De Novo Pharmaceuticals Limited Announces Deployment of Integrated Drug Design Platform, Second Tranche of Investment and New Management Appointments

Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

    CAMBRIDGE, UK, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd,
 Cambridge, UK, ("De Novo"), an emerging computational drug design company, has
 received its second tranche of funding, totalling 950,000 GB pounds, having
 successfully achieved all the objectives set by its original investors in
 April 2000.  Progress made by the Company in its first year includes the
 deployment of a fully integrated structure-directed molecular design platform,
 the signing of three Drug Design Partnerships with both major pharmaceutical
 and biotechnology companies, the establishment of a comprehensive database of
 novel drug designs to key therapeutic targets, and submission of its first
 patent applications.  This scientific progress has been accompanied by
 corporate expansion to 23 employees, the development of an active technology
 partnering programme with several major US biotech companies, and the complete
 refurbishment and doubling in size of their original research facilities.
     The management team is now being strengthened by the appointment of Dr.
 Steven Beasley as Vice-President, Business Development, Dr. Barry Porter as
 Vice-President, Drug Discovery and Dr. Edward Zanders as Vice-President,
 Discovery Genomics. In addition, Dr. Beasley and Dr. Porter will join co-
 founders Dr. David Bailey (CEO) and Dr. Philip Dean (CSO) as Executive
 Directors on the De Novo Board.
     Dr. David Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of De Novo, commented, "April
 2001 marks De Novo's first anniversary. In that time, we have built a world-
 class drug design platform encompassing both structure-based and ligand-based
 drug design, and enrolled three major biotechnology and pharmaceutical
 partners to our Drug Design Partnership programme.  De Novo is currently
 implementing a strategy to add value to this platform through in-house drug
 discovery and chemotype licensing.  The appointments of Dr. Porter, Dr.
 Beasley and Dr. Zanders will enable De Novo to fully explore the opportunities
 presented by its discovery platform in both the scientific and commercial
 arenas. The further financial support obtained from our current investors will
 be used to help develop this strategy."
     Dr. Barry Porter (Vice-President, Drug Discovery) has twenty years drug
 discovery experience, previously working for Glaxo Group Research leading a
 medicinal chemistry team in the Cardiovascular / Anti-Thrombotic field, Rhone-
 Poulenc Rorer where he was Director of Medicinal Chemistry with responsibility
 for Inflammation research, and Pharmagene as Vice President of Therapeutics.
 Barry will develop in-house programmes at De Novo to create a portfolio of
 lead molecules for commercialization and will establish and manage a range of
 partnering activities with Pharma and Biotechnology companies in the area of
 drug discovery.
     Dr. Steven Beasley (Vice-President, Business Development) also has twenty
 years experience in discovery chemistry, initially for Pfizer in the
 Cardiovascular area, and then with Shell Research in the Natural Product and
 small molecule Crop Protection areas. In 1993 he moved to Chiroscience to lead
 medicinal chemistry teams in Inflammation and Immunity. More recently, Dr.
 Beasley became Business Development Manager with responsibility for initiation
 and negotiation of a wide range of collaborations within Chiroscience's R&D
 programme.  At De Novo, Steve will be responsible for all business development
 and technology partnering activities.
     Dr. Edward Zanders (Vice-President, Discovery Genomics) joins De Novo with
 16 years of drug discovery experience at GlaxoWellcome where he initiated and
 managed research programmes for Allergy and Autoimmunity.  At Glaxo, Ed was a
 Senior Research Manager, moving to the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology
 in Geneva to develop both genomics and proteomics programmes, and moving back
 to Glaxo in the UK to exploit these technologies within the Immunology area.
 Ed brings to De Novo an extensive knowledge of chemical genomics, together
 with the biological systems relevant to drug discovery, and will be
 responsible for target selection and informatics.
 
     NOTES TO EDITORS
     De Novo Pharmaceuticals
     De Novo Pharmaceuticals uses its proprietary computational software for
 drug design to create novel, patentable lead molecules as candidates for drug
 development. De Novo's proprietary algorithms can convert information from
 structural genomics and medicinal chemistry rapidly into new chemical designs,
 maximising value within a pharmaceutical partner's research portfolio. De
 Novo's drug discovery partners include British Biotechnology, Aventis
 Pharmaceuticals and NV Organon. Further information is available at
 www.denovopharma.com
 
     De Novo's current investors include:  Prelude Trust plc, Avlar Bioventures
 Ltd and Cambridge Research and Innovation Ltd (CRIL).
 
     Other shareholders include C.U.T.S. Ltd. and Catalyst Biomedica Ltd., the
 technology transfer companies of Cambridge University and The Wellcome Trust.
 
     Information on the Investors
 
     Prelude Trust plc
     Prelude Trust is an investment trust whose strategy is to seek significant
 capital appreciation over the long term through investment in early stage,
 technology based businesses.  Its portfolio comprises high growth companies in
 the communications, IT, life sciences and materials sectors.  Further
 information is available at www.prelude-technology.co.uk.
 
     Cambridge Research and Innovation Ltd (CRIL)
     CRIL provides investment for early stage UK companies in all areas of
 technology. Established in 1987 CRIL has investments across the UK and is
 willing to work with inventors from earliest concept to full
 commercialisation. CRIL also provides a free "Patent Clinic" to inventors
 wishing to evaluate their ideas.  Contact www.cril.co.uk
 
     Avlar BioVentures
     Avlar BioVentures is a specialist biotechnology fund that was launched in
 March 1999 with commitments of 20.7 million GB pounds.  The fund addresses
 emerging technologies, notably in combinatorial chemistry, functional
 genomics, gene and cell therapy and drug design and more than 80% of the fund
 has been allocated to companies in these sectors.  Avlar's current investments
 span seven biotechnology companies.  Investors in Avlar's current fund include
 3i Group plc, BTG plc, the University of Cambridge, Abbey National Treasury
 Services and the European Investment Fund.  Contact www.avlar.com
 
      Contacts:
      Dr David Bailey
      Chief Executive Officer
      De Novo Pharmaceuticals
      59 St. Andrews Street,
      Cambridge, CB2 3DD, UK
 
      Phone:    (44)-1223-488888
      Fax:      (44)-1223-488899
      david.bailey@denovopharma.com
 

SOURCE De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
    CAMBRIDGE, UK, April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd,
 Cambridge, UK, ("De Novo"), an emerging computational drug design company, has
 received its second tranche of funding, totalling 950,000 GB pounds, having
 successfully achieved all the objectives set by its original investors in
 April 2000.  Progress made by the Company in its first year includes the
 deployment of a fully integrated structure-directed molecular design platform,
 the signing of three Drug Design Partnerships with both major pharmaceutical
 and biotechnology companies, the establishment of a comprehensive database of
 novel drug designs to key therapeutic targets, and submission of its first
 patent applications.  This scientific progress has been accompanied by
 corporate expansion to 23 employees, the development of an active technology
 partnering programme with several major US biotech companies, and the complete
 refurbishment and doubling in size of their original research facilities.
     The management team is now being strengthened by the appointment of Dr.
 Steven Beasley as Vice-President, Business Development, Dr. Barry Porter as
 Vice-President, Drug Discovery and Dr. Edward Zanders as Vice-President,
 Discovery Genomics. In addition, Dr. Beasley and Dr. Porter will join co-
 founders Dr. David Bailey (CEO) and Dr. Philip Dean (CSO) as Executive
 Directors on the De Novo Board.
     Dr. David Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of De Novo, commented, "April
 2001 marks De Novo's first anniversary. In that time, we have built a world-
 class drug design platform encompassing both structure-based and ligand-based
 drug design, and enrolled three major biotechnology and pharmaceutical
 partners to our Drug Design Partnership programme.  De Novo is currently
 implementing a strategy to add value to this platform through in-house drug
 discovery and chemotype licensing.  The appointments of Dr. Porter, Dr.
 Beasley and Dr. Zanders will enable De Novo to fully explore the opportunities
 presented by its discovery platform in both the scientific and commercial
 arenas. The further financial support obtained from our current investors will
 be used to help develop this strategy."
     Dr. Barry Porter (Vice-President, Drug Discovery) has twenty years drug
 discovery experience, previously working for Glaxo Group Research leading a
 medicinal chemistry team in the Cardiovascular / Anti-Thrombotic field, Rhone-
 Poulenc Rorer where he was Director of Medicinal Chemistry with responsibility
 for Inflammation research, and Pharmagene as Vice President of Therapeutics.
 Barry will develop in-house programmes at De Novo to create a portfolio of
 lead molecules for commercialization and will establish and manage a range of
 partnering activities with Pharma and Biotechnology companies in the area of
 drug discovery.
     Dr. Steven Beasley (Vice-President, Business Development) also has twenty
 years experience in discovery chemistry, initially for Pfizer in the
 Cardiovascular area, and then with Shell Research in the Natural Product and
 small molecule Crop Protection areas. In 1993 he moved to Chiroscience to lead
 medicinal chemistry teams in Inflammation and Immunity. More recently, Dr.
 Beasley became Business Development Manager with responsibility for initiation
 and negotiation of a wide range of collaborations within Chiroscience's R&D
 programme.  At De Novo, Steve will be responsible for all business development
 and technology partnering activities.
     Dr. Edward Zanders (Vice-President, Discovery Genomics) joins De Novo with
 16 years of drug discovery experience at GlaxoWellcome where he initiated and
 managed research programmes for Allergy and Autoimmunity.  At Glaxo, Ed was a
 Senior Research Manager, moving to the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology
 in Geneva to develop both genomics and proteomics programmes, and moving back
 to Glaxo in the UK to exploit these technologies within the Immunology area.
 Ed brings to De Novo an extensive knowledge of chemical genomics, together
 with the biological systems relevant to drug discovery, and will be
 responsible for target selection and informatics.
 
     NOTES TO EDITORS
     De Novo Pharmaceuticals
     De Novo Pharmaceuticals uses its proprietary computational software for
 drug design to create novel, patentable lead molecules as candidates for drug
 development. De Novo's proprietary algorithms can convert information from
 structural genomics and medicinal chemistry rapidly into new chemical designs,
 maximising value within a pharmaceutical partner's research portfolio. De
 Novo's drug discovery partners include British Biotechnology, Aventis
 Pharmaceuticals and NV Organon. Further information is available at
 www.denovopharma.com
 
     De Novo's current investors include:  Prelude Trust plc, Avlar Bioventures
 Ltd and Cambridge Research and Innovation Ltd (CRIL).
 
     Other shareholders include C.U.T.S. Ltd. and Catalyst Biomedica Ltd., the
 technology transfer companies of Cambridge University and The Wellcome Trust.
 
     Information on the Investors
 
     Prelude Trust plc
     Prelude Trust is an investment trust whose strategy is to seek significant
 capital appreciation over the long term through investment in early stage,
 technology based businesses.  Its portfolio comprises high growth companies in
 the communications, IT, life sciences and materials sectors.  Further
 information is available at www.prelude-technology.co.uk.
 
     Cambridge Research and Innovation Ltd (CRIL)
     CRIL provides investment for early stage UK companies in all areas of
 technology. Established in 1987 CRIL has investments across the UK and is
 willing to work with inventors from earliest concept to full
 commercialisation. CRIL also provides a free "Patent Clinic" to inventors
 wishing to evaluate their ideas.  Contact www.cril.co.uk
 
     Avlar BioVentures
     Avlar BioVentures is a specialist biotechnology fund that was launched in
 March 1999 with commitments of 20.7 million GB pounds.  The fund addresses
 emerging technologies, notably in combinatorial chemistry, functional
 genomics, gene and cell therapy and drug design and more than 80% of the fund
 has been allocated to companies in these sectors.  Avlar's current investments
 span seven biotechnology companies.  Investors in Avlar's current fund include
 3i Group plc, BTG plc, the University of Cambridge, Abbey National Treasury
 Services and the European Investment Fund.  Contact www.avlar.com
 
      Contacts:
      Dr David Bailey
      Chief Executive Officer
      De Novo Pharmaceuticals
      59 St. Andrews Street,
      Cambridge, CB2 3DD, UK
 
      Phone:    (44)-1223-488888
      Fax:      (44)-1223-488899
      david.bailey@denovopharma.com
 SOURCE  De Novo Pharmaceuticals Ltd.