Vernalis Research is based at Granta Park in Cambridge, UK. Here is a brief summary of our evolution and successes.
- Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: LGND) acquired Vernalis plc. Vernalis Research now operates as a subsidiary of Ligand Holdings UK Ltd, wholly owned by Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- Success milestones achieved under drug discovery collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo on two undisclosed oncology targets
- Achieved third success milestone from drug discovery collaboration with Asahi Kasei Pharma on an undisclosed target for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
- Achieved 3 milestones in oncology drug discovery collaboration with Servier, including Mcl-1 clinical candidate first time in man, and entered into a fourth research collaboration
- Achieved a clinical milestone from an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist collaboration with Corvus Pharmaceuticals, who announced positive data from a Phase 1/1b study with single agent CPI-444 in patients with renal cell carcinoma
- Entered into research collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo on undisclosed oncology targets
- Achieved research milestone in collaboration with Asahi Kasei Pharma
- V158866, the lead molecule arising from our FAAH internal research programme, completed a phase II study in spinal cord injury patients
- Licensed proprietary adenosine receptor antagonist technology, including lead A2A antagonist V81444 (later CPI-444), for development and commercialisation to Corvus Pharmaceuticals
- Awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, endorsing both our talent and capabilities, and recognising achievement in growing overseas earnings through research collaborations
- Licensed worldwide rights in vipadenant, a small molecule A2A receptor antagonist, for use in immuno-oncology to RedoxTherapies (a Celgene company)
- Licenced worldwide rights in tosedostat, an orally active aminopeptidase inhibitor for use in oncology, to CTI BioPharma
- Entered into a drug discovery collaboration with Genentech (now completed) utilising Vernalis’ fragment and structure-based drug discovery platform against an undisclosed target
- Achieved a pre-clinical milestone in the first oncology research collaboration with Servier and entered into a third research collaboration
- Positive results obtained from a Phase I trial of V158866, a FAAH inhibitor with potential application in a wide range of pain and other indications
- Hsp90 inhibitor, NVP-AUY922 achieved clinical proof of concept
- Two milestones from research collaboration with H. Lundbeck A/S on LRRK2 inhibitors obtained
- First research collaboration with Servier (which is still active); growing expertise in biophysical methods such as ITC and SPR
- Research concentrated on Granta Park site with in-house projects on oncology targets
- Series of mergers created Vernalis plc, combining the expertise of RiboTargets with CNS targets and GPCR pharmacology from Vernalis Group in Winnersh, as well as DMPK capability, a clinical pipeline and a marketed product, frovatriptan
- Research changed focus to oncology protein targets; development of the SeeDs fragment-based discovery platform
- Structure-based discovery of inhibitors of the 30S subunit of the ribosome; established X-ray crystallography
- RiboTargets established fragment- and structure-based drug discovery against RNA targets; established macromolecular NMR spectroscopy
We have expertise in the key areas needed to characterise new protein targets, develop assays, identify and validate hits from fragments and other sources, evolve these into lead compounds guided by protein structure, and optimise these further to deliver drug candidates. Our team also has a well-established core of experience; many of us have worked together for over a decade, and this brings breadth and depth to our knowledge pool.
Join our team
At Vernalis, our greatest success is the science that delivers drug candidates to our collaborators for development into new medicines. This success is totally dependent on the people who form our team of dedicated, excellent scientists and research technology experts who, together, strive to solve some of the most complex challenges in the discovery of the next generation of medicines.
We pride ourselves on our approach, with collaboration at the heart of what we do best. We achieve this by combining knowledge and expertise across functions and disciplines through our open and inclusive working environment. We work hard, but always make the time to celebrate our successes.
We look for skilled and versatile individuals who are passionate about what they do, and are ready for the challenges and rewards of working in a stimulating and innovative, team environment. In return, we offer a comprehensive reward package that includes bonus, private medical insurance and a generous pension contribution.
Current job openings are shown below. If there are none at this time and you are interested in what we do, send your CV and a covering email to email@example.com.
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