A drug discovery company launched by researchers from the University of Cambridge, has been acquired by VASTox plc, a leading UK biotechnology company.

Daniolabs, which has significant investment from the university and a research facility in Cambridge, is focused on developing products in the fields of neurology and ophthalmology.

The acquisition is expected to strengthen and diversify VASTox's drug discovery and development pipeline, enhance its scientific expertise and boost its scientific infrastructure through the acquisition of DanioLabs' high-tech laboratory facilities in Cambridge.

The successful start-up company at Daniolabs was founded by Professor Bill Harris, Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, Dr Paul Goldsmith, a Clinical Neurologist and former postdoc Herwig Baier in the Department of Anatomy and developed under guidance and investment of the Cambridge Enterprise team.

Bill Matthews, Fund Manager at the University Challenge Fund, part of Cambridge Enterprise said, "We made our first investment in Daniolabs in late 2002. At the time we were impressed by the promise of the technology and the quality of the academic founders of the business. The company had also managed to attract a strong group of business angels who brought a lot of experience to the start-up.

“The sale of Daniolabs to Vastox demonstrates how successful they have been in developing the business and in attracting talented board members and management."

Co-founder professor Bill Harris said, "DanioLabs allowed us to develop a number of strategic assets including screening strategies, specialised equipment, intellectual property, clinical trials and most importantly a great team of dedicated people.

“The merger of DanioLabs and VAStox is really exciting because it means that this type of drug discovery will now certainly become a major player in the Pharmaceutical Industry."

Dr Paul Goldsmith said, “We have created a fantastic team and exciting clinical, preclinical and discovery programmes which synergise well with those of Vastox. The merged company will have much greater chemistry expertise and importantly critical mass to really make things happen.

“This will help us to deliver the vision we originally had of getting products to patients through clever applied research and development.”

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