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Astex's latest deal with Schering further distances the firm from infrastructure-heavy structural biology players. Astex hopes that by applying its fragment-based approach to solving key discovery problems among a handful of much sought-after targets-rather than solving many target structures or offering its capability on a service basis-it can sign higher value deals and prevent itself from becoming a victim of the field's commoditization.
Summarizing the month in European dealmaking.
Discovery dealmaking is by no means dead-but it's certainly been practicalized. In the last few months, one good example of a still interesting discovery area--high-throughput structural biology--has seen a flurry of dealmaking. But it's not yet frequent or rich enough to justify the venture valuations originally applied to them. And the deals themselves reflect the results-oriented conservatism of Big Pharma buyers.