Parkinson’s UK, Selcia, and Cresset collaborate to discover new drug candidates for Parkinson’s

London, Ongar and Cambridge, UK – 8 March 2018 – A new collaboration in the efforts to find a new drug candidate to combat Parkinson’s has been announced in the UK today.

The collaboration, formed by leading charity Parkinson’s UK, contract innovation and research organization, Selcia (part of Eurofins), and computational chemistry software and services provider, Cresset Discovery Services, is centred on creating novel molecules that could stop or slow the progression of the condition.

By modulating gene transcription, the collaboration aims to create molecules that increase the activity of a selection of genes which have the potential to both increase dopamine synthesis to ease symptoms, and boost the production of proteins which have neuroprotective effects. Parkinson’s UK is set to fund the £1.2million project, which will take place over 12 months.

This collaboration represents an expansion of Parkinson’s UK’s Virtual Biotech programme of work, which allows the charity to provide leadership and critical funding to early drug development in partnership with a range of other organisations that have the facilities and staff to carry out scientific work on a contract basis.

Dr Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK, said: “It’s fantastic to be working in partnership with these organisations, which have an exceptional range of skill and expertise in drug discovery. We’re also very excited to be working to identify a novel candidate that will not only be dopaminergic but also neuroprotective. Should initial studies go well, we could be looking at a new drug that has the potential to help millions of people with Parkinson’s across the world.”

Dr Vicky Steadman, Director of Discovery at Selcia, commented: “We are delighted that our proposal to Parkinson’s UK translated into the initiation of a collaboration that could lead to novel treatments for people with Parkinson’s. Selcia has an enviable track record in delivering pre-clinical candidates from lead optimization projects, and considerable expertise in designing drug candidates that cross the blood-brain barrier.”

Dr Martin Slater, Director, Cresset Discovery Services, said: “The combined strengths of the collaborating partners enables us to efficiently address the very difficult challenge of finding new medicines for this neurodegenerative condition. Cresset Discovery Services will provide unique cutting edge molecular modelling capability, our extensive AI capabilities and in silico expertise, to aid in the discovery of the most appropriate starting points for this program.”


For further information, contact:

Parkinson’s UK: Kirsty Callingham, Senior Media and PR Officer, +442079 639311

Cresset: Sue Peffer, Marketing Manager,, +44 1223 858890.

Selcia: Vicky Steadman, Director, Discovery 01277 367042.

About the partners

Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s UK is the UK’s leading charity supporting those with the condition. Its mission is to find a cure and improve life for everyone affected by Parkinson’s through cutting edge research, information, support and campaigning. For more information, visit

Selcia Ltd

Selcia Ltd is a UK-based provider of integrated drug discovery services with a worldwide client base. Founded in 2001, its workforce comprises industry experienced medicinal chemists, biologists and ADME scientists as well as 14C radiolabeling experts. Selcia announced its acquisition by Eurofins earlier this year.

Cresset Discovery Services

Cresset Discovery Services manages and delivers outsourced computational chemistry programs. Experienced scientists work alongside your chemists to solve problems, provide fresh ideas, remove roadblocks and add direction and insight. Cresset Discovery Services helps their customers reach their milestones faster and more cost effectively. For more information, please visit


Eurofins – a global leader in bio-analysis believes it is the world leader in food, environment and pharmaceutical products testing and that it is also one of the global independent market leaders in certain testing and laboratory services for agroscience, genomics and discovery pharmacology and for supporting clinical studies. In addition, Eurofins is one of the significant emerging players in specialty clinical diagnostic testing in Europe and the USA.

As one of the most innovative and quality oriented international players in its industry, Eurofins is ideally positioned to support its clients’ increasingly stringent quality and safety standards and the expanding demands of regulatory authorities and healthcare practitioners around the world.

The shares of Eurofins Scientific are listed on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange (ISIN FR0000038259, Reuters EUFI.PA, Bloomberg ERF FP).

February 2018 newsletter

Case study: Using Spark to design macrocycle BRD4 inhibitors

Macrocyclization of pharmaceutical compounds plays an increasing role in drug discovery. Macrocycles can provide several advantages such as favorable drug-like properties, and increased selectivity and binding affinity. Dr Matthias Bauer, Computational Chemist at Cresset, presents a case study of designing macrocyclization strategies for reported BRD4 inhibitors with Spark, Cresset’s bioisostere replacement and scaffold hopping tool.

Resurrection of the covalent inhibitor?

Martin Slater and Sylvie Sciammetta explore the revival of interest in covalent inhibitors. This has culminated in a growing list of diverse proteins that have been successfully targeted, that are outside the well-trodden protease area.

Video tips and tricks

  • Macrocyclization using Spark: How to use Spark to macrocyclize a molecule.
  • Ligand growing with Spark: How to grow a starter molecule into a new space, guided by existing ligands, mapping a different regions of the same active site.

See all web clips.

Workshop sessions announced for The Cresset User Group Meeting

Computational, medicinal and synthetic chemists can register for hands-on software workshops, which will take place on June 22 in Cambridge, UK.

The scientific program will be held on June 21. Presenters from the following companies are confirmed: AbbVie Inc., USA; Cancer Therapeutics CRC, Australia; Novartis, Switzerland; Sun Yat-Sen University, China; UCB Biopharma SPRL, Belgium; University of Cambridge, UK; University of Edinburgh, UK.

Upcoming events

  • March 18-22: 255th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, US
    • Using molecular fields to understand molecular determinants of the olfaction process (CINF; Fragrances, food and cheminformatics; Oral)
    • Adding pharmacophores to shape and electrostatics – too much of a good thing? (COMP; Poster)
  • April 2-6: Drug Discovery Chemistry
    • Meet us on stand 502
  • April 9-13: CCPBioSim Training Week, Bristol, UK
    • We are proud to be supporting CCPBioSim is their drive to improve and integrate biomolecular simulation software

See all events.

January 2018 newsletter

Spark V10.5 released

This new release of Spark, our scaffold hopping and bioisostere replacement tool, focuses on advanced workflows and improved database management. Giovanna Tedesco, Product Manager, details the highlights of this release and lists the many other new features and improvements.

Existing users are encouraged to upgrade to Spark  V10.5 at their earliest convenience and to download the Spark V10.5 keyboard shortcuts and Spark V10.5 Molecule Editor keyboard shortcuts.

If you’re not yet a Spark user, but are interested in advancing your research through R-group exploration, patent busting or scaffold hopping, please request a free evaluation.

Video tips and tricks

  • What’s new in Spark V10.5
    • View the highlights of this new release of Spark.
  • Interacting with structures in Flare
    • Learn how to interact with proteins, protein chains, water molecules and small molecule ligands in the Flare GUI.
  • Tagging by cluster using Activity Miner
    • Learn how to tag compounds in a Forge project by cluster membership, following a cluster analysis run with Activity Miner.

See these and more video tips and tricks.

Citations and editorial

Registration open for The Cresset User Group Meeting 2018

Register early to secure your space at The Cresset User Group Meeting. Confirmed speakers include: AbbVie Inc., USA; Cancer Therapeutics CRC, Australia; Novartis, Switzerland.

December 2017 newsletter

CEO end of year message

Dr Robert Scoffin, CEO, reviews 2017 and says, “It’s a real privilege to work with such scientifically dedicated people and to know that Cresset software and services make a real difference to your research and results.”

Software review 2017

Throughout the year we have published many more case studies and web clip tips and tricks. Users have published widely citing the use of Cresset software and our chapter, Lessons and Successes in the Use of Molecular Fields, has been published in Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry III. The most recent news is that we’re delighted to announce Proximagen have added Flare to their medicinal chemists’ toolkit. See our newsletters for what else you may have missed.

Discovery Services review 2017

Cresset Discovery Services has worked on numerous projects for customers in 2017. Confidentiality prevents us talking in detail about the work we have undertaken, however, you can see examples of the specific services we offer and read case studies demonstrating how we can help you make the molecules that matter.

Student bursary for The Cresset User Group Meeting

Students have until January 12 to apply for a bursary to present at The Cresset User Group Meeting on June 21, 2018.

Upcoming events

  • March 18-22, 255th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • April 2-6, Drug Discovery Chemistry, San Diego, CA, USA
  • April 11-12, UK QSAR and MGMS Structure-Activity Relationships, Cardiff, UK
  • June 21-22, The Cresset User Group Meeting, Cambridge, UK

See all events.

Proximagen enhances medicinal chemists’ toolkit with Flare for structure-based design

Cambridge, UK – 12 December 2017 – Cresset, innovative provider of software and contract research services for small molecule discovery and design, is pleased to announce that Proximagen, a drug discovery and development company, has licensed Flare.

“Flare will give our medicinal chemistry team rapid, hands-on access to structure-based design capabilities” says Dr Ed Savory, Head of Exploratory Research, Proximagen. “When combined with our use of Cresset’s Forge for SAR and design, and Spark for R-group exploration and scaffold hopping, our medicinal chemists have access to a wide range of easy to use modelling applications.”

“I’m delighted that Proximagen have chosen to enhance their toolkit by making Flare accessible to their medicinal chemists,” says Dr Tim Cheeseright, Director of Products, Cresset. “I’m confident that Flare will bring fresh insights into their protein-ligand analysis and design.”

November 2017 newsletter

Tversky similarity in field-based virtual screening

Tim Cheeseright, Director of Products, describes how Tversky similarity is used to perform substructure and superstructure type searches using Blaze.

Computational approaches to ion channel drug discovery

Martin Slater, Director of Consulting Services, makes a case for information based strategies and ligand centric techniques which pit the efficiency of rationality against blind trial and error.

Web clip tips and tricks

New Spark reagent databases

This month a small change is being made to the Spark reagent databases in that we now only include reagents that are in eMolecules’ Tiers 1, 2, and 3. These correspond to the most accessible reagents and should be a good source of inspiration for R-group design experiments in Spark.

Keyboard shortcut guides

The Cresset User Group Meeting • June 21-22, 2018

We are delighted to announce that the keynote lecture at The Cresset User Group Meeting in 2018 will be delivered by Dr Steve Djuric, Vice President Discovery, AbbVie Inc.

Bursary for students

Students have until January 12, 2018 to apply for a bursary to attend and present at the meeting.

October 2017 newsletter

Forge V10.5 released

With over 30 enhancements, V10.5 of Forge introduces new science, the new Conformation Explorer, and a large number of GUI and usability improvements.

Torch V10.5 released

The improved design workflow in V10.5 of Torch enables live updating of physicochemical properties and predicted activities while you design.

Web clip tips and tricks

Student bursary

Students are invited to apply for a bursary to attend and present at The Cresset User Group Meeting on June 21st – 22nd, 2018 in Cambridge, UK.

Cresset awarded French R&D tax credit accreditation

Up to 30% tax relief for French companies outsourcing projects to Cresset Discovery Services.

Student bursary: The Cresset User Group Meeting 2018

Students affiliated to a higher education institution are invited to apply for a bursary to attend, and present at, The Cresset User Group Meeting on June 21st, 2018 in Cambridge, UK.

To apply, submit an extended abstract, no more than 1 side of US letter/A4, on your proposed presentation about the application of Cresset software. Your submission should include your:

  • Course title/PhD title
  • Expected date of graduation
  • Principal investigator/PhD supervisor

Deadline for applications is January 12th, 2018. Award of the bursary will be announced in February 2018.


  • Only 1 submission per student
  • The bursary will be a maximum of £1,000
  • The bursary is awarded to the student submitting the abstract, and cannot be transferred
  • The successful applicant must present in person on June 21st, 2018 in Cambridge, UK
  • Decision of who the bursary is awarded to is made by Cresset and not open to discussion.

Up to 30% tax relief for French companies outsourcing projects to Cresset Discovery Services

Up to 30% tax relief for French companies outsourcing projects to Cresset Discovery Services

Cambridge, UK – 17th October 2017 – Cresset, innovative provider of software and contract research services for small molecule discovery and design, has been awarded French R&D tax credit (Credit d’Impot Recherche (CIR)) accreditation by the French Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI).

Recognition of Cresset as an official Research Organization by the Ministry of Education and Research allows eligible organizations to claim up to 30% tax relief on projects outsourced to Cresset Discovery Services.

“This accreditation emphasizes Cresset’s commitment to helping companies make the molecules that matter, at the best possible price,” says Dr David Bardsley, Commercial Director at Cresset.

Find out how to get support for your R&D and innovation.

Jusqu’à 30 % d’allègement fiscal pour les entreprises françaises qui externalisent leurs projets auprès de Cresset Discovery Services

Cambridge, Royaume-Uni – le 17 octobre 2017 – Cresset, fournisseur innovant de logiciels et de services de recherche contractuelle pour la découverte et la conception de petites molécules, s’est vu décerner l’accréditation Crédit d’Impôt Recherche (CIR) par le Ministère français de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la recherche et de l’innovation (MESRI).

La reconnaissance de Cresset en tant qu’organisme de recherche officiel par le Ministère de l’Enseignement et de la recherche permet aux organisations remplissant les conditions requises de demander jusqu’à 30 % d’allègement fiscal sur les projets externalisés auprès de Cresset Discovery Services.

« Cette accréditation témoigne de la détermination de Cresset à aider les entreprises à fabriquer les molécules qui importent, au meilleur prix possible, » déclare le Dr David Bardsley, Directeur commercial chez Cresset.

Découvrez comment vous pouvez obtenir de l’aide pour vos projets de R&D et d’innovation.

September 2017 newsletter

Blaze V10.3 released for even better virtual screening

The latest version of Blaze™, our virtual screening platform is now available. V10.3 introduces pharmacophore constraints to enable you to find the best possible new hits and leads. Alongside pharmacophore constraints, we’ve added additional similarity metrics and updated the user interface.

Sneak peek at Forge V10.5

New versions (V10.5) of Forge™ and Torch™ are due out next month. This release offers new science and functionality and plenty of improvements that significantly enhance both applications. Here we offer a sneak peek at some of the new functionality in Forge.

Flare enhances the Cresset Discovery Services toolbox

What does Flare™, our new structure-based design application, offer Cresset Discovery Services that it didn’t have before?

Recent citations

  • 3D-QSAR studies on Maslinic acid analogs for Anticancer activity against Breast Cancer cell line MCF-7, Nature Scientific Reports
  • Development and evaluation of 4-(pyrrolidin-3-yl)benzonitrile derivatives as inhibitors of lysine specific demethylase 1, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters
  • Development of (4-Cyanophenyl)glycine Derivatives as Reversible Inhibitors of Lysine Specific Demethylase 1, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Thiazolidine derivatives as potent and selective inhibitors of the PIM kinase family, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters

Read these and more citations.

Back to school offer

Up to 25% off academic research licenses on all orders received by October 31, 2017.

Commercial Director to run 32nd half marathon

On October 1, 2017, David Bardsley, our Commercial Director will run his 32nd half marathon in Cardiff, UK. We’re delighted to sponsor David in raising funds for cancer research at Cardiff University.