Firm gains fragment-based SPR drug discovery technology.

NovAliX has decided to acquire a majority interest in Graffinity Pharmaceuticals, a fragment-based drug discovery services company based in Heidelberg, Germany. The aim is to provide pharma and biotech customers with the ability to flexibly outsource comprehensive discovery functions.

“The acquisition of Graffinity will be a significant step toward our goal of providing integrated drug discovery services,” says NovAliX’ president, Stephan Jenn. “With a unique and diverse small molecule library and patented SPR-imaging technology, the Graffinity platform is fully complementary to NovAliX’ offerings in x-ray crystallography, supramolecular mass spectrometry, and liquid-/solid-state NMR.

Graffinity’s fragment-screening platform combines chemical microarrays with a proprietary method for the standardized, label-free detection of compound-protein interactions via SPR-imaging. With its 110,000-compound library that contains 24,000 true fragments, Graffinity believes that it possesses one of the most diverse fragment libraries.

In January NovAlix picked up NMRTEC for its NMR technologies. The affiliate offers three such platforms: in solution (just by solubilization of the material without derivatization), solid state (direct observation of the material under its solid form with no handling), and HR-MAS (for heterogeneous materials or insolubles). These may be leveraged for ligand screening and functional characterization, polymorph analysis, detection of impurities, mixture analysis, polymer characterization, and biopharmaceutical analysis.

Commenting on the Graffinity transaction, Jenn says, “With this second technology-oriented acquisition in 2010, we are forming a group of more than 120 scientists developing and applying cutting-edge research capabilities in discovery and development of innovative medicines.”

NovAlix is based in Strasbourg, France, with laboratory facilities in the Strasbourg-Illkirch BioParc and throughout Europe.

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