Drug discovery movers: who’s going where? 

The new year is underway and with it comes a raft of movement within some of the industry’s key businesses. DDW’s Megan Thomas rounds up seven new additions to the sector. 

Dr Charles Woler (Sygnature Discovery, UK) 

Sygnature Discovery, provider of drug discovery solutions, has appointed Dr Charles Woler as Chairman. Dr Woler has held multiple key roles in the sector, including CEO at Roche France, Executive Chairman for Europe at SmithKline Beecham, and CEO at Cadus Pharmaceutical in the US.   

Dr Woler said: “Sygnature has a reputation for delivering quality scientific work with a culture that enables very effective communication and collaboration, plus a track record of developing compounds into the clinic. I believe it is a company that is going places, and I look forward to playing a part in fulfilling its vast potential at such an exciting time in the world of drug discovery.” 

Hendrik Nogai (Ryvu Therapeutics, Poland) 

Ryvu Therapeutics, a clinical-stage drug discovery and development company, has appointed Hendrik Nogai to the role of Chief Medical Officer effective February 1, 2022. Dr. Nogai is a doctor in Hematology/Oncology as well as in Internal Medicine, with almost 10 years of experience in patient care and basic research in different academic settings. His most recent role was Vice President, Global Development Leader NTRK programme. 

“I am truly honoured to join the incredible team at Ryvu during such a high growth time — it is an exciting opportunity to advance Ryvu’s clinical pipeline and to propel an already productive discovery platform to generate important new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer,” commented Dr Nogai. 

Nancy Van Osselaer, Paul van der Horst and Rafal Kamiński (OncoArendi Therapeutics, Poland) 

OncoArendi Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company, has appointed Nancy Van Osselaer, Paul van der Horst and Rafal Kamiński to its Supervisory Board. These appointments bring international experience to the company across all stages of drug development as well as in finance and business development. 

Marcin Szumowski, Co-founder and CEO, said: “We are pleased to welcome Nancy, Paul and Rafal as new members to the Supervisory Board. Together, they bring a deep understanding of medicine and extensive global experience in drug and business development. The breadth of knowledge Nancy and Rafal have gained in working at leading science-driven companies and Paul’s broad experience as a senior business executive and successful track record of business transactions will be invaluable as we plan to advance our portfolio of innovative assets targeting both protein and mRNA targets.” 

Robert Paul (Nine Square Therapeutics, US) 

Nine Square Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, has appointed Robert Paul as its Chief Executive Officer. Dr Paul has more than two decades of experience in medical neurology and biotechnology industry leadership. Since 2016, he has served as Chief Medical Officer of Alector. 

“Nine Square Therapeutics is tackling known, high-value biological targets using unexploited modalities in an unprecedented and highly promising way. I am greatly impressed by the rigour and originality of the company’s approach; the sophistication of its marriage of computational techniques and state-of-the-art microscopic imaging; and the caliber of the team,” Dr Paul said. “I am excited about the great progress I’ve observed to date and the tremendous potential for the future of Nine Square and the patients we seek to serve.” 

Chris Kirton (DefiniGEN, UK)

DefiniGEN has appointed Dr Chris Kirton as Chief Executive Officer. Dr Kirton has more than 16 years of operational experience and joined DefiniGEN as Chief Operating Officer in June 2020. The appointment has been described as key for DefiniGEN as they expand the service portfolio to encompass compound screening.

Dr Kirton said: “It is an absolute privilege to be granted the opportunity to support the amazing team at DefiniGEN as their CEO. DefiniGEN have established themselves as a market leader in the provision of wild-type and disease models of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived hepatocytes via a combination of in-house gene-editing expertise and the patented Opti-DIFF process for hepatocyte differentiation.”

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