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Astex Therapeutics
HeadquartersCambridge, England
Key people
Harren Jhoti (CEO)
Martin Buckland (CBO)
Tom Blundell
Chris Abell
Productsoncology treatments
Revenuenot available

Astex Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of drugs in oncology and other areas. Astex was founded in 1999 by Sir Tom Blundell,[1][2] Chris Abell & Harren Jhoti,[3] and is located in Cambridge, England.[4][5][6][7][8]

The company's research efforts focus on utilization of a proprietary "drug discovery engine" dubbed Pyramid. Astex has also solved the structure of two key cytochrome P450 isoenzymes involved in drug metabolism, 2C9 & 3A4, which the company hopes will help in optimizing the pharmacokinetic properties and safety of their lead compounds.

Astex Therapeutic's first drug candidate, a cell cycle inhibitor, entered Phase I clinical trials in 2005. Since that time they have created eight drugs that have progressed into the clinical stage of development.

In 2011, Astex Therapeutics Ltd merged with Supergen Inc., and formed Astex Pharmaceuticals Ltd.[9]

In September 2013, Astex was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical for around $900 million.[10]


  1. ^ Tom Blundell: Director Archived January 1, 2015, at the Wayback Machine on OpenCorporates
  2. ^ Congreve, M; Murray, C. W.; Blundell, T. L. (2005). "Structural biology and drug discovery". Drug Discovery Today. 10 (13): 895–907. doi:10.1016/S1359-6446(05)03484-7. PMID 15993809.
  3. ^ Williams, P. A.; Cosme, J; Vinkovic, D. M.; Ward, A; Angove, H. C.; Day, P. J.; Vonrhein, C; Tickle, I. J.; Jhoti, H (2004). "Crystal structures of human cytochrome P450 3A4 bound to metyrapone and progesterone". Science. 305 (5684): 683–6. doi:10.1126/science.1099736. PMID 15256616.
  4. ^ Repasky, M. P.; Murphy, R. B.; Banks, J. L.; Greenwood, J. R.; Tubert-Brohman, I; Bhat, S; Friesner, R. A. (2012). "Docking performance of the glide program as evaluated on the Astex and DUD datasets: A complete set of glide SP results and selected results for a new scoring function integrating Water Map and glide". Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. 26 (6): 787–99. doi:10.1007/s10822-012-9575-9. PMID 22576241.
  5. ^ Novikov, F. N.; Stroylov, V. S.; Zeifman, A. A.; Stroganov, O. V.; Kulkov, V; Chilov, G. G. (2012). "Lead Finder docking and virtual screening evaluation with Astex and DUD test sets". Journal of Computer-Aided Molecular Design. 26 (6): 725–35. doi:10.1007/s10822-012-9549-y. PMID 22569592.
  6. ^ Wolfson, W (2006). "Fragmentary solutions. Astex therapeutics puts the pieces together". Chemistry & Biology. 13 (8): 799–801. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2006.08.003. PMID 16931326.
  7. ^ Mountain, V (2003). "Astex, Structural Genomix, and Syrrx. I can see clearly now: Structural biology and drug discovery". Chemistry & Biology. 10 (2): 95–8. doi:10.1016/s1074-5521(03)00030-9. PMID 12618177.
  8. ^ Carr, R. A.; Congreve, M; Murray, C. W.; Rees, D. C. (2005). "Fragment-based lead discovery: Leads by design". Drug Discovery Today. 10 (14): 987–92. doi:10.1016/S1359-6446(05)03511-7. PMID 16023057.
  9. ^ "Our History – Astex". Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  10. ^ Tim Kelly (5 September 2013). "Japan's Otsuka to buy cancer drug maker Astex Pharma". Reuters.

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