Mind the Byte, a pioneer in the development of technologies based on artificial intelligence, cloud and big data for computational drug design, has acquired 100% of Intelligent Pharma, one of the leaders in Spain in chemoinformatics services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.

Since they were established in 2011 and 2007 respectively, both firms which are based in the Barcelona Science Park have managed to raise €5.8 million in public and private capital and position themselves at the forefront of the sector.

This deal is the largest corporate operation to date in the emerging Spanish bioinformatics market and makes Mind the Byte the leading company in Spain and one of the largest companies in Europe in artificial intelligence applied to medicine discovery and development.

The terms of the agreement have not yet been made public but they include one part in cash and the other as a share swap. Mind the Byte is to finance the integration and growth of both firms with a capital increase, the third in its history, coming to €3 million.

“This transaction is part of Mind the Byte’s business plan for the company’s growth and internationalisation through strategic acquisitions,” said Alfons Nonell-Canals, founder and CEO of the company. “The integration of Intelligent Pharma will mean we can benefit from its valuable network of contacts, equipment, technology and offices while also increasing our market share straight away. Our forecast for 2019 is to reach €2 million in turnover.”

Mind the Byte, an Amazon Web Services technology partner since 2013, delivers its technology through a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform and high added value scientific services. In 2015 it opened its first European subsidiary in the Copenhagen Bio Science Park (Denmark) while in 2016 it moved into the Japanese market with local firm Filgen where it expects to achieve €1.2 million in turnover by 2020.

The acquisition of Intelligent Pharma, which has offices in Munich and Heidelberg (Germany), London (United Kingdom) and Alberta (Canada) and clients in over 20 countries worldwide, will enable the Catalan bioinformatics firm to expand its local and global footprint while also extending its range of services and speeding up its product innovation in the geographical areas where it has a presence.

“The integration will allow us to round off our portfolio of tools for designing drugs with the knowhow built up by Intelligent Pharma over more than 10 years in the market and technologies which add to those of Mind the Byte, something that will be very handy when it comes to enhancing our line of business,” affirmed Nonell-Canals.

An emerging market with great potential

Bioinformatics is an emerging science in which computer science and information technology are applied to processing biological data. Chemoinformatics used for drug discovery is a key technology in this strategic area and one of the essential tools for R&D in the pharmaceutical industry since it enables reducing the time and cost of drug discovery and shortening the time to market for new medicines.

“It can take 10 or 15 years and extremely long-term investment coming to hundreds of millions of euro to develop a drug,” pointed out Nonell-Canals. “With the help of bioinformatics, we can help cut that time, and the cost and risk of investment by streamlining the molecule discovery phase. Moreover, under our recent agreement with the Swedish firm Prosilico, we now also advise companies in the preclinical studies phase.”

Data in the most recent report by international consultants Transparency Market Research (TMR) show that the world bioinformatics market is growing exponentially and the $2.3 billion valuation in 2012 is expected to reach $9.1 billion by the end of 2018.