Astex Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of drugs in oncology and other areas. Astex was founded in 1999 by Sir Tom Blundell, Chris Abell & Harren Jhoti, and is located in Cambridge, England.
The company's research efforts focus on utilization of a proprietary "drug discovery engine" dubbed Pyramid. Astex has also solved the structure of two key cytochrome P450 isoenzymes involved in drug metabolism, 2C9 & 3A4, which the company hopes will help in optimizing the pharmacokinetic properties and safety of their lead compounds.
Astex Therapeutic's first drug candidate, a cell cycle inhibitor, entered Phase I clinical trials in 2005. Since that time they have created eight drugs that have progressed into the clinical stage of development.
In 2011, Astex Therapeutics Ltd merged with Supergen Inc., and formed Astex Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
In September 2013, Astex was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceutical for around $900 million.
Astex licenses erdafitinib under the brand name "Balversa" to Janssen Pharmaceutica, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.