A Glasgow-based drug development company has been acquired by a market leader in its field.

SB Drug Discovery, which specialises in ion channel and receptor drug discovery research, has been purchased by Nottingham-based Sygnature Discovery.

The acquisition will see both companies continue to operate out of their respective facilities, with further investment and service expansion planned by SG in the coming months.

SB’s scientific director Dr Ian McPhee said: “Having previously collaborated with Sygnature Discovery to access our ion channel expertise, it became apparent to them that our breadth of capabilities reached far beyond ion channel electrophysiology, to areas including cell line generation, screening and inflammation.

“Our company values and goals fit perfectly and we are delighted to become an integral part of the Sygnature Group.”

The acquisition is SG’s second in the space of a year, following investment from Five Arrows Principal Investments, the European corporate private equity arm of Rothschild & Co, in June 2020.

Based at Nottingham’s innovative BioCity, the deal is also its fifth in five years, with previous acquisitions including RenaSci in 2018, along with Alderley Oncology and XenoGesis in 2020.

Sygnature chief executive Dr Simon Hirst said: “The acquisition of SB Drug Discovery is a great addition to the services Sygnature Discovery offers its customers on our journey to become the world’s leading drug discovery partner.

“This is an exciting step forward, forming a strong partnership with a like-minded company that complements Sygnature’s existing services.”

SB Drug Discovery, which delivers cell line generation and compound screening solutions in neuroscience and other therapeutic indications, employs more than 50 people in Glasgow.