University spin-out business acquired by Californian bioscience giant

30 Jul 2013 19:31:55.407
PRECOS Ltd, a spin-out company from the University of Nottingham has been acquired by American bioscience business, Crown Bioscience, Inc.

PRECOS Ltd. is a pre-clinical research and development service which focuses on oncology providing unique patient relevant and predictive cancer models to over 30 national and international biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

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Cancer drug development from concept to clinic
Identifying novel efficacious and tolerable treatments presents major challenges for pharmaceutical and biotechnology businesses, and more than 75% of cancer drugs fail to reach the market. As a result, companies are seeking more relevant and accurate preclinical models to underpin their drug discovery work before embarking on clinical trials.

Research at The University of Nottingham’s Division of Preclinical Oncology led to the development of broad range of models using cutting-edge technology to provide support for cancer drug development projects from concept to clinic, evaluating novel cancer medicines to ensure that pre-clinical assessment predicts how the drug is likely to behave in trials with cancer patients.

The University established PRECOS as a specialist business unit in 2004, which was spun-out as a separate company in 2010. Scientists at PRECOS and the Division of Pre-Clinical Oncology continue to work together to develop innovative and more patient-relevant pre-clinical cancer models.

An excellent example of the University's research strength
Speaking about the sale of PRECOS to Crown Bioscience, Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of Intellectual Property Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, said: “The sale to Crown Bioscience is great news for PRECOS as it will help them to develop and enter new global markets.

"It is also an excellent example of our research strength in this field and how University expertise can be successfully developed and commercialised, providing benefits to millions of people around the world.”

Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Crown Bioscience Inc. provides drug discovery solutions for biotech and pharmaceutical businesses in the areas of oncology and metabolic disease. The company also has research facilities in Kannapolis, North Carolina (USA), Beijing (China) and Taicang (near Shanghai, China.)

Offering unique, clinically relevant models
Jean-Pierre Wery, President of Crown Bioscience, said: “The acquisition represents the next step in expanding the range of specialised services we offer pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical customers worldwide. PRECOS has unique clinically relevant models, which reflect the patient situation for each aspect of cancer progression, encompassing pre-cancerous lesions, primary tumours and metastasis.

"We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of PRECOS, which offers Crown Bioscience an immediate footprint in Europe, as well as developing cutting-edge models and services for Crown Bioscience’s existing client base.”

Neil Rotherham, Chairman of PRECOS Ltd added: “The acquisition of PRECOS by Crown Bioscience will allow us to grow the business as part of a larger organisation. Our innovative models and expertise perfectly complement Crown Bioscience’s robust panel of models and services, and our geographical location provides a European hub for Crown Bioscience’s rapidly expanding client base in Europe.

“The security of being part of a global and rapidly growing business like Crown Bioscience will also enable us to continue to invest in providing leading-edge model development services to the wider oncology drug discovery community.”

For more information about PRECOS, visit

Further information about the ongoing research in the University of Nottingham’s Ex Vivo Cancer Pharmacology Centre of Excellence and Division of Pre-Clinical Oncology is available via

 For details about The University of Nottingham’s services for business, visit

Story credits

For more information, contact Susan Huxtable, Director of IP Commercialisation at the University, on 0115 846 6388 or email
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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