Dr. Alan NaylorScientific Advisor
Dr. Alan Naylor is an independent Drug Discovery consultant and a Medicinal chemist with over 30 years’ experience in Research and Development within GlaxoSmithKline. Alan is also a member of the founding team, and leads the Discovery program at Pathios Therapeutics, an Oxford based Biotechnology company focused on the development of first in class therapies for autoimmune diseases and immuno-oncology.
As an independent consultant, he has been engaged in providing scientific and strategic advice and analysis to major pharma, biotechnology companies, academic groups, capital investment companies and funding bodies on a variety of issues within the drug discovery and healthcare sector. Previously he held the position of Vice President and Director of Medicinal Chemistry within the GSK Drug Discovery organisation. Alan has led strategic, matrix and line management functions with significant international responsibilities. He has an extensive track record of delivery, across a wide range of therapeutic areas, having played a major role in the discovery of over 30 development compounds and is a co-inventor of Serevent, a major advance in the treatment of asthma. Extensive academic interactions have resulted in him being appointed to two visiting chairs at the universities of Reading and Sussex.
Dr. Julian Golec FRSCScientific Advisor
Dr. Julian Golec FRSC trained as a chemist at the University of Hull before starting work in 1981 for Roussel (later Aventis). Here he led a joint team with Vertex to produce pralacasan, the first ICE inhibitor for arthritis. He spent a brief period (1996-98) as Head of Research at Xenova during which Traiquidar, a multidrug resistance inhibitor for oncology, was moved into the clinic and Xenova secured a multimillion-pound collaboration with Eli Lilly on PAI-1 inhibitors for cardiovascular diseases. Julian retired from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a pioneer in structure-based drug design, as Senior Vice President responsible for the company’s operation in England. During his 18 years at Vertex, the company progressed from its pure research base to the producer of three highly successful drugs to gain its reputation as one of the world’s leading biotechs. While making contributions to Vertex’s global efforts in cystic fibrosis and pain, the Vertex UK site distinguished itself in oncology by producing three oncology clinical candidates: the first aurora/Abl inhibitor and the first ATR inhibitors, two of which continue in clinical trials.
Dr. Malcolm MacCossScientific Advisor
Dr. Malcolm MacCoss has over 30 years of medicinal chemistry experience. He began his pharma career at Merck and was sequentially promoted to Vice President of Basic Chemistry and Drug Discovery Sciences, and the Deputy Site-Head of the Rahway Site; he was also Chairman of the Merck World-Wide Chemistry Council. During his time as Head of the Merck Rahway Chemistry Department, the Department produced approximately 100 preclinical drug candidates. Dr. MacCoss led a medicinal chemistry group that synthesized the first oral Substance P antagonist, Emend™ (aprepitant), for the treatment of chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, for which he was awarded the Thomas Edison Award in 2004, along with the other inventors. His group also prepared the novel IV prodrug of Emend (Ivemend™, fosaprepitant). In 2007, Dr. MacCoss was awarded a second Thomas Edison Award, for his contributions to the inventorship of Januvia™ (sitagliptin phosphate), the first approved DPP-IV inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. In March, 2008 Dr. MacCoss retired from Merck and spent a short time as a private consultant.
In July, 2008 he was appointed Group Vice President for Chemical Research at the Schering-Plough Research Institute. In this role, he provided strategic leadership to the Chemistry Research group globally and was the Head of Chemistry at the Schering-Plough, Kenilworth, NJ site. In addition, he chaired the newly created Schering-Plough Global Chemistry Council, a forum for formulating global chemistry strategies. Dr MacCoss consults for clients around the world, including UCB. He also sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of Gilead Sciences and ChemPartner. From February, 2010 to June 2015, he sat on the Board of Directors of Idera Pharmaceuticals and served as the Chairman of their Compensation Committee.
In March 2008, Dr. MacCoss was awarded the NJ American Chemical Society Award for Creativity in Molecular Design and Synthesis; he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) in 2008. Dr MacCoss was admitted to the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame in 2009 and in 2010 he was awarded the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry National Award. In October, 2013, Dr. MacCoss was appointed Visiting Professor of Chemistry for Medicine at The University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
David Rubinsztein, FRSScientific Advisor
David Rubinsztein, FRS, has been a leader in the field of autophagy, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. His laboratory discovered that this pathway plays an important role in degrading many of the intracytoplasmic, aggregate-prone, proteins causing neurodegenerative diseases, like Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and various dementias. He pioneered the strategy of autophagy upregulation as a possible therapeutic approach in various neurodegenerative diseases and identified drugs and novel pathways that may be exploited for this objective. He has made key contributions to illuminating the relevance of autophagy defects as a disease mechanism and to the basic cell biology of this important catabolic process.
Rubinsztein is currently deputy director of the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, Academic Lead of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Cambridge Drug Discovery Institute and a UK Dementia Research Institute Professor. He was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2004), Professor of Molecular Neurogenetics (University of Cambridge, personal chair (2005)), an EMBO member (2011) and Fellow of the Royal Society (2017). He was awarded the Graham Bull Prize for Clinical Science (Royal College of Physicians, 2007), the 2017 Thudichum Medal (Biochemical Society) and the Roger de Spoelberch prize (2017) for outstanding contributions to neuroscience.
René HenScientific Advisor
René Hen was born in Strasbourg, France, and received his Ph.D. from Université Louis-Pasteur under the mentorship of Pierre Chambon. After a postdoctoral stay in Richard Axel’s laboratory at Columbia University, Hen became an assistant professor in Strasbourg. He then returned to Columbia University, where he is presently a professor of pharmacology and neuroscience and the director of the division of integrative neuroscience in the department of psychiatry. His laboratory is using animal models to elucidate the neural substrates that underlie mood and anxiety disorders.
Scott ArmstrongScientific Advisor
Scott Armstrong is the Chairman of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Associate Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital. He was previously the Director of the Center for Epigenetics Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Professor of Pediatrics at the Weill Cornell Medical College where he initiated a research program in cancer epigenetics that has made significant contributions to the understanding of cancer biology. The major focus of his career has been on delineating the biology of childhood cancers, particularly leukemia. His work has led to the development of new therapeutic approaches for multiple types of cancer that are now being tested. Dr. Armstrong received his MD and PhD from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. He performed his residency and fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Children’s Hospital Boston, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Armstrong's work has been recognized by multiple awards including the Till and McCulloch Award from the International Society of Experimental Hematology, the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the E. Mead Johnson Award from the Society for Pediatric Research, and the Dameshek Prize from the American Society of Hematology. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP), and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.
Dr George VassiliouScientific Advisor
Dr George Vassiliou is a Reader in Haematological Malignancies at the University of Cambridge and a Cancer Research UK Senior Fellow. He is a member of Faculty at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, and practices as a Consultant Haematologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, where he treats patients with haematological cancers.
His group studies the pre-clinical evolution, pathogenesis and treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), a disease with a survival below 30% and for which treatments have not changed significantly for more than 25 years. They develop and study bespoke mouse models to investigate how particular gene mutations drive AML and related cancers and were one of the groups that described the phenomenon of clonal haematopoiesis (CH), believed to be the precursor of myeloid and other haematological malignancies. More recently, the group and their collaborators showed that individuals at high risk of AML can be identified years in advance through the characteristic of their CH clones. Furthermore, they have pioneered a CRIPSR-Cas9 genome-wide screening platform for the identification of genetic vulnerabilities of cancer cells and used this to identify novel therapeutic targets in AML, including the RNA methyltransferase METTL3 and the splicing gene SRPK1.