Charnwood is one of the UK’s leading providers of outsourced drug discovery services, supporting an international client base of pharmaceutical and biotech companies in developing novel drugs.

The Company was founded in 1998 by University Professors, Steve Allin (CEO) and Phil Page as a spin out from Loughborough University, initially focused on outsourced chemical synthesis services to the life sciences industry. Prior to Synova’s investment, Steve led Charnwood through a strategic shift, developing deep chemistry expertise focused on higher value services in synthesis, medicinal chemistry and scale-up research for new drugs.

The Business has an excellent market reputation and is currently servicing multiple well known disruptive biotechs, who are targeting difficult areas of drug discovery and exploring innovative approaches to solve their discovery challenges.

Synova will be supporting Steve Allin, who will remain with the Business as CEO, and we are supporting significant near-term investments in Charnwood’s senior management team. Synova has already introduced a non-executive Chairman, Ben Cons, who joined the Board at completion. Ben is a highly experienced life sciences executive having held senior executive positions within GSK and IQVIA as well as numerous non-executive Board appointments over the last 25 years.


  • 20+Years serving life sciences industry
  • 200+Number of drug candidates produced
  • 90%Chemists at level PhD or above

Founder and CEO of Charnwood Molecular – Steve Allin
“We are extremely excited about what we can achieve in partnership with Synova. Synova supported the business over an extended period prior to their investment, helping us to develop a strategic plan that we are all committed to delivering. They were able to leverage their sector expertise and introduced the business to a number of leading industry figures who will help us to grow going forwards. With Synova’s support we now have the resources to accelerate growth of our core service offering and to develop further specialist services to support our clients to develop innovative new treatments.”

Investment Case

Charnwood operates against a backdrop of a fast growing market. Large pharma companies have seen reducing returns on R&D and are increasingly looking to acquire novel therapeutics from biotechs and smaller pharma companies, which has led to increasing investment in the sector. There is therefore strong demand for outsourced services from pharmaceutical companies across an industry seeking a value-added partnership approach to drug discovery for their mission critical projects. Demand outpaces supply in the sector, and there remains a limited number of high quality service providers, with Charnwood being one of the last independent platforms of scale in the UK.

Growth Strategy

Synova will support Charnwood to deliver an ambitious growth plan, built upon increasing investment in the Business’s core capabilities as a trusted partner in innovative chemistry, alongside expanding its service offering into complementary scientific disciplines. Charnwood will also look at selective acquisition targets that support this expansion of its product offering.