Tayside and Central Scotland

Dundee company seals £3m research deal with US firm

A Dundee drug company has signed a $4.8m (£3m) research deal with a major American pharmaceutical firm to develop medicines for psychiatric disorders.

Ex Scientia Ltd received $1m (£620,000) up front as part of the new partnership with with Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.

The two companies will work together to create new drugs for a range of complex disorders.

Ex Scientia was spun out of Dundee University in 2012 to develop new drug discovery techniques and technology.

The firm has developed a data-driven approach to the field, which improves the efficiency and effectiveness of drug discovery.

The collaboration with Sunovion will see this applied to phenotypic drug discovery, a form of biological research which studies how drugs affect organisms at a cellular level.

'Innovative approach'

Dr Thomas Large, senior vice president of discovery and preclinical research at Massachusetts-based Sunovion, said he was "extremely pleased" the deal had been signed.

He said the alliance would "create an innovative approach to tackling complex psychiatric diseases".

Ex Scientia founder and CEO Prof Andrew Hopkins added: "We are delighted to collaborate with Sunovion on this exciting approach to discovering new treatments for complex psychiatric diseases.

"The agreement shows the power of applying a polypharmacology philosophy to challenging disease areas and our commitment to building strategic partnerships with major pharmaceutical companies to deliver novel medicines."

Under the terms of the agreement, Sunovion will receive worldwide rights to any compounds developed, while Ex Scientia will retain exclusive rights to the technology.

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