Close VCT Management invests in drug research

Peakdale Molecular has received £1.8m from two VCTs to extent its chemistry research effort.

Close Venture Capital Trust Management (Close VCT Management) has injected £1.8m from two of its venture capital trusts into Peakdale Molecular, a venture based in the UK that conducts chemistry research on behalf of pharmaceutical companies.

The money raised will be used to increase its stable of laboratories from six to 17 and to recruit around 100 staff. Peakdale designs, produces and supplies compounds used in pharmaceutical research programs. Founded in 1992, the company today counts a number of the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer as its customers. It is these companies, which faced with a rapidly consolidating industry, look to outsourcers to provide much of their non-core activities.

Will Fraser-Allen, a director at Close VCT Management, said: “Drug companies are coming under increasing pressure to improve and accelerate drug discovery and development to offer better drugs at a faster pace. Outsourced chemistry services offer drug companies greater operating efficiencies, reduced fixed costs, expanded R&D capacity and access to new technologies.

Close VCT Management is a division of Close Brothers Investment and part of Close Brothers, a UK-based independent merchant bank. The money for this latest deal came from the Close Brothers Development VCT and Close Technology & General VCT.