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Axon Biochemicals: rising star in Bio Med City Groningen

[BioMedCity Newsletter 2006 December] http://www.biomedcity.nl/index.asp?action=415

One of the rising stars in Bio Med City Groningen is Axon Biochemicals BV. The seven-year old, privately held limited company is owned by three academic scientists. It is a spin-off company from the Medicinal Chemistry Department of Groningen University. The company provides comprehensive services in the field of medicinal chemistry, specialising as a contract research organisation (CRO).

Since May 2003, Axon Biochemicals has been located in Biotech centre, within Groningen University Medical Centre (UMCG), with a fully equipped, modern synthetic laboratory. The company is in particular involved in rapid synthesis of drug standards and in contract research on drug design and synthesis.

"We have two separate but parallel product lines. On the one hand, we provide top line fee-for-service CRO activities to pharmaceutical companies and research institutes. On the other hand, our initial strategy, even as a small R & D company, was to constantly invest our revenues into developing patents and know-how rights of selected pre-clinical drug candidates, instead of opting for a rapidly growing workforce and infrastructure. Some of our research projects directly emanated from academic research and were further developed, mainly because of Prof. H. Wikstrom's input (a co-founder of Axon)", said Dr Yi Liao, managing director of Axon Biochemicals.

In January 2003, the EU granted Axon Biochemicals BV together with two other companies one CRAFT project (namely DOPATAGO, QLK6-CT-2002-71137) in order to develop GMC1111 and its related products as potential drug candidates for treating Parkinson disease or Schizophrenia.

In 2004 Axon and H. Lundbeck A/S, Denmark (www.lundbeck.com ) signed a collaboration agreement, giving Lundbeck access to Axon's IPR on dopaminergic compounds with potential in the treatment of CNS disorders.

As recently as September 2006, Axon closed its latest licensing deal for a patent and know-how agreement on a new series of CNS active compounds with Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals LP (www.astrazeneca.com). More particulars about this deal are to be published soon.

With their proven track record in successful collaboration projects with international pharmaceutical companies, Axon has shown its capacity and potential in the field of contract research in medicinal chemistry and is planning to expand and extend its service and research capacities. Axon Biochemicals will continue its R & D activities relating to drug discovery with its developed IPRs. In the meantime, as from January 2007, Axon Medchem BV, a newly founded subsidiary company, will focus on contract research and services in medicinal chemistry in a new promotion campaign aimed at the global pharmaceutical industry.

About Axon
Axon is a medicinal chemistry company, incorporated in the Netherlands in 1999. Axon conducts research in developing novel drug candidates in the CNS field and has invested for self-owned intellectual properties such as patents at national phase. Together with EU, government institutions, and pharmaceutical companies, Axon is now actively involved in several drug discovery programs from pre-clinic to Phase I. Axon is also an independent contract research organization providing high quality services in medicinal chemistry research. The company is specifically involved in rapid synthesis of drug standards and in contract research on drug design and synthesis. The company, with its experienced medicinal chemists in front-line drug research, offers the power of outsourcing research to the pharmaceutical companies in the world.

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