Expansion to encompass RNA interference (RNAi) as a new therapeutic modality and the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)
Oxford, UK, 28th May 2020: e-therapeutics plc (AIM: ETX.L, “e-therapeutics” or “the Company”) today announces its expansion into RNA interference (RNAi) as a therapeutic modality to pursue drug discovery outcomes and the creation of a Scientific Advisory Board headed by Dr Paul Burke.
e-therapeutics has a unique computational approach to drug discovery. Its Network-driven Drug Discovery (NDD) platform leverages its machine learning-enhanced database of over 15 million small molecule compounds to perform functional in silico phenotypic screens. In addition, its Genome-Associated Interactions Network (GAINs) proprietary platform enables the Company to distil actionable outcomes from complex genomic datasets. GAINs outputs are well suited to genetic medicine approaches as therapeutic interventions. As such, RNAi is an area that the Company plans to explore to harness computational drug discovery outcomes, both internally and in partnership with collaborators.
In addition, the Company has appointed Dr Paul Burke, Principal of Burke Bioventures LLC , as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr Burke will work with the Company to appoint additional international advisors of the highest calibre to its newly formed SAB. Experience of SAB members will include genetics, computational approaches to drug discovery and deep drug development expertise, across small molecules and RNAi.
Dr Burke brings over two decades of biopharmaceutical industry experience across a broad range of therapeutic modalities. Paul was the founding head of Pfizer’s global Center of Excellence for targeted drug delivery and imaging and Chief Technology Officer of its oligonucleotide therapeutics unit. Prior to that, he was Executive Director, RNA Therapeutics at Merck & Co. Paul previously built a decade-long career at Amgen, most recently serving as Executive Director, Pharmaceutics. Dr Burke received his BSc in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College and his PhD in Biological Chemistry from MIT, and is currently Affiliate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Washington .
Dr Paul Burke commented: ” I am excited by the potential of e-therapeutics’ platform technologies to critically inform the drug discovery process in a way that can generate not only novel small molecule candidates, but also those that are based on RNA, an important, emerging therapeutic modality. I look forward to working with the company to build a high calibre scientific advisory board that can provide meaningful insight and guidance to help them achieve their strategic and commercial goals.”
Ali Mortazavi, Executive Chairman, said: “We are delighted to be working closely with Paul as we maximise the applicability of our computational technologies across therapeutic areas to transform the drug discovery process. RNAi is a key modality that is well suited to our business and in particular to translate our learnings from GAINs outcomes into targeted therapeutic strategies. Paul’s expertise, together with that embedded in the organisation, positions the Company well to explore RNAi as part of our growth.”
e-therapeutics is an Oxford, UK-based company with a unique and powerful computer-based approach to drug discovery, founded on our industry-leading expertise in network biology.
We have created two proprietary, unique and productive technologies. The first is Network-driven Drug Discovery (“NDD”), which is based on cutting-edge network science, statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. NDD allows the more efficient discovery of new and better drugs and has been validated in multiple and diverse areas of biology.
The second is Genome Associated Interaction Networks (“GAINs”). GAINs is a revolutionary and entirely novel approach to functional genomics, based on the same validated network biology and analytics expertise that underpins our NDD technologies. GAINs analyses human genetic data to provide a deep and valuable understanding of the mechanisms that cause disease. GAINs has the potential to uncover unrecognised disease processes and pathways and can enable the discovery of novel drugs, diagnostics and biomarkers in a way not previously possible from population genomics data, such as genome-wide association studies (“GWAS”).
We have deployed our highly productive drug discovery platform technologies to develop our own IP-protected, pre-clinical drug discovery programmes that are available to partners seeking to acquire or in-license novel and differentiated assets.
We have partnerships with Novo Nordisk in Type-2 diabetes and a US-based, top 5 pharmaceutical company in neurodegeneration. We are working on different types of collaborative partnerships with biotech, pharma and other technology companies to create sustainable mutual value.