Cambridge, UK, 8 June 2017. Artios Pharma Ltd., a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company focussed on developing innovative new treatments for cancer, today announces the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of world-leading experts from across Europe and the United States, in the fields of DDR, DNA genetics and drug discovery. Dr Simon Boulton, VP Scientific Strategy at Artios, will serve as Chairman.
The SAB will provide invaluable scientific expertise and guidance to the Artios management team and Board, as the Company progresses its discovery programmes towards the clinic and continues assessing new DDR product development opportunities.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer at Artios Pharma, said: “We are delighted to welcome this renowned group of experts to our newly formed Scientific Advisory Board and we look forward to leveraging their unparalleled knowledge as we progress our current assets towards the clinic and continue to build our pipeline of promising new DDR programmes.”
Dr Simon Boulton, VP of Scientific Strategy at Artios Pharma and Chairman of the SAB said: “It is a real privilege to chair Artios’ Scientific Advisory Board. The high calibre of individuals the Company has attracted to the SAB is testament to both the potential of treating cancer through targeting the DNA Damage Response and Artios’ world-leading development pipeline and capability.”
The SAB members include:
Dr Simon Boulton
Simon is Senior Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute and VP of Scientific Strategy at Artios. He is also an honorary Professor at University College London and Kings College London, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) and member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). Over the last 15 years Simon’s laboratory has discovered novel DNA repair genes and provided molecular insights into their impact on human diseases. As a result of his ground-breaking work, Simon has received a number of prestigious accolades, most notably the EMBO Gold Medal and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. He has also given numerous prize lectures, including the Royal Society Francis Crick Prize lecture and the Mendel Lecture. Simon previously established the DNA Damage Response Laboratory at Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, Clare Hall Laboratory having completed post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School, Boston. Simon gained his PhD at the University of Cambridge.
Dr KJ Patel
KJ is a scientist and tenured Principal Investigator at the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at the University of Cambridge. Over the past 18 years, his laboratory has made crucial discoveries in the field of DNA crosslink repair and in identifying that alcohol derived and endogenous aldehydes are a potent source of endogenous DNA damage. KJ is also responsible for discovering a key role for the BRCA2 in DNA repair, stimulating his interest in DNA crosslink repair. KJ is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), a Fellow to the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) and has a fellowship to the Royal Society (FRS). KJ trained in medicine at the University of London where he specialised in gastroenterology, and he completed his PhD in immunology at the LMB.
Dr Jos Jonkers
Jos is Professor of Molecular Experimental Oncogenetics and Cancer Therapeutics, and the Head of Molecular Pathology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). His laboratory specialises in the genetic dissection of human BRCA-associated hereditary breast cancer and E-cadherin mutated invasive lobular breast cancer through the use of genetically engineered mouse models and patient-derived xenograft models. In 2002 he visited the laboratory of Allan Bradley at the Sanger Institute to develop platforms for mouse array-CGH. He then became an Assistant Professor at the NKI in 2003 and a permanent staff member in 2008. Jos is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and gained his PhD and post-doctoral research in the group of Anton Berns at the NKI.
Dr Serena Nik-Zainal
Serena is a Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Advanced Clinician Scientist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Her laboratory explores patterns of mutations or mutational signatures that arise in human cells to understand how DNA damage and DNA repair processes contribute towards aging and cancer. Serena is a Career Development Fellow (CDF) Group Leader in the Cancer Genome Project and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Genetics at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. In 2013, Serena was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship to pursue biological understanding of the signatures identified during her research training. She joined the Sanger Institute Faculty team in 2014 and leads the Signatures of Mutagenesis in Somatic Cells group. She qualified in medicine from the University of Cambridge in 2000 and trained as a physician specialising in Clinical Genetics. Serena undertook her PhD at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 2009 with Mike Stratton, exploring breast cancer using next-generation sequencing technology.
Dr Stephen V. Frye
Stephen is currently the Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery, Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the highest ranked school of pharmacy in the USA. As Director of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery at UNC, Stephen plays a key role in translational research through collaborative drug discovery projects with other UNC facilities. Stephen has a broad background in drug discovery and development and most notably he was responsible for co-inventing the marketed product Avodart and created the department that discovered the FDA approved kinase inhibitor oncology therapies Lapatinib (Tyverb®) and Pazopanib (Votrient®), while at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Previously, Stephen was VP of Discovery Medicinal Chemistry at GSK. Stephen is currently Chair of Cancer Research UK’s Drug Discovery Committee, Member of A*STAR Project Review Committee of the Experimental Therapeutics Center in Singapore, Co-Founder and Vice President of the Academic Drug Discovery Consortiun and Member of the SAB for the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre/ Experimental Therapeutics Programme. Stephen received his PhD in organic chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill in the USA.
Dr Simon N. Powell
Simon is the Enid A. Haupt Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Member of the Molecular Biology Programme of the Sloan-Kettering Institute, and Professor of Molecular Biology at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in New York, USA. He has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on federal research grants since 1992. His primary interests are in DNA repair and breast cancer, particularly in the function of breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2. The current focus of his work is elucidating the molecular mechanisms of BRCA1 recruitment to double-strand breaks and replication fork blockages, and the subsequent engagement of BRCA2. He is also interested in the discovery of synthetic lethal interactions in cancer cells lacking the function of the BRCA1-BRCA2 pathway, which has both mechanistic implications as well as applications for therapeutic strategies. Simon received his PhD from the University of London.
For more information about Artios Pharma Ltd., please contact:
Artios Pharma Ltd.
Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer
Dr Nick Staples, Chief Business Officer
Tel: +44 (0)12 2380 4180
Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Lindsey Neville, Melissa Gardiner
Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
About Artios Pharma Ltd.
Artios is a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company focussed on developing first-in-class treatments for cancer. Established in May 2016, the Company is led by an experienced scientific and leadership team with proven expertise in DDR drug discovery. Artios is building a pipeline of next-generation DDR programmes in collaboration with leading DNA repair researchers worldwide and including through a unique partnership with Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the development and commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK (CRUK). The Company’s investors include SV Health Investors, Merck Ventures, Touchstone Innovations, Arix Bioscience plc, CRT Pioneer Fund (managed by Sixth Element Capital) and AbbVie Ventures. Artios is based at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, UK.
About DNA Damage Response (DDR)
DNA damage, which occurs in cells throughout the body every day, can result in mutations and ultimately cell death if not repaired correctly. Cells therefore possess a network of DNA repair pathways, together known as the DNA Damage Response (DDR), to correct the damage. Cancer cells which have typically lost or down-regulated some of their DNA repair pathways, rely on alternative, often upregulated DNA repair pathways to repair the ongoing DNA damage required for cell survival. DDR targeted cancer treatments aim to kill these cancer cells by inhibiting such DNA repair pathway(s) such that the burden of DNA damage becomes lethal, while sparing healthy cells which continue to be able to repair their DNA. In this way, DDR inhibitors have the potential to act as single agent therapies that selectively kill tumour cells in cancers with certain repair defects. However, they can also be used as potentiating agents to DNA damaging agents and radiotherapy, and potentially in combination with novel therapies including immune-oncology treatments.