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Beryllium Strengthens Collaboration With Key Partner, UCB Group (UCBJF.PK)



5/20/2014 10:17:06 AM

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BEDFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Beryllium, a company comprised of world-class drug discovery professionals applying deep, integrated expertise to tackle the most promising drug targets emerging from human biology and genetics, announced today that UCB, a global biopharmaceutical leader, has acquired a minority stake in the company. This agreement builds on an ongoing six-year relationship, during which the companies’ joint discovery team has made significant scientific breakthroughs in developing undisclosed first-in-class small molecule drugs.

“UCB’s collaboration with Beryllium perfectly aligns with UCB’s ‘open-innovation’ approach,” said Ismail Kola, executive vice president of UCB’s New Medicines, the company’s research arm. “We strongly believe that the collaboration of Beryllium’s experience and technical ability with our own resources, talents and assets has been crucial to boosting UCB’s cutting-edge research and development efforts. To date, Beryllium’s extensive target-centric drug discovery expertise, comprehensive disease pathways knowledge, deep experience in protein characterization and diverse technological capabilities have enabled UCB to progress rapidly on important discovery research projects. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with an agile, committed and reliable partner as Beryllium expands its business.”

“Biopharmaceutical companies all over the world are facing new economic, regulatory and scientific changes that affect how they identify lead drug targets during the early stages of research and development,” said Johan Pontin, Beryllium’s chief executive officer. “Beryllium’s ongoing partnership with UCB exemplifies how we are strategically overcoming these challenges for many clients by helping translate the basic understanding of proteins involved in disease into important druggable targets to develop novel therapeutic modalities. UCB’s confidence will accelerate Beryllium’s broader mission of enabling novel drug discovery, through applying multidisciplinary knowledge and applying structural and functional biology-centric processes and platforms.”

The UCB-Beryllium partnership announced today follows last week’s news that Beryllium recently finalized its consolidation of restructured assets from Emerald Bio and deCODE Genetics, and expanded its leadership team. As part of the agreement between UCB and Beryllium, Neil Weir, UCB New Medicines’ senior vice president for discovery research, has taken a seat on Beryllium’s board of directors. The financial terms of this agreement were not disclosed.

About Beryllium
Beryllium is shaping the future of collaborative drug discovery. Our proven teams of drug discovery professionals are passionate about unlocking the therapeutic potential of both genetically- and clinically-validated drug targets, as well as developing new therapeutic modalities. We work in partnership with our clients to address the most difficult scientific and business challenges facing drug discovery, and to ultimately enable transformational health care outcomes. www.be4.com

About UCB
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com), is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8500 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of € 3.4 billion in 2013. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).

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