Spin-out company Molecular Profiles purchased by US-based Columbia Laboratories

18 Sep 2013 13:42:28.567

Molecular Profiles, one of The University of Nottingham’s longest established spin-out businesses, has been purchased by Columbia Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRX) of Boston, for approximately $25m (£16m).

Molecular Profiles was established in 1997 by an academic group at The University of Nottingham’s School of Pharmacy, comprising Professors Martyn Davies, Clive Roberts, Saul Tendler and Phil Williams. They identified an opportunity to deliver sophisticated analytical and development solutions to meet the growing needs of the pharmaceutical industry.

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Molecular Profiles offers innovative pharmaceutical development services (such as formulation and clinical manufacturing), as well as providing advanced material characterisation and expert consultation for Intellectual Property (IP) issues. Molecular Profiles’ clients range from large multinational pharmaceutical companies to specialised drug-delivery firms and biotechs.

A University success story
Molecular Profiles’ co-founder and former Chairman, Professor Martyn Davies from The University of Nottingham, has been appointed as an advisor to Columbia Laboratories’ Board of Directors. Speaking about the sale of the business to Columbia, he said: “Molecular Profiles is a real success story for The University of Nottingham. It is a spin-out from a University research laboratory, it has been the winner of two Queen’s Awards and now employs over 50 people, many of whom are bright young graduates from the University.

“The sale represents a great opportunity to combine with a proven pharmaceutical company to strengthen all aspects of our business. It also gives us a strong base in the USA and provides an opportunity to increase our activities, achieve our vision and take the company to the next stage.”

Dr Susan Huxtable, Director of IP Commercialisation at The University of Nottingham, added: “This deal is great news for both Molecular Profiles and The University of Nottingham. With Columbia Laboratories as its parent organisation, Molecular Profiles now has the support of a business with huge experience in the pharmaceutical sector which will enable it to enter new international markets.

Knowledge and expertise valued by industry
“The sale also demonstrates that the knowledge and expertise emerging from The University of Nottingham is highly valued by industry, and underlines the contribution that the commercialisation of university expertise and know-how can make to the economy and society.”

Columbia Laboratories, Inc. has a long heritage in drug development. The Company is probably best known for its CRINONE® (progesterone gel) product, which is marketed through strategic alliances in the United States and also in over 60 other countries globally.

Frank Condella, Columbia’s President and CEO commented: “This transaction represents an exciting step in Columbia’s ongoing transformation, and has numerous strategic advantages.

“Consistent with our stated strategy, we deployed our capital to acquire a growing, cash-flow positive and profitable company with a large customer base that strengthens and significantly diversifies Columbia’s revenue stream. We look forward to its continued growth as Molecular Profiles further penetrates the growing pharmaceutical outsourcing market for formulation development and manufacturing services.

Improvements in efficiency
“We are broadening our technical expertise with a management team that is well-recognized in the field of pharmaceutical development and analytical services. By transitioning CRINONE quality management and technical support to Molecular Profiles, within close proximity of our CRINONE manufacturing sites and supply chain management in Europe, we anticipate significant improvements in efficiencies and greater responsiveness to Merck Serono, our largest customer for CRINONE,” Condella concluded.

For more information about Molecular Profiles, visit www.molecularprofiles.co.uk

For details about The University of Nottingham’s Spin-Out companies and its other services for businesses, visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/servicesforbusiness


For more information about this press release, contact Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, University of Nottingham. Tel: 0115 82 32184, or email nicholas.king@nottingham.ac.uk

Photograph shows, left to right: Jonathan Lloyd Jones, Vice President & CFO, Columbia Laboratories, Inc; Professor Martyn Davies, Chairman, Molecular Profiles Ltd; Frank C. Condella, Jr., President and CEO, Columbia Laboratories, Inc. and Dr Nikin Patel, CEO, Molecular Profiles Ltd

Notes to editors:
The University of Nottingham has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

About Molecular Profiles Ltd.
Based in Nottingham, England, Molecular Profiles provides pharmaceutical development, clinical trial manufacturing, advanced analysis and consulting services for the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. Molecular Profiles prides itself on its innovative problem-to-solution approach, which is renowned for resolving some of the toughest issues in pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical drug substance and formulation optimisation. Molecular Profiles’ consulting services business has provided detailed investigation services for over 50% of the world’s biggest blockbuster drugs. Of the company’s 50-plus employees, over 25% have advanced scientific degrees. For more information, please visit www.molprofiles.co.uk.

About Columbia Laboratories
Columbia Laboratories, Inc. is a profitable company with a rich heritage in drug development. The Company’s revenue streams include sales and royalty revenues from CRINONE® 8% (progesterone gel), which is marketed by Actavis, Inc. in the United States and by Merck Serono S.A. in over 60 foreign countries, and revenues from its wholly-owned subsidiary Molecular Profiles Ltd., a U.K.-based provider of pharmaceutical formulation development and manufacturing services. For more information, please visit www.columbialabs.com

CRINONE® is a registered trademark of Actavis, Inc. in the U.S. and of Merck Serono S.A. outside the U.S.

Molecular Profiles™ is a registered trademark of Molecular Profiles Ltd

Story credits

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Huxtable, Director of IP Commercialisation, on susan.huxtable@nottingham.ac.uk, or telephone +44 (0)115 845 6388
Nick King  

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

Email: nicholas.king@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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