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Oxford Molecular Invests In, Will Collaborate with Drug Discovery Company

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OXFORD, UK--Oxford Molecular Group here has entered into an agreement to invest as much as £5 million in Cambridge Drug Discovery, a new company that will specialize in providing advanced high-throughput screening services. Through a close collaboration with Cambridge, Oxford will offer an integrated drug design, synthesis, and screening service. Following the investment, Cambridge's services will be sold through Oxford's sales network.

Cambridge was recently founded by four former Pfizer researchers. Their firm promises to combine state-of-the-art robotic screening technology with drug targets derived from academic collaborations to become a leader in the market for high-throughput screening services. They will screen either novel or nonproprietary targets, design high-throughput screening assays, and provide consulting services.

Under terms of the deal, Oxford will pay £2 million in cash for 19.99 percent of Cambridge, with the remaining shares being held by Cambridge's founders. Oxford will also offer up to £2 million as a loan and £1 million for preferred shares that could ultimately raise its stake to 30 percent. The agreement also gives Oxford the option to acquire the remainder of Cambridge in either three or four years.

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