Stevenage, UK, February 22 2022 - Myricx Pharma (‘Myricx’), a drug discovery company focused on developing small molecule inhibitors that selectively target the human
N-myristoyltransferases (NMT) in cancer, today announces expansion of its senior team with the appointments of Zahid Bashir as Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Richard Rutter as Head of Biology and Francesco Falciani as Head of Bioinformatics.
With an initial focus in multiple oncology indications Myricx is developing a pipeline of novel proprietary inhibitors of human N-myristoyltransferases (NMT). The new appointments reflect the Company’s progress as it advances its lead programmes through preclinical development and IND-enabling studies.
Zahid Bashir, MB BS, MSc is a highly experienced clinical development consultant in the fields of oncology and haematology. He brings over 15 years’ clinical and drug development experience to Myricx. Recognised for his success in planning, leading and executing clinical and drug development programmes for pharma and biotech companies, his relevant responsibilities include for Roche, GSK, Kite Pharma, BMS and AstraZeneca. He has gained extensive experience throughout all phases of clinical development and successfully brought multiple novel drugs including cell and gene therapy products to cancer patients. Full bio HERE.
Richard Rutter, PhD is an experienced pharmacologist and drug discovery biologist with over 20 years in the pharma and biotech industries. He was a Director of Biology at the GSK Neurodegeneration Research Unit in Singapore and a member of the R&D leadership team managing a portfolio of preclinical programs from early target identification through to candidate nomination. He has also held the role of CSO at Auspherix Ltd and is a co-founder of NRG Therapeutics. Full bio HERE.
Francesco Falciani, PhD is a specialist in developing novel computational approaches in systems biology and the application of these techniques to complex biological systems. He has over 30 years of experience working in both academia and industry. He holds an Honorary Professorship in integrative Systems Biology at the University of Liverpool where until 2021 he served as a Director of the University’s Computational Biology facility. Before establishing his career in academia, Francesco worked at GlaxoWellcome as Bioinformatics Group Leader and was Head of Target Discovery at Lorantis Ltd. Full bio HERE.
Welcoming the new senior team members to the company Roberto Solari, PhD, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder said:
“We are delighted to welcome Zahid, Richard and Francesco to the Myricx leadership team. As we progress our novel NMT inhibitors towards IND enabling studies and expand our proprietary pipeline of targeted cancer therapies for precision medicine their collective skills and experiences will be invaluable in strengthening our clinical development, biology and bioinformatics capabilities.”
Myricx is a start-up from two of the UK’s leading biomedical research organisations and is pursuing NMT inhibition in a variety of indications with an initial focus in oncology. The Company is exploiting novel breakthrough discoveries that are backed up with very high. quality chemistry. Myricx identified that inhibition of NMT results in specific cancer cell killing via an unexpected and unique mechanism. The Company has discovered that its NMT inhibitors are proving to be highly effective in the treatment of MYC-driven cancer models.
Notes to Editors:
About Myricx Pharma - www.myricxpharma.com
Myricx Pharma Ltd (“Myricx”) is a small molecule drug discovery company engaged in developing novel proprietary inhibitors of human N-myristoyltransferases (NMT), with a primary focus in oncology but also exploring potential applications across other diseases.
Myricx operates from the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst facility, UK, and was founded in 2019 based on discoveries made at Imperial College London and the Francis Crick Institute by its co-founders Prof Ed Tate, Dr Andrew Bell and Dr Roberto Solari. The Company has raised an initial £4.5million in seed investment from Sofinnova Partners and Brandon Capital Partners. Myricx has the rights to key NMT discoveries, and composition-of-matter and use patents of its scientific co-founders through exclusive license agreements with Imperial College London.
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Myristoylation is a lipid modification to a specific group of target proteins in a cell. It involves the attachment of myristic acid, a 14-carbon fatty acid, to a protein’s N-terminal glycine residue. This process is catalysed by the ubiquitous eukaryotic enzyme, N-myristoyltransferase (NMT), which uses myristoyl-coenzyme A (CoA) as a substrate.
Myristoylation is an irreversible change to proteins and plays a vital role in protein–protein interactions, targeting proteins to cytoplasmic and plasma membranes, and regulating cellular signalling pathways in several biological processes. It is also known to be involved in a range of diseases including cancer, inflammatory conditions, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
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