Vernalis of the UK and France's Servier have inked another cancer collaboration, over four years after the firms first teamed up.

The companies have signed a three-year agreement focused on finding drugs for a new undisclosed target using Vernalis’ proprietary fragment and structure-based discovery platform. The Winnersh-based group will receive fees, milestones and royalties on sales. Financial terms have not been disclosed.  

This third collaboration "is yet another endorsement of the strength of our fragment and structure-based drug discovery platforms", said Vernalis chief executive Ian Garland. Servier R&D chief Bernard Marchand added that one of the Suresnes-headquarted group's strategic objectives is to "accelerate our discovery process for innovative therapies in cancer, and Vernalis technology and scientists are offering a very valuable complement to our internal activities".

In October, Servier said it had achieved a research milestone in its first oncology drug discovery collaboration with Vernalis initiated in May 2007, triggering a 500,000 euro payment to the UK firm.