We have supported the DMPK aspects of the project since 2014 and this project is now the seventh client compound to reach the clinic where XenoGesis has provided DMPK support, advice and human PK and dose prediction. Learn more.
TropIQ’s research into vector-borne disease control
We worked with TropIQ to support their research project into oral insecticides for vector-borne disease control, the findings of which have been published in the PNAS Journal. The full journal article is available online.
Spotlight on the importance of early dose prediction
Working closely with our clients to understand and determine dose prediction at an early stage is at the core of what we do. There is often insufficient consideration given to ‘knowing the compound’ which results in many compounds failing due to lack of efficacy, poor pharmacokinetics and an inadequate safety profile. As part of this focus we developed a series of ADME packages which are designed to help clients answer key questions on how their drug discovery compounds behave in areas such as absorption, clearance, distribution, oral bioavailability and predicted human efficacious dose.
And finally, in October we were invited to take part in Ada Lovelace Day hosted by BioCity. Forty-five girls from local high schools attended the event to learn about the opportunities of a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). XenoGesis’ Liz Rendall hosted a table of students where she was able to discuss her career as a scientist. Find out more here.
As we look ahead to 2019, there is more of the same to come. We are planning a busy schedule for our business development and will be building on our strong foundations with BioAscent; as well as developing other partner relations. We are on the hunt for experienced scientists to join our team and will be embarking on the development of a new website to showcase our existing and new services.
All that remains is to wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!