Albumedix has announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to provide governance, oversight and advice to Albumedix’s R&D organization as it builds and develops its pipeline of proprietary and differentiated drugs. The SAB, chaired by Dr. John Westwick, includes distinguished individuals with deep relevant experience in science and pharmaceutical medicine. It will form a key strategic resource for the company, bringing unique perspectives and additional expertise to guide internal drug development programmes.
Dr. Westwick will be joined by Dr. Gary Patou, Executive Partner, MPM Capital and Chief Medical Officer for various portfolio companies; Dr. Jennifer Sims, Founder and Managing Director, Integrated Biologiix GmbH; and Professor Inger Sandlie of the University of Oslo.
“The establishment of the SAB is part of Albumedix’s on-going strategy of advancing our albumin-based drug delivery platform to support the development of improved biotherapeutics,” comments Dr. Giles Campion, Chief Medical Officer at Albumedix. “Pipeline building and development requires a combination of rigorous science, efficient processes, sound strategic choices and commercial acumen. The members of the SAB encompass all these needs in abundance and I look forward to receiving their advice and input as we build a sustainable and valued portfolio of drug candidates based on our expertise in albumin.”
Chairing the Albumedix SAB will be Dr. John Westwick; “I am delighted to have been asked to chair Albumedix’s SAB,” commented Dr. John Westwick. “The diverse expertise of the group will provide Albumedix with broad scientific perspectives, guiding the company in its development efforts to advance albumin-based therapies to the clinic.”
Members of Albumedix SAB include:
As chair of the SAB, Dr. John Westwick gained his PhD in pharmacology at the University of London and was one of the founding investigators in the biology of chemokines and co-discoverer of interleukin-8. Previously he has lead Novartis’ Respiratory Disease Area, overseeing five global launches and 13 positive proof of concepts in the clinic. Since 2013, Dr. Westwick has been a visiting Professor at Imperial College London. In addition to being a member of several SABs for global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, he has authored 180 papers in pharmacology and immunology and has received multiple awards for his contributions to the industry.
Dr. Patou gained his medical degree and medical PhD in molecular virology at University College London. Following posts in both clinical medicine and medical microbiology, he joined the pharmaceutical industry working as Head of Virology at Vernalis. Dr. Patou then went on to lead project management at SmithKlineBeecham, before taking on the role of President at Genesoft. He is currently Executive Partner at MPM Capital. As well as sourcing and qualifying investment opportunities, he acts as CMO for a number of designated portfolio companies and has lead several regulatory filings and approvals.
Dr. Sims gained her PhD in the Clinical Pharmacology Group, University of Southampton UK, and pursued postdoctoral research in pharmacokinetics and toxicology. She went on to work as an Expert Preclinical Assessor at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before joining the pharmaceutical industry with roles of increasing seniority at Novartis and AstraZeneca / MedImmume. Dr. Sims is currently Managing Director of Integrated Biologix GmbH. She has led multiple technical expert working groups and was a member of the International Conference on Harmonisation Exert Working Group for ICHS6 – Preclinical Safety Evaluation of Biotechnology Derived Pharmaceuticals. Dr Sims has supported many successful clinical trial approvals and marketing authorizations for biopharmaceuticals.
Inger Sandlie is Professor in the Department of Biosciences. at Oslo University (UiO) and Holds a position as researcher at Oslo University Hospital. Her research has contributed to the founding of two biotechnology companies in Oslo and the establishment of new technology in companies outside of Norway. She is currently an advisor to several biotechnology companies in Norway, the UK and the USA. Albumedix has worked with UiO and Professor Sandlie for many years. Her group’s understanding that animal albumins have different affinities for FcRn opened the way to a collaboration which identified the important contact points between albumin and FcRn; a model for the interaction of albumin:FcRn; the identification of amino acid substitutions which modulate the affinity of albumin for FcRn and hence improve the pharmacokinetics of albumin and drugs conjugated or fused to the modified albumins.