World leading pioneer on drug discovery through open innovation, joins the stem cell disease model specialists
Cambridge, UK, 28 January 2016: Axol Bioscience, a biotechnology company specialising in the use of stem cell technology to manufacture disease relevant cell based assay systems for the drug discovery industry, today appointed Prof Chas Bountra to their Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Chas Bountra is recognised for his open access approach to drug discovery and has made several noteworthy contributions to the field. A pioneer in the identification and validation of numerous drug targets, he has formed a number of successful collaborations between the public and private sectors to implement more efficient strategies for drug discovery. Prof Bountra will aid Axol in building stronger links within this community and identify key areas where its primary and iPSC-derived human cells could help recognise relevant drug targets sooner and accelerate progress into development.
Chas Bountra currently heads one of Europe’s major academic drug discovery centres, the Structural Genomics Consortium and is Professor of Translational Medicine at Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, both based at the University of Oxford where he is also Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology. Current projects include using X-ray structures of novel proteins to generate small inhibitory molecules for drug target screening in human cells, with a particular focus on epigenetic and genetically-identified proteins. In addition, he is involved in translational studies for Alzheimer’s and rare diseases. Former Vice-President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline, Prof Bountra has worked at almost every stage of drug discovery and development and specialises in several therapeutic areas namely gastro-intestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases.
Prof Bountra, SAB Member, Axol Bioscience said, ‘We need innovation in terms of how we work together to discover drugs. This means working with pharma, biotech, academia, patient groups and regulatory bodies to help a drive this forward. Working with Axol will enable this network to grow and enhance our ability to achieve this.’ Dr Yichen Shi, CEO, Axol Biosciencecommented, ‘Prof Bountra has extensive experience in translational technologies and drug discovery. His approach to open and collaborative research is something we’re excited to be a part of and look forward to working with him to help develop efficient strategies for the identification of novel drug targets, drive invention and advance the discovery of new medicines.’