France’s largest privately-owned pharmaceutical company, Servier, and UK partner Vernalis have announced the achievement of the first milestone in their oncology drug discovery collaboration.

The milestone marks the solving of the novel crystal structure of an undisclosed oncology target and Vernalis receives 500,00 Euros in milestone payments from Servier.

The collaboration was initiated in May last year and applies Vernalis’ proprietary structure-based discovery capabilities to two promising oncology targets involve in protein-protein interactions. Under the terms of the deal, Servier provides the funding for Vernalis’ scientists.

“This milestone provides further demonstration of the power of Vernalis’ suite of discovery platforms to elucidate the structure of challenging drug targets,” said Peter Fellner, Vernalis’ Executive Chairman.