Elsevier snaps up drug R&D software company

Elsevier wants to sell more software to biotech and pharma outfits. The scientific information giant ($ENL) has scooped up Paris-based Aureus Sciences, a provider of software and databases for drug discovery and development groups.

Aureus, founded in 2002, compiles data on biological activity, targets and molecules and provides pharma companies with software tools to search the data to streamline discovery efforts. The body of such scientific information has grown faster and faster, pressuring pharma R&D groups to adopt informatics to corral the right data for drug research.

Rather than simply tack on Aureus' products to Elsevier's existing offerings, the Amsterdam-based buyer plans to combine the content of the two companies and provide new software tools to pharma companies hunting for new drugs. Elsevier has been wheeling and dealing for information technology businesses in life sciences and healthcare in recent years, including the buyout of Ariadne Genomics in December 2011 and ExitCare in September 2012.

"With the combination of Aureus content assets and the content already available by Elsevier," Mark van Mierle, managing director of Elsevier Pharmaceutical and Biotech Group, said in a statement, "we can create a valuable solution for those in need of improving speed and accuracy of lead-finding, decision-making and other key processes."

Elsevier isn't disclosing the financial terms of its buyout of privately held Aureus.

- here's the release
- see GenomeWeb's article (sub. req.)