Scottish lab creates ‘Spotify’ for drug discovery

BioAscent expects a revenue boost from its Compound Cloud service. Picture: Contributed
BioAscent expects a revenue boost from its Compound Cloud service. Picture: Contributed
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A Lanarkshire laboratory is eyeing a four-fold increase in revenues after creating what it describes as the “Spotify of the drug discovery world”.

BioAscent, based at the BioCity Scotland life sciences incubator in Newhouse, said its Compound Cloud service offers pharmaceuticals companies access to a customisable library of chemical compounds to use in testing.

Rather than having to create their own compounds – a costly and time-consuming process – customers will be able to reduce costs and wastage by using the start-up’s library.

BioAscent has predicted that high demand for this service will increase turnover for this part of its company by 300 per cent to more than £1 million over the next year, with three-quarters of orders coming from overseas markets.

Chief executive Simon MacKenzie said: “Compound Cloud was created after gathering extensive feedback from our customers.

“It provides simple, rapid and flexible access to quality compound libraries for drug discovery. It will allow customers to have complete control over their compound library, using our library as if it were their own.”

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Glenn Crocker, chief executive of BioCity Group, added: “Around 35 per cent of early-stage drug discovery projects in both industry and academia fail at the hit stage due to the poor structural properties of the compounds found through biological testing, which means there is no value to progressing these any further. This can be hugely frustrating for all involved, after what can be years of biological work.

“Compound Cloud is an exciting development which will help improve companies’ chances of drug discovery success, which is good news not just for the companies but for healthcare in general.”