Ubiquigent Strengthens Team to Deliver Cutting Edge Drug Discovery Services
News Feb 25, 2016
Jason Mundin has joined the board as Commercial Director to drive the growth of Ubiquigent along with Jason Brown, founder and now Scientific Director and Mark Treherne, Executive Chairman. Laurence Ede also joins as a non-executive director to support the development of the company. John Harris has joined the Scientific Advisory Board to lead Ubiquigent’s new chemistry strategy. Ubiquigent also announced the launch of a new website to provide improved access to the Drug Discovery Services, Research Tools, Chemistry and expertise to support ubiquitin system-focused drug discovery and basic research programmes.
John Harris founded BioFocus, a highly successful preclinical stage contract research organisation (now part of Charles River). As interest in kinase inhibitors took off, he conceived the focused library as a fast track to clinical development candidates and designed a portfolio of small molecule libraries for screening, leading to many patents in the kinase and subsequently other areas. Now it is becoming increasingly clear that the small molecule modulation of other major cell signalling processes, such as protein ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation, possess the potential for further breakthroughs of similar therapeutic magnitude to kinase inhibition. Along with the major advances in the high-quality biological assays being developed by Ubiquigent, John believes that the stage is now set for a similar impact of focused medicinal chemistry targeting ubiquitin system proteins; starting at Ubiquigent with targeting deubiquitylase enzymes.
Laurence Ede is the former Managing Director and co-owner of Tocris Bioscience, where he gained significant experience within the life science industry. Following a Management Buyout in late 2006, Laurence focused on developing Tocris to be an increasingly significant player within the life science arena, which in turn led to the successful trade sale of the business to US buyer R&D Systems (Techne) in April 2011.
Jason Mundin began his career as a research scientist at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), before joining the team that founded Pharmagene Laboratories, which focused on drug discovery through the application of human-tissue-based approaches. While at Pharmagene, he transitioned to a commercial role, taking responsibility for business development activities in the UK, US and Japan. Following his time at Pharmagene Jason held a number of commercial positions within small and medium-sized biotech companies and latterly headed strategic alliances for the European Bioinformatics Institute, an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).
Ubiquigent’s Executive Chairman, Dr Mark Treherne commented: “I look forward to working closely with the strengthened Ubiquigent team that will drive the execution of the company’s strategy in this rapidly growing market. I particularly welcome the opportunity to work again alongside both John Harris, as a highly experienced medical chemist, and Jason Mundin, as commercial director. I also value Laurence Ede’s commercial acumen and drive, which will provide a new impetus to the board.”
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.