Galapagos has acquired Canterbury-based Cangenix to add to its structure-based drug discovery unit. 

Galapagos, which is based in Belgium, said that Cangenix’ state-of-the-art technology will supplement its subsidiary Argenta to help design new drugs and fill a growing client need.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, Galapagos will pay £1 million, with a further £440,000 potential earn out payment contingent upon achievement of certain conditions. 

Argenta will integrate all of Cangenix’ assets and its personnel and service contracts. 

The Cangenix team of four staff will join Argenta, but will continue to operate the platform in its premises in Canterbury. The acquisition will contribute to the Argenta revenues and profit for 2013, although the firm did not specify by how much.

“We welcome the Cangenix team and their clients to the Galapagos group,” said Onno van de Stolpe, chief executive of Galapagos. “The assets and expertise of Cangenix really address a growing client need at Argenta. We look forward to extending and expanding this business.”

Further deals

In February last year, Galapagos struck a deal with Abbott to develop and commercialise a promising oral JAK1 inhibitor to treat multiple autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.

Abbott paid $150 million for global rights - pending achievement of certain milestones, Galapagos would receive extra milestone payments from Abbott up to $1billion, plus tiered double-digit royalties on net sales upon launch.

Cangenix, a gene-to-structure biotech company, provides drug discovery services to a growing client list. It was formed in 2011 by scientists from the structural biology and biophysics group at Pfizer’s R&D site in Sandwich, UK. This site was partially closed down last year after Pfizer decided cut back on its R&D activities in the UK.

The firm provides a range of crystallographic and biophysical techniques, such as surface plasmon resonance and isothermal titration calorimetry, using tailored biological reagents to accelerate the understanding of compound-target interactions and utilize structural, kinetic and thermodynamic data to inform drug design.