11 December 2017, Cambridge, UK: STORM Therapeutics, the leading drug discovery company focused on the discovery of small molecule therapies modulating RNA epigenetics, today announced the appointment of both Professor Mark Dawson and Dr Paul Leeson to the Scientific Advisory Board.
Professor Mark Dawson is a clinician-scientist in the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology and Centre of Cancer Research at the University of Melbourne and has extensive experience in epigenetics, having spent many years researching epigenetic regulation of leukaemia stem cells. Mark’s research identified a new therapeutic strategy for acute myeloid leukaemia by targeting the BET bromodomain proteins that function as epigenetic readers, and helped set the platform for clinical trials with this first in class epigenetic therapy.
Dr Paul Leeson is a medicinal chemist with more than35 years’ experience of drug discovery and development in senior roles in several major pharmaceutical companies including Smith Kline and French, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Wyeth (USA), AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline.
These appointments will strengthen STORM’s advisory networks as it fulfils its ambition to become the leading therapeutics company in RNA epigenetic modulation.
CEO of STORM Therapeutics, Keith Blundy commented on the appointments: “STORM’S mission is to become a world leading therapeutics company, tackling diseases through modulating RNA modifying enzymes. Mark’s expertise in epigenetics research will be invaluable as we advance selected targets into drug discovery, along with Paul’s long standing experience in drug discovery and development at big pharma will help STORM maximise the potential of our pipeline and harness the power of RNA epigenetics as a new area of important biology.”
STORM has established a pipeline of drug discovery programmes to develop novel, first-in-class drugs for the treatment of specific cancers and other diseases with high unmet medical need.
For further information:
STORM Therapeutics Ltd
T: +44 (0)1223 804174
Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Hollie Vile
Tel: +44 203 714 1787
STORM Therapeutics is a University of Cambridge spin-out, translating the groundbreaking work of Professors Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska in RNA epigenetics into the discovery of first-in-class drugs in oncology and other diseases. It is the leading company currently tackling disease through modulating RNA modifying enzymes and is developing a unique platform to address these enzyme classes, including RNA methyltransferases. STORM is backed by blue chip investors Cambridge Innovation Capital, M Ventures, Pfizer Ventures and Touchstone Innovations, who share the founders’ ambitions to build a world-leading company in the field. The company raised its series A funding in June 2016 and occupies modern, well-equipped laboratories on the Babraham Research Campus near Cambridge, UK. For more information, please visit stormtherapeutics.com
Professor Mark Dawson
Professor Dawson is a clinician-scientist in the Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology and Centre of Cancer Research at the University of Melbourne. He is the program head of the Translational Haematology Program, Group leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory and Consultant Haematologist in the Department of Haematology. His research interest is studying epigenetic regulation in normal and malignant haematopoiesis. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. After completing his clinical training in Melbourne, Australia he was awarded the prestigious General Sir John Monash Fellowship and Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Fellowship, which he used to complete his PhD at the University of Cambridge. Following his PhD, he was awarded the inaugural Wellcome Trust Beit Prize Fellowship to pursue his research into epigenetic regulation of leukaemia stem cells. This research identified a new therapeutic strategy for acute myeloid leukaemia by targeting the BET bromodomain proteins that function as epigenetic readers. This work helped set the platform for clinical trials with this first in class epigenetic therapy. His research has been published in world leading journals including Nature, Cell, Science and New England Journal of Medicine. He is currently the Senior Research Fellow for the Leukaemia Foundation of Australia and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar.
Dr Paul Leeson
Paul Leeson is a medicinal chemist with >35 years’ experience of drug discovery and development in senior roles in several major pharmaceutical companies. While at Smith Kline and French, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Wyeth (USA), AstraZeneca, and GlaxoSmithKline, Paul contributed to numerous projects in the cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation therapy areas. His drug discovery contributions are documented in >160 publications and patents. Paul has given >60 invited presentations at national and international conferences. At AstraZeneca (1997-2011), Paul was head of medicinal chemistry at the Charnwood site, where his Department invented >40 candidate drugs, with one marketed. From 2002-9 he led AstraZeneca’s Global Chemistry Forum, which managed global activities in discovery and early process chemistry, and implemented improved practices in hit-to-lead, lead optimisation, prediction, synthesis and outsourced chemistry.
Since 2014 Paul has advised medium and large pharmaceutical companies, start-ups, and academia. He has a special interest in compound quality, which was recognised in 2014 by the receipt of the Nauta Award from the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC). Paul has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS). Since 2015 he is Honorary Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham.