Skip to content

Artios Strengthens Management Team with the Appointment of Dr Simon Boulton as Vice President Science Strategy

| Press release

Artios Pharma Ltd

(“Artios” or “the Company”)

Strengthened Management Team with the Appointment of Dr Simon Boulton as Vice President Science Strategy

 Cambridge, UK, 2 November 2016. Artios Pharma Ltd., a newly launched private company focussed on developing novel cancer treatments targeting the DNA Damage Response (DDR), today announces it has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Dr Simon Boulton as Vice President (VP) Science Strategy.

Simon is an award-winning British scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in London who has made important contributions over the past 20 years to the understanding of DNA repair and the treatment of cancer resulting from DNA damage. As a result of his ground-breaking work, Simon has received a number of prestigious accolades, notably the EMBO Gold Medal and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. In addition to his current role at the Francis Crick Institute, Simon is an honorary Professor at University College London, an elected member of EMBO and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He has given numerous prize lectures, including the Royal Society Francis Crick Prize lecture and the Mendel Lecture. Simon established the DNA Damage Response group at Cancer Research UK’s Clare Hall laboratory, which became part of the Francis Crick Institute in April 2015.

As VP Science Strategy at Artios, Simon will play an important role in assisting the business development team in the identification and evaluation of new pipeline opportunities from the global academic and industrial DDR network. Simon will also provide scientific leadership and support to the ongoing development of the two lead DDR programmes that Artios has in-licensed from Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the development and commercialisation arm of CRUK, one of which originated from Simon’s research group while based at Clare Hall laboratory.

Simon will join the newly formed leadership team at Artios Pharma, alongside his current and principal position as Senior Group Leader at the newly formed Francis Crick Institute, London. He will work together with Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer; Dr Nick Staples, Chief Business Officer; Andrew Muncey, Chief Financial Officer; Dr Peter Harris, Chief Medical Officer and Dr Harry Finch, Medicinal Chemist at Artios. This management team combines a strong track record of product discovery and development in the DDR field together with considerable transactional and operational experience in rapidly growing companies.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Artios Pharma, said: “Following our recent successful £25 million fundraise and subsequent launch of Artios as a new company focussed on developing new DDR targeted cancer therapies, we are delighted to welcome Dr Simon Boulton to our management team. Simon brings with him considerable DDR experience and a wealth of contacts and knowledge in the field, all of which will be invaluable as we continue to build a pipeline of first-in-class DDR programmes and establish Artios as a leading player in the DDR field.”

Simon Boulton, VP Science Strategy at Artios Pharma, said: “I have dedicated my career to the DNA repair field and believe there are many new and exciting opportunities to exploit our knowledge of DNA repair pathways to develop novel inhibitors to tackle cancers. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Artios, a company specialising in DNA Damage Response and passionate about developing novel treatments for cancer. I look forward to working with Niall and the rest of the team to build and deliver a pipeline of novel programmes that we hope will benefit the lives of cancer patients 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)12 2380 4180

artios-pharma_simon-boulton_finalConsilium Strategic Communications

Mary-Jane Elliott, Lindsey Neville, Melissa Gardiner

Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700



About Artios Pharma Ltd.

Artios is a leading independent 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, including through a unique partnership with Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the development and commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and with leading DNA repair researchers worldwide. The Company’s investors include SV Life Sciences, Merck Ventures, Imperial 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 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.

Artios Pharma’s Management Team

Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer

Niall has extensive experience in the DDR field and in cancer therapeutics in general, both in small companies and pharma. Prior to joining Artios, Niall was a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at MISSION Therapeutics, a company focussed on the commercialisation of expert research into ubiquitin pathways for the treatment of cancers and other diseases. During his time at MISSION, Niall helped establish the deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) inhibitor platform, and raise more than £80 million in Series A and B financings.

Prior to that, Niall worked as Head of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, UK (a subsidiary of AstraZeneca) from 2008 to 2010, delivering a number of DDR projects into the AstraZeneca oncology pipeline, including ATR and ATM.  Niall also previously held the role of Director of Drug Discovery, where he established the drug-screening capabilities that underpinned all KuDOS drug discovery programmes. Niall’s most notable achievement was establishing KuDOS’ programme against the DDR target PARP, which resulted in the discovery and development of Lynparza™ (olaparib), the first PARP inhibitor to market.

Niall also worked in thrombosis research at Fournier (Dijon, France) and in non-lipid cardiovascular research at Zeneca. He gained his PhD in Zoology from Aberdeen University.

Dr Nick Staples, Chief Business Officer

Nick has more than 20 years’ industry experience in life sciences, healthcare and capital markets worldwide. He was involved in working with SV Life Sciences to establish Artios and was responsible for the strategic agreements with CRT.

As a corporate and business development professional, Nick has led a range of international transactions and strategic projects including M&A, fundraising (more than £100 million to date), licensing, divestments and new business ventures. In addition to his role at Artios, Nick currently provides corporate and business development consultancy to TopiVert Pharma Ltd, another venture capital backed biotech company.

His previous positions include senior corporate and business development roles at Vectura, SSL International (acquired by Reckitt Benckiser in 2010) and Protherics (acquired by BTG in 2008). He was also formerly a life sciences equity analyst at WestLB Panmure and a management consultant in life sciences at PA Consulting. Nick gained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.

Andrew Muncey, Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary

Andrew brings over 30 years’ experience in finance and management to Artios.  He previously served as Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of Acacia Pharma, and Chief Executive Officer of Amura Therapeutics. Andrew has been Chief Financial Officer or Finance Director of several healthcare companies, including MISSION Therapeutics, Bicycle Therapeutics, Kymab, and Virttu Biologics.

Andrew has raised significant amounts of equity and debt funding, including $250 million in private equity, and has completed many acquisitions, disposals and restructuring deals in the healthcare market. He has over 15 years’ corporate finance and capital markets experience from PricewaterhouseCoopers and UBS.

Dr Peter Harris, Chief Medical Officer

Peter has considerable experience in the development of cancer treatments, including DDR programmes, particularly their translation to the clinic.

Prior to joining Artios, Peter served as Vice President Oncology and Renal Medicine and Site Head for Genzyme Europe Research, with global responsibility for oncology translational research. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer at Algeta (acquired by Bayer AG in 2013) where he initiated the successful global registration study of Xofigo, formerly alpharadin, the first approved alpha-emitter to market.

Peter was previously Development Director at KuDOS Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge UK, where he was responsible for the preclinical and clinical development of DDR modifiers including Lynparza™ (olaparib).  He also served as Head of Medical Affairs and chair of the global clinical operations group at ICI Pharmaceuticals (now AstraZeneca). After his BSc (Hons) at UCL, Peter gained his medical qualifications at the University of London.

Dr Harry Finch, Medicinal Chemist

Harry is working with Artios as an independent consultant to oversee all chemistry activities on behalf of Artios, on an interim basis, and he also serves on the Artios Board as a director.

Harry has a proven track record in drug discovery and development within the pharmaceutical industry. He has worked across a broad range of therapeutic areas including oncology and has notable expertise in respiratory medicine, where he most notably co-invented GSK’s successful asthma drug salmeterol (Serevent™).

He is currently an independent consultant working with a number of small biotech companies and investors, primarily in the oncology field. Alongside his board role at Artios, he is also a non-executive director of Pulmocide Therapeutics and C4X Discovery Holdings.

Harry previously worked at several biotechnology companies in the UK including Ribotargets, Vernalis, Argenta and Pulmagen Therapeutics, following a distinguished career in pharma which included Roche and Ciba-Geigy AG (now Novartis AG), and GlaxoWellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) where he latterly became Director of Chemistry. Harry gained his PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Manchester.