Convergence Pharmaceuticals and Selcia Announce Drug Discovery Collaboration Around Chronic Pain

Convergence Pharmaceuticals Limited, the new company focused on the development of novel and high value analgesic medicines, and Selcia Limited, today are pleased to announce that they have entered into a drug discovery collaboration

Cambridge and Ongar, UK; 22 November 2010: Convergence Pharmaceuticals Limited (“Convergence”), the new company focused on the development of novel and high value analgesic medicines, and Selcia Limited (“Selcia”), a contract research organisation, today are pleased to announce that they have entered into a drug discovery collaboration to identify and develop high quality candidate molecules for the treatment of chronic pain. Under the terms of the agreement, Convergence Pharmaceuticals will apply its ion channel biology platform, medicinal chemistry know-how and preclinical development expertise, recently formed out of GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”), to Selcia’s medicinal chemistry and chemistry support services.  Financial terms were not disclosed. 

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Ged Giblin, Head of Chemistry and Preclinical Development at Convergence Pharmaceuticals, said: “Following the successful launch of Convergence Pharmaceuticals with a $35m fund raising, and in-line with our business strategy, this collaboration uniquely enables our goal of identifying novel, high quality, targeted molecules for the treatment of chronic pain. Convergence has a team of highly experienced pain scientists in the field of ion-channel technology and medicinal chemistry and we look forward to maximising the capabilities of Selcia’s expert medicinal and synthetic chemists. We believe the combination of Convergence’s platform and Selcia’s bespoke approach will provide an innovative model for this drug discovery partnership in finding solutions for a major unmet clinical need.”

Selcia’s Managing Director, Dr. Hans Fliri, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Convergence Pharmaceuticals.  At Selcia we are focussed on providing solutions for problems in drug discovery and we have a proven track record of delivering both clinical candidates and added value to our partners’ research programmes. Our customers are able to utilise a flexible, experienced, productive resource and have access to effective proprietary technology. This venture is an exciting development in the area of pain research and we look forward to supporting the Convergence team in reaching their goals.”

In the UK alone, four out of five initial visits to the general practitioner involve pain as the primary symptom, and prescription rates for analgesic medications are the second highest. By 2023 the chronic pain market in the seven major pharmaceutical markets is predicted to reach over $47 billion1. In the same seven pharmaceutical markets, 160 million people are estimated to suffer from osteoarthritis, 36 million people are estimated to suffer from chronic low back pain and sciatica and over 10 million people are estimated to suffer from neuropathic pain.
1.    Source: Decision Resources Inc, Novel Approaches to Pain Therapy August 2008

About Convergence Pharmaceuticals
Convergence Pharmaceuticals is an independent biotechnology company focused on the development of novel analgesics with potentially commercially attractive efficacy, responder-rate and side effect profiles. The Company, led by CEO Clive Dix, was formed in October 2010 following the acquisition of certain neuroscience clinical assets from GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”). Convergence Pharmaceuticals has a pipeline of differentiated clinical-stage compounds targeting the points of convergence in chronic pain signalling through modulation of specific ion-channels. Convergence Pharmaceuticals is well funded and raised $35.4 million in Series A financing from a syndicate of leading European and US financial institutions.

About Selcia
Selcia Limited is a privately held contract research organisation with two operating divisions, Selcia Discovery and Selcia Radiolabelling, operating from a modern facility in Ongar, Essex, UK (
Selcia Discovery provides integrated drug discovery services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; these services include in vitro biology, screening, fragment screening, medicinal, organic and analytical chemistry, and in vitro ADME/PK evaluation as well as in vivo PK (with a strategic partner). Selcia’s scientists act as integrated project teams within the customer group striving to produce viable drug candidates against its partners’ biological targets. Selcia’s expertise in capillary electrophoresis (CE) offers clients the benefits of a powerful and proven technology applied to drug discovery screening on a wide variety of targets. Its proprietary fragment screening service, CEfrag™ is a powerful application of the technique at the outset of a drug discovery programme.

Selcia Ltd
Fyfield Business & Research Park
Fyfield Road
United Kingdom
Tel +44 (0)1277 367000