AUSTIN, Texas—Optive Research Inc., a company spun off from research at The University of Texas at Austin, has agreed to be acquired by Tripos Inc., a world-wide leader in molecular discovery and discovery informatics.
Optive, founded by Professor Robert S. Pearlman, the Coulter R. Sublett Regents Chair in Pharmacy, develops software for computer-assisted molecular discovery. The software, which makes the process of finding new drugs and agrochemicals faster and more efficient, is used in the majority of pharmaceutical companies worldwide.
St. Louis-based Tripos has distributed software developed in Pearlman’s lab since 1987. The relationship with Tripos was the university’s first software license agreement. Following the acquisition, expected to close in early January 2005, the university will continue to receive royalties on the sales of those programs.
“Optive and Tripos share a common vision for scientific excellence and ongoing innovation in discovery research,” said Pearlman, chairman and chief scientific officer for Optive. “Our software portfolios are complementary and synergistic. We look forward to building on our long-standing relationship with Tripos.”
“The acquisition of Optive adds important new products, key enabling technologies and world-renowned scientific expertise to our software business, allowing Tripos to offer an even broader array of innovative informatics solutions to its customers,” said Dr. John P. McAlister, Tripos’ president and chief executive officer.
“The Optive acquisition is a successful step in the international commercialization of a University of Texas technology,” said Neil Iscoe, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization, which helped create Optive in 2002. “Tripos is furthering our goal of getting the university’s research into the world.”
“The academic environment of a world-class university formed an ideal ‘incubator’ for Optive’s technology and we also benefited from the incredible talent pool which a city like Austin attracts,” added Pearlman.
Following the close of the transaction, Pearlman will remain at the university but will also be a consultant and scientific adviser to Tripos. Bryan Koontz, Optive’s co-founder and chief executive officer, will join Tripos as vice president of corporate development. Other key Optive Research employees will join Tripos’ discovery informatics business.
Tripos will issue 599,521 shares of its common stock (a portion of which will be contractually restricted) and $4.75 million in cash to Optive’s shareholders.
For more information contact: Tim Green, Office of Public Affairs, 512-423-5806.