Cambridge, UK, 4 September 2017. Artios Pharma Ltd., a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company developing innovative new treatments for cancer, today announces the appointment of Dr Graeme Smith as its Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).
Graeme has more than 25 years’ experience in oncology research, with significant expertise and in-depth knowledge in the field of DDR. In particular, he was co-inventor of Lynparza™ (olaparib), an approved treatment for advanced ovarian cancer and the first DDR targeted product to reach the market.
Graeme joins Artios from AstraZeneca, where he held the position of Senior Director of Bioscience within the Oncology Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED) division and where he was responsible for leading a group of approximately 100 researchers in target validation and the discovery and development of novel anti-cancer agents. Previously, he was Research Director at KuDOS Pharmaceuticals where he played a key role in the discovery and development of several key DDR inhibitors, including olaparib. Graeme gained his PhD from the University of Edinburgh and subsequently worked as a Research Fellow at the Wellcome/CRC Institute at the University of Cambridge in the laboratory of Professor Steve Jackson, FRS.
As CSO at Artios, Graeme will play an important role in driving the Company’s pipeline of first-in-class DDR targeted programmes to the clinic, including its lead programme against the DNA polymerase Pol Theta (PolƟ). Furthermore, his extensive academic and industrial DDR network will support Artios in identifying new pipeline opportunities to further establish the Company as a leader in the field of DDR.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Artios Pharma, said: “We are delighted to welcome Graeme to our management team as Chief Scientific Officer. His in-depth experience of DDR drug discovery in both large pharma and biotech will significantly help Artios as we continue to build a pipeline of highly innovative DDR programmes. With a proven team now strengthened even further, an exciting product pipeline in development, key collaborations in the field of DNA repair, and a strong investor base, Artios is leading the development of next generation DDR targeted cancer therapies.”
Dr Graeme Smith, Chief Scientific Officer at Artios Pharma, said: “DNA Damage Response is a fast-growing area within cancer drug discovery and development and I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with Artios, a company entirely focussed on developing highly innovative and exciting new DDR treatments. I look forward to joining the Artios management team to help deliver its vision of establishing DDR therapies as part of the standard of care for the treatment of cancer in the future.”
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)1223 804180
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 focused 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, including through a unique partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and with leading DNA repair researchers worldwide. 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 Research Campus in Cambridge, UK.
About DNA Damage Response (DDR)
DNA Damage occurs in cells throughout the body every day. To counteract the harmful effects that DNA damage can cause, the human body possesses a network of DNA repair pathways, which act to correct the damage. This process is known as the DNA Damage Response (DDR). Defects in the body’s DDR can lead to an increased risk of cancer. Human cells have multiple DNA repair pathways, but in cancer cells, some of these pathways are lost, which result in genetic instability. Changes to DNA repair pathways can also drive the growth of tumours. By inhibiting DDR in cancer cells that have impaired repair pathways, scientists can selectively kill cancerous cells. DDR inhibitors, therefore, have the potential to act as: single agents that selectively kill tumour cells through synthetic lethality; adjunctive therapy to overcome resistance to current cytotoxics, and potentiating agents to radiotherapy and novel therapies including immune-oncology treatments.