By Nuala Moran

BioWorld International Correspondent

LONDON - Vectura Ltd., which specializes in the delivery of drugs to specific sites in the body, acquired Coordinated Drug Development Ltd. (CDD) and in a simultaneous transaction assumed responsibility for the Centre for Drug Formulation Studies (CDFS) at the University of Bath. No financial terms were disclosed.

CDD focuses on the formulation of drugs for inhalation. The merged company will initially focus upon the formulation of drugs for inhalation and the delivery of anticancer drugs, but said it also will broaden its technology base into other areas of drug delivery. Through CDD, Vectura will have 30 scientists providing development services to a number of pharmaceutical companies and working on its own portfolio of intellectual property. In addition Vectura is funding 12 scientists working in the laboratories of key collaborators.

Cambridge-based Vectura, founded in late 1997 by David Gough in collaboration with the venture capital group Merlin Ventures, will continue to operate from the Cambridge Science Park and the University of Bath.

Gough, the managing director, said the merger "would create the outstanding drug delivery company of the next generation."

The acquisition, he said, "strongly validates the Vectura proposition. CDD and CDFS have an outstanding reputation as leaders in the formulation of inhaled drugs and have developed a very successful business supplying development services to the pharmaceutical industry."

David Davies, chairman of CDD, said the merger would enable CDD "to invest more aggressively in the development of intellectual property and in the sharing of risks and rewards with collaborators."

Vectura has an integrated platform of proprietary technology, licensed from other companies and UK universities. These technologies use lipid- and soluble polymer-based carriers to deliver drugs preferentially to their site of action and release them in response to pathophysiological changes.

CDD was founded in 1983 as a vehicle for the research activities of its directors (who are all academics). The research was carried out in conjunction with the pharmaceutical industry. The directors will continue their involvement as consultants, non-executive directors or executives in the new company. All the major CDD collaborations are conducted using the staff and facilities of CDFS, set up by the University of Bath in 1974.

CDFS has operated as a self-contained unit within the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology to provide laboratory-based research and consultancy services for the pharmaceutical industry.