Argenta's oncology programme is now ready for licensing and the company is 'having serious conversations' over this with several companies.
Argenta’s oncology programme is now ready for licensing and the company is ’having serious conversations’ over this with several companies, according to Anthony Baxter, its CEO.
The UK drug discovery company’s scientists have been working on histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors for three years in Argenta’s most advanced internal therapeutic project. Argenta claims that its medicinal chemists have designed and synthesised selective, potent, low nanomolar HDAC inhibitors. These compounds attack cancer by interfering with processes which affect the cell’s ability to transmit coded genetic information from DNA to cellular proteins.
Speaking at a recent conference organised by Erbi, Baxter said that the industry had a hard time in 2003 but that Argenta had taken the opportunity to refocus its efforts. In particular, it has learnt to have a flexible management team, he said.
Argenta has an ambition to more than double in size, revealed Baxter. By 2007, the company aims to grow, mainly through mergers and acquisitions, to have a turnover of ?30m. It also aims to expand its relationships with universities.
Baxter warned that biotechnology companies have to acknowledge the competition from India, China and Eastern Europe. ’Accept the threat. Perhaps even set up subsidiaries in that location,’ he advised.