Astex Technology changed its name to Astex Therapeutics this year to symbolise the fact that one of its anti-cancer drugs had progressed to clinical trials. Headed by Timothy Haines, it helped to pioneer the use of x-ray crystallography to identify new drugs. The company also collaborates on research with the likes of Astra Zeneca and Aventis, which fund Astex’s research programme and pay royalties. Having raised £51m in venture capital since 2001, the company has boosted its sales 47% a year from £1.4m in 2002 to £3m in 2004, when Astex made a substantial loss.
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