GlaxoSmithKline is to acquire the shares it does not currently own in Anglo-German proteomics specialist Cellzome for £61 million.
The drugs major currently has a 19.98% stake in privately-owned Cellzome, which has laboratories in Cambridge, UK and Heidelberg, Germany. The companies first teamed up in September 2008 to develop a new generation of drugs for inflammatory diseases and in March 2010 another alliance was inked.
GSK says the acquisition gives it "a state-of-the-art, proteomic mass spectrometry and screening capability, enabling greater knowledge of drug targets and their interactions with compounds in the early phases of drug discovery". The company believes this technology, which could now be leveraged across its whole portfolio, can reduce attrition during the development phase.
Following the acquisition, there are plans to create a spin-off company, which would hold the rights to certain of Cellzome’s assets and activities that GSK does not wish to progress. John Baldoni, head of platform and technology science, said the purchase "adds significantly to our scientific capabilities and…further enhances GSK’s ability to bring medicines to patients in a more effective manner".
The Cellzome deal is the drug giant's third platform technology acquisition in five years, following the purchases of antibody specialist Domantis in 2007 and Praecis Pharmaceuticals, both in 2007.