WuXi’s Crelux acquisition to boost European expansion


WuXi AppTec has bought Germany-based drug discovery provider Crelux as the Chinese company “augments its scientific depth” while also moving more deeply into Europe.

The Shanghai-based med tech provider has acquired Munich-headquartered Crelux, which since 2005 has been providing the drug discovery industry with services to help speed up their R&D.

Crelux provides a number of services to support hit-finding, conformational analysis and lead optimization, including protein production, biophysical assays, fragment screening, and X-ray crystallography.

This acquisition represents a further step in the growing European presence of WuXi, providing a new foundation for the company to expand its own drug discovery services on the continent.

The Chinese company will gain access to Crelux laboratories currently based at the Innovation Center for Biotechnology (IZB) in Martinsried, near Munich in Germany--Europe’s largest pharma market.

“The addition of Crelux will enable existing and prospective clients of both WuXi and Crelux to access enhanced hit finding, hit-to-lead, and lead optimization services with greater efficiency and scientific leadership,” said Dr. Steve Yang, executive VP and COO of WuXi AppTec. “Crelux reflects our commitment to our European clients and adds strength to our existing comprehensive drug discovery capabilities within the WuXi Research Service Division.”

Dr. Michael Schaeffer, co-founder of Crelux, added: “Adding Crelux’ expertise and technologies onto more comprehensive, integrated discovery services has always been a main strategic goal for us; with WuXi AppTec we have found the perfect match. Our combination will allow the European and global drug discovery and development industry to profit from the highest standards of service excellence and high-throughput, industrialized, processes.”

This builds on WuXi’s plans to become a larger provider of services to pharma around the world as it looks to expand from lab, CRO and manufacturing services into genomics, e-commerce and clinical screening testing.

This was also in evidence this January when the company said it had started work on building a $120 million “biologics solution center” at the company's headquarters to speed the development of biologic drugs.

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