Cresset Announces Excellent 2012 Sales Figures and Growth

Welwyn Garden City, UK – 21st January 2013 – Cresset, innovative provider of computational chemistry software and consulting services, announces excellent 2012 sales figures and growth.

Dr Robert Scoffin, CEO of Cresset, says, “We are delighted to announce robust growth through 2012 in both our software and services divisions. We have invested in the rebranding of our software tools and now have an even more professional software workbench for medicinal and computational chemists. This is complemented by our growing Consulting Services division, including the first full year of operation of our innovative CompChem on demand service.”

“The breadth and range of consulting projects that Cresset undertakes demonstrates the power and scope of Cresset’s underlying patented technology,” says Dr Martin Slater, Head of Consulting. “We have completed consulting projects this year on research areas as diverse as virtual screening against a novel rheumatoid arthritis target and discovery of new sweeteners for a global drinks manufacturer.”

Dr Scoffin adds, “As companies increasingly choose to outsource computational chemistry in order to take advantage of just-in-time expertise, we expect Cresset to continue to enjoy outstanding growth throughout and beyond 2013.”

End of Year Message from CEO

Earlier this year Dr Andy Vinter, founder of Cresset, shared in our blog that he chose the company name because “Cressets bring light to a dark world and herald new events. Field technology sheds new light on the way we think about molecules binding and ‘Cresset’ is a good name for a company that wants to share these ideas.”

Cresset is as good a name now as it was a decade ago, and it signals our continuing goal to illuminate discovery research through the application of robust science. Our methods are constantly being developed and I’m pleased to say that they are endorsed by our enthusiastic customers and I would like to thank you for the real partnership that we have with you.

2012 has been a time of consolidation and growth for Cresset. Our developers, headed by Mark Mackey and Tim Cheeseright, have worked tirelessly to shape our software into a comprehensive range of tools that fits into the work flow of our customers. I am delighted with the new products and their fiery new names. Torch, Forge, Spark and Blaze are thoroughly professional tools that offer Cresset’s excellent technology in highly productive software environments.

Meanwhile, the consulting side of the business has been thriving. Martin Slater’s current blog about consulting services highlights the reasons why people choose to outsource their computational chemistry to Cresset. He gives examples of the great synergies that have come about through the application of our expertise to the many and varied research challenges that our customers bring us.

It was great to meet old and new faces at our US and EU User Group Meetings this year. People tell me how encouraging they find these events and how much they enjoy the chance to share ideas and discuss how Cresset software is informing their research. A particular highlight for me was hearing how Peter Ertl of Novartis is using Cresset tools embedded within a workflow to create new active molecules. I’m looking forward to meeting many more of you at our 2013 meetings in the summer: “Field Based Chemistry North America 2013“, Cambridge, MA on 14th May and “Field Based Chemistry Europe 2013“, Cambridge, UK on 20th to 21st June. Further details will follow in our January newsletter. I hope you will book the dates in your diary now!

This summer we welcomed David Bardsley on board as our new Sales Director. I know that he has already been in touch with many of you to find out how we can best meet your computational needs. David is based in the UK and, together with Rae Lawrence and Carlton Squires in the US, is always keen to hear from new and existing customers.

This year we’ve taken the environmentally friendly decision to refrain from sending festive greeting cards. We’ve donated the money saved to the AICR to fund research into the causes of cancer.

As we look forward to 2013 I would like to wish all of our customers and partners every success. We sincerely hope that as we seek ever better understandings of molecular interactions Cresset will continue to make a real difference to your research.

Dr Robert Scoffin
Dr Robert Scoffin

Isogenica, Cresset Group and Biolauncher Secure Funding from UK’s Technology Strategy Board for a £1M project to Develop New Small Molecule Drug Platform

Welwyn Garden City, UK – 06 June 2012 – Cresset, Welwyn Garden City UK, innovative provider of software and services together with Isogenica and Biolauncher, Cambridge UK, announce funding from the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, for a £1M project to develop a highly-scalable approach to small molecule drug discovery.

The funding enables the consortium to develop an integrated platform to identify diverse small molecules active against drug targets using very large peptide libraries to explore chemical space. The consortia’s objective is to demonstrate that this platform provides a new scalable approach to the early stage drug discovery challenges that is rapid, cost effective and applicable to intracellular, extracellular and membrane bound drug targets.

The process will use Isogenica’s libraries to select a population of diverse binding peptides against a biological target. These peptides will be analysed using novel structural bioinformatics already developed by Biolauncher to identify their active conformation. This three-dimensional template will be used to generate a field based pharmacophore that Cresset will use to identify small molecule drug-like medicinal chemistry starting points. Individually the component technologies have been used in over 170 drug discovery projects to date.

“The diversity of the chemical libraries in corporate collections can be quite limited and so the percentage of chemical space represented is small. Isogenica’s peptide libraries are designed to be structurally very diverse and sample a much greater volume of chemical space. Also, in addition to acting as a structural template, there is a high probability of finding binding peptides which have immediate utility as reagents for probing the target biology and supporting the drug development process” commented Rowan Gardner, who is leading the consortia’s Business Development activity.

“By working with diverse populations of binding peptides it is possible to determine which residues are contributing to the binding and infer their active conformations. Coupling Isogenica’s massive screening libraries with Cresset’s small molecule bioisostere discovery tools offer the possibility to bridge biologics directly into small molecule chemistry” added Kevin Mathews, CEO of Isogenica.

For more information about Isogenica please visit

For more information about Biolauncher please visit

For more information about the Technology Strategy Board please visit

For more information about Cresset’s software and service solutions please visit

A New Look

A new look for our products and an update for the website. We have repurposed our products to fit better with what you do and what you’ve asked for. They come with new fire-associated names to go with the new functionality and we’ve brought some new styling into the website to go with it. Check our blog for details of the new products and their capabilities or to explore the product pages themselves.

We think we’ve got all the links working with the new names but if you find one that’s broken then please let us know.

The origin of the Cresset name

Members of the Cresset team are occasionally asked about the origin and meaning of our company name and so we decided to go directly to the source for answers.  Cresset founder, Dr Andy Vinter named the company back in 2001 and when asked about the name, he not only explained why he chose it, but gave us a detailed description of the word and a few examples of cressets in the world today.

What is a cresset?

cresset*-(origin: 1325–75; Middle English  < Anglo-French, Old French craisset, equivalent to cras grease  + -et):  a metal cup or basket often mounted on a pole or suspended from above, containing oil, pitch, a rope steeped in rosin, etc., burned as a light or beacon.

The cresset light was formed of a wreathed rope smeared with pitch, and placed in a cage of iron, or it was a light from combustibles in a hollow pan. It was rendered portable by being placed on a pole, and so carried from place to place. Mr. Douce, in his “Illustrations of Shakspeare,” gives the following four representations (left picture) from old prints and drawings.  Mr. Douce imagines the word cresset to have been derived from the French word croiset, a cruet or earthen pot.

When the cresset light was stationary it served as a beacon, or answered the purpose of a fixed lamp, and in this way our ancestors illuminated or lighted up their streets.  There is a volume of sermons, by Samuel Ward, printed 1617-24, with a wood-cut frontispiece, representing the fixed cresset or street-lamp (right picture).

Why name the company Cresset?

According to Andy,’ I first saw the word ‘cressets’ at school, where it was used by Glendower in Shakespeare’s Henry IV part 1 (‘the front of heaven was full of fiery shapes of burning cressets’).   Forty years later, the word cropped up in an anthology of forgotten words and I was fascinated to read what a cresset actually was- after all that time.  Cressets brought light to a dark world and turned heads to heralded events.   I felt then that field technology shed new light on the way we think about molecules binding and ‘Cresset’ would be a good name for a company that wanted to spread these ideas.  I still feel the same way now. 

After the foundation of Cresset, the name was both admired and looked on with a jaundiced eye.  One response was- ‘good idea for a company, pity about the name’ but others, particularly those involved with marketing and advertising the company, praised it as being outstanding and unforgettable.  People have asked to change many things about the company since 2001 but no-one has ever suggested changing the name so I guess Cresset it is!’

Where can we see cressets today?

1)     The earliest reference to a Cresset that we can find is in Eadmer’s History of Recent Events in England between 1066 and 1122 concerning the life and death of William II (Rufus).

2. There is a cresset beacon in the vestry of St John’s Church, Farley Chamberlayne, Hampshire, UK, built between 1130 and 1160, which may possibly date from the reign of Edward III (above right). It was certainly used at the time of the Armada

3. The cresset is still remaining at Hadley Church, Middlessex, reminding us of the warlike days when watches were regularly stationed at such places “Before the reign of Edward III, beacons were but stacks of wood set up on high places, which were fired when the coming of enemies was descried; but in his reign pitch-boxes, as now they be, were, instead of those stacks, set up; and this properly is a beacon.” (Lord Croke.). On top of a turret at the South West angle of the tower is an iron cresset, fire pan or pitch-pot, an almost unique survivor of other days. It was erected by the monks to guide wayfarers crossing Enfield Chase by night, and travellers to or from St Albans, or the north. The beacon may have been used as late as 1745 to provide an alarm to warn of the Stuart rising in the North. It was used for a more pleasant occasion to mark the marriage of the Prince of Wales in 1863, when the future Edward VII married Princess Alexandra of Denmark.”




If you want to learn more about Cresset (or about the history of cressets), please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

*cresset. (n.d.). Unabridged. Retrieved February 06, 2012, from website:

Cresset and Optibrium Announce Technology Collaboration

Cambridge and Welwyn Garden City, UK, (January 4th, 2012) – Innovative software and services provider Cresset, and  Optibrium, a provider of software solutions for drug discovery, today announce an agreement to collaborate on the development of next-generation platforms. The innovative companies will work together, combining unique approaches to help drug discovery projects quickly identify novel, potent compounds with a high chance of success downstream.

The collaboration will involve a two-way exchange of technologies: Optibrium’s ADME[1] models, currently provided as a plug-in module for its StarDrop™ software platform, will be made available to users of Cresset’s desktop applications. Similarly, Cresset’s FieldAlign™ software, which helps chemists understand the three-dimensional structure-activity-relationship of their chemistry in order to design active compounds, will be made available as an optional plug-in module for StarDrop, which helps project teams to confidently target compounds with a good balance of properties for their therapeutic objectives.

Achieving a combination of potency with appropriate ADME and safety properties is essential to the discovery of high quality drug candidates. Cresset’s molecular field technology provides unique insight into the biological activity, properties and interactions of molecules, which enables biologically meaningful comparisons that are not limited by two-dimensional structure.  Optibrium’s StarDrop platform helps to guide decisions on the design and selection of compounds by integrating in silico and experimentally measured properties using a unique multi-parameter optimisation approach, chemical space and Glowing Molecule™ visualisations and predictive modelling.

Dr. Matthew Segall, CEO of Optibrium, said, “We are very happy to be working with the team at Cresset. This collaboration furthers our aim to deliver leading edge in silico technologies directly to the desktop of all drug discovery scientists through StarDrop’s user friendly, interactive interface. The new FieldAlign module in StarDrop will bring a powerful 3D view of compound interactions that will complement StarDrop’s existing 2D QSAR models.”

Dr. Robert Scoffin, CEO of Cresset, added “This collaboration is an excellent opportunity for two companies to combine talents and technologies in order to offer a better product to our combined customers. This highlights the power of bringing together complementary technologies from leading-edge companies to better address problems in Drug Discovery.”

The technology shared under this collaboration will form new components in upcoming releases of Optibrium’s StarDrop and Cresset’s desktop applications. Full details of these exciting new developments will be announced soon.

For more information about StarDrop and Optibrium’s software solutions please visit Optibrium’s website, alternatively please call +44 (0) 1223 815 900 or email Optibrium.

For more information about Cresset’s software and service solutions please visit Cressest’s website, alternatively email Cresset.


[1] Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination

An End of Year Messsage from the CEO

I would like to thank all of Cresset’s customers and friends for your most valued support during the last 12 months. It has been a year of transition and change for the company, it being my first full calendar year in the role of CEO, as well as seeing us expand the team with the arrival of Martin Slater to head up Consulting Services and Rachel Richardson to head up our Marketing Communications. Although it has been a year of change, we have also continued our commitment to supporting our customers through continuous innovation and development of the Cresset science, technologies and applications.

In our busy year of growth and change, particular highlights have included several partnerships and collaborations including those with Biolauncher, Isogenica and Optibrium and the successful completion of a number of consulting projects, including on-going work with Redx Pharmaceuticals.  We were delighted to see many of you at a very well-attended and productive user group meeting in September and hope you will join us again at the  next UGM in June 2012.  A number of product launches, including new versions of FieldStere and FieldTemplater, have been a part of our continuous development and we look forward to introducing some very exciting new technologies in the beginning of 2012.

We are also celebrating a momentous occasion, with Cresset being 10 years old this year. Three of the original team still provide the heart and soul of the company, and I personally want to thank Andy, Mark and Tim for their hard work in the prior 10 years leading up to this anniversary. Commercially we hope to finish the year strongly, and will have shown growth despite the gloom and doom of the broader economy. As we plan events, launches and improvements for 2012 we certainly hope to continue that progress. We very much appreciate your continued and on-going support, and look forwards to a successful 2012 as we work with you, our valued partners.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season,


Cresset June Newsletter

Design a Molecule Competition – Win an iPad2

Design a Molecule Competition - Win an iPad2

More information can be found here…

Cresset User Group Meeting

This year’s Cresset User Group meeting will be at Downing College, Cambridge on Sep 21-22, 2011. The first half day will be a training session and will immediately follow the MGMS meeting at which the career of Dr Andy Vinter will be honoured. We are currently pulling together the agenda and would be delighted to hear from potential speakers.

More information can be found here…

Academic Access Program

Cresset recently announced a major new academic access program for all of its tools, including software bursaries and free individual research and training licenses and free downloads of some its tools.

More information can be found here…

New Product Releases – Pipeline Pilot & KNIME support

Cresset has released new command line versions of many of its FieldStere, FieldAlign and FieldView tools along with free Pipeline Pilot protocols and KNIME nodes, which can be used to wrap these tools into larger workflows and enterprise processes.

More information can be found here…

New Product Releases – Xedex and Free XedMin tools

For the first time, Cresset has released tools based on its unique XED forcefield. The Xedex conformation hunter and the free XedMin ligand minimizer can now be downloaded from the Cresset website.

More information can be found here…

Appointment of Hulinks Inc. as Japanese Distributor

Cresset is delighted to announce the appointment of Hulinks Inc. as distributor of its Field based chemistry software products in Japan.

“The appointment of Hulinks provides us with a dedicated channel to deliver our tools to the Japanese marketplace and will enable us to respond to the specific needs of our users in Japanese biopharmaceutical companies” said Rob Scoffin, Chief Executive Officer of Cresset.  “Hulinks has a long track record of close collaboration with its customers and has consistently achieved successful commercial growth in the scientific software market place. We are excited to be working with Hulinks to increase our presence in this important market.”

“Cresset is an established company with an excellent scientific reputation, and brings a world-leading portfolio of computational chemistry products,” said Mr. Yoshimaro Fujisawa, President of Hulinks.  “We are looking forward to helping bring those to the Japanese market and helping drive growth and enhanced commercial success in the future.”

Cresset Announces New International Sales Team

Cresset today announced that it has expanded its computational chemistry software sales team in the U.S. and Europe. As a result of this growth, the company looks forward to significantly increasing its presence in the European and U.S. markets in 2011.

Dr Mike Breen joins Cresset from ThomsonReuters (LifeSciences) where he headed the EMEA regional sales team. Although he began his career in the lab at Smith & Nephew and Servier, Mike has since gained extensive experience in developing effective high level sales teams for a number of major life sciences software and information publishers. Mike will head up the European Sales team and will be responsible for developing Cresset’s global sales strategy.

Dr Rae Lawrence joins Cresset from ACD/Labs where she managed accounts for the Northern California and Pacific Northwest territories. She has a strong background in computational chemistry tools having also previously worked at Chemical Computing Group, where she was involved with the development of bioisostere replacement tools within MOE. Rae will act as North American territory manager.

“Mike and Rae have a wealth of sales experience, as well as backgrounds in computational biology and chemistry, and an intimate knowledge of their territories. They are ideally placed to help us cement our success in the European and North American markets,” said Rob Scoffin, Chief Executive Officer of Cresset. “We are committed to rapidly increasing sales of our innovative Field based products in these important markets and to reaching new audiences in medicinal chemistry, in-licensing and safety. Hiring Mike and Rae will help us quickly achieve that objective.”