Illkirch, France, April 9, 2018 – NovAliX, a trusted provider of expert chemistry and biophysics services with cutting-edge screening techniques, and Pierre Fabre, the second largest dermo-cosmetics laboratory in the world, today announce that they have entered into a partnership to make the Pierre Fabre ‘Natural Fragment Library’ (NFL) available for use in biophysical methods and screening techniques developed and offered by NovAliX.
In line with its Open Innovation initiative, Pierre Fabre aims to reach a wide audience with its fragment library. To achieve this while staying focused on their field of expertise, Pierre Fabre Laboratories decided to collaborate with NovAliX, an international partner specialized in drug discovery and biophysics-based screening and characterization services. This cooperation will allow NovAliX to grant access to the Pierre Fabre NFL to its clients (pharmaceutical laboratories, biotechnology institutions and companies) for their screening projects.
“Fragment-based screening, an emerging field, offers valuable prospects for identifying promising candidates for drug discovery. With the Natural Fragment Library, our new Open Innovation initiative, we have decided to give access to our library of fragments, offering a high level of originality and interesting chemical properties due to their natural origin. These fragments come from our plant collection, the largest private collection in the world in terms of size and diversity,” said Frédéric Duchesne, president & CEO, Pierre Fabre Médicament (Pharmaceutical).
“NovAliX continues to evaluate technologies and collaborations to complement its current capabilities. The Pierre Fabre Natural Fragment Library is a great addition and alternative to our small molecule micro-array SPR platform. The chemical diversity of natural fragments combined with our biophysical capabilities is a smart mix for initiating structurally enabled drug discovery programs,” said Denis Zeyer, PhD, CEO of NovAliX.
About the Natural Fragment Library
Innovation with natural fragments: Pierre Fabre Laboratories is home to an extensive library of original fragments isolated from plants. Each of these molecules, with its unique three-dimensional structure, represents an opportunity for developing innovative new drugs.
Exceptional physicochemical properties: The particularly vast chemical space covered by the fragments provided by Pierre Fabre Laboratories offers unique prospects for discovery. The physicochemical properties of these natural molecules make them highly soluble and facilitate specific interaction with targeted proteins.
Securing and industrializing innovation: Pierre Fabre Laboratories is the only player able to control the entire chain, ensure plant traceability from field to factory and produce fragments. This is due to its specialized entities in the development and industrial manufacturing of active ingredients. This is an important strategic benefit, as it allows pharmaceutical laboratories, institutions and companies from all sectors to secure their innovation-related investments through the following three criteria:
- Fragment integrity and traceability
- Ability to supply fragments and natural derivatives
- Strict compliance to the national biodiversity access laws
About the Nature Open Library
In 2015, Pierre Fabre Laboratories launched their first open innovation initiative Nature Open Library with the primary aims of opening access to their diversified libraries of plant extracts to life sciences partners and sharing their expertise in the research, development and manufacturing of plant-based active ingredients. More than 20 screening projects have been completed or initiated since 2016.
About Pierre Fabre
With a portfolio representing a continuum of activities spanning from prescription drugs and consumer healthcare products to dermo-cosmetics, Pierre Fabre is the second largest dermo-cosmetics laboratory in the world, the second largest French private pharmaceutical group as well as market leader in France for products sold over the counter in pharmacies (OTC). Its portfolio includes several global brands and franchises among which Eau Thermale Avène – the worldwide dermo-cosmetic market leader – Klorane, Ducray, René Furterer, A-Derma, Galénic, Elancyl, Naturactive, Pierre Fabre Health Care, Pierre Fabre Oral Care, Pierre Fabre Dermatologie and Pierre Fabre Oncologie.
In 2016, Pierre Fabre generated €2,282 million in revenues, of which 60% came from its international business and 59% from its dermo-cosmetics division. Pierre Fabre, headquartered in the South-West of France, counts more than 13,000 employees worldwide, owns subsidiaries and offices in 47 countries and has distribution agreements in over 130 countries. In 2016, Pierre Fabre dedicated ca. €195 million to its R&D efforts; split between oncology, the central nervous system, consumer healthcare, dermatology and dermo-cosmetics.
Pierre Fabre is 86%-owned by the Pierre Fabre Foundation, a government-recognized public interest foundation, and secondarily by its employees through an international employee stock ownership plan. The independent French certification group AFNOR audited Pierre Fabre for its corporate social responsibility policy at the ‘exemplary’ level, according to the ISO 26000 standard for CSR.
NovAliX is a drug discovery-focused CRO with unique technologies. It is highly proficient in chemistry and biophysics in support of drug discovery.
The company has set up one of the world’s most comprehensive biophysics platforms, from screening to identification and detailed characterization of drug-target interactions using protein X-ray crystallography, native mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and cryo-electron microscopy.
NovAliX’ insourcing model is innovative, cost-effective and collaborative; with co-located research programs involving dedicated teams of scientists working throughout Europe in its partners’ laboratories in chemistry, biology, chemical biology and biophysics. Close proximity fosters the seamless transfer of knowledge in both directions and speeds up the research process.
NovAliX, founded in 2002 as University of Strasbourg spin-off, is based in Illkirch, in the heart of the Bio-Valley Upper Rhine region, France, employing 110 researchers.