Argenta Discovery Inc. and ANTABIO Announce Drug Discovery Collaboration

Published: Feb 07, 2013

Harlow, UK and Labège, France, 7 February 2013 – Argenta, a Galapagos NV (Euronext: GLPG) company that provides drug discovery services from target validation to proof of concept, announced today that it has signed a collaboration agreement with ANTABIO. Under the terms of the agreement, Argenta will provide medicinal chemistry, computer-aided drug design and ADME/PK services, together with its integrated drug discovery expertise, to assist ANTABIO in the identification of novel anti-bacterial agents and discovery of a development candidate that can be progressed into clinical trials. The collaboration is funded by a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery award.

Between 5 and 10% of hospital patients in the US and Europe develop hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections. The consequences are up to 75,000 deaths per year, 2.5 million additional hospital days due to drug-resistant bacterial infections and an average additional cost of 1.5 billion euros for healthcare systems. In 2004, the World Health Organization identified infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria as the number one disease requiring priority medicines. ANTABIO’s first-in-class, small molecule compounds offer a synergistic solution to the shortfall of current antibacterial agents. In particular, ANTABIO is developing new drugs that will work with existing antibiotics to enable them to regain their activity against multi- or pan-drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens such as NDM-1 bacteria. ANTABIO’s compounds will also prevent infections caused by virulent and multi-drug resistant bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) that are responsible for severe nosocomial-acquired infections as well as other common community-acquired conditions like urinary tract infections and food poisoning.

Dr John Montana, Managing Director of Argenta, commented, “Argenta is proud to announce this agreement with ANTABIO, which is the second SDDI-funded collaboration to be disclosed by Argenta in recent months. There is an urgent need for new anti-bacterial drugs and we look forward to working with ANTABIO to progress their compounds rapidly towards pre-clinical candidate nomination”.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Argenta on this SDDI-funded programme” said Dr Marc Lemonnier, CEO of ANTABIO. “Assembling an expert and complementary drug discovery team is critical when it comes to advancing novel drugs that are so badly needed by patients suffering from life-threatening infections. This joint effort nicely exemplifies our vision of high-value partnering as a key element to deliver tomorrow’s antibacterial agents”.

About Argenta

Argenta is a fully-integrated drug discovery services provider and a trusted partner for many world-leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including AstraZeneca, Genentech, Janssen and Zafgen.

Argenta combines a comprehensive range of discovery services with multiple disease area expertise including respiratory, oncology, pain and inflammatory disease, providing a compelling combination of scientific excellence, a full in vitro and in vivo pharmacology and DMPK capability, cutting edge medicinal chemistry thinking and cost-effectiveness.

Argenta provides fully-integrated and stand-alone services from target validation through to Development Candidate nomination and have built an Industry-leading track record of delivering development compounds, averaging over three development compounds per year.

Founded in 2000, Argenta currently employs over 145 scientists in the UK with an average of 17 years’ pharmaceutical drug discovery expertise. Argenta has delivered 40 development candidates in 12 years, and greater than 85% of the Company’s contract research is repeat business. More information at:


ANTABIO is a France-based start-up biopharmaceutical company, situated at Labège near Toulouse, dedicated to the discovery of first-in-class small molecule compounds to treat severe hospital- and community-acquired infections caused by multi- and pan-drug resistant bacterial pathogens. Based on its patented technology and unique antibacterial discovery know-how, ANTABIO is committed to developing strong partnerships to advance novel drugs that will offer a synergistic solution to the shortfall of the current antibacterial arsenal. More information at:

About the Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.


Media contact

Sarah Jeffery

Zyme Communications

Tel: +44 7771 730919



John Montana

Managing Director, Argenta

Tel. +44 1279 645645



Marc Lemonnier



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