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7 Jan 2014

Blend Therapeuti?cs Appoints Richard Wooster, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer

Blend Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company discovering new classes of medicines to treat cancer, has appointed pharmaceutical industry veteran Richard Wooster, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer. 


Dr Wooster will be responsible for leading the company’s research and development strategy and clinical operations as its lead drug candidates focused on oncology advance toward clinical development.


"We are extremely pleased that Richard has joined our team to lead the discovery and development of Blend's innovative drug candidates, which in the near term are focused on the treatment of cancer — an area of Richard’s core expertise," said Mark Iwicki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blend Therapeutics. "His extensive leadership, strategic and technical experience at the highest levels in cancer genetics and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development will be a great asset to the company to drive innovation and our partnering activities. Richard’s impact from the discovery of mutations in BRCA2 and BRAF, passion to develop personalised medicines, and innovation in drug discovery align perfectly with Blend’s objectives.”


Blend is translating its novel, integrated new molecule discovery engine and nanoparticle engineering platform into a pipeline of therapeutics with differentiated properties for oncology and other disease areas.


"I am thrilled to be leading Blend’s research and development at this exciting time in the company’s growth, and I look forward to advancing Blend’s lead compounds to the clinic,” said Richard Wooster, Ph.D, Chief Scientific Officer of Blend Therapeutics. "We have an opportunity to develop innovative and highly targeted therapeutics that can change how cancer and other serious diseases are treated."

Prior to joining Blend, Dr Wooster was Vice President and Head of the Cancer Metabolism Discovery Performance Unit in Oncology at GlaxoSmithKline. In this role he led the evaluation of the metabolic pathways that are deregulated in cancer, led the PI3K portfolio of inhibitors in Oncology at GSK and was responsible for the clinical evaluation of the novel antimitotic kinase inhibitors to PLK and CENPE. Before this we led the translational medicine group in Oncology at GSK and worked on Tykerb, Mekinist and Tafinlar. During his academic career he discovered the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA2, was one of the founders of the Cancer Genome Project at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute where, among many achievements, mutations in BRAF were first discovered and he developed the COSMIC mutation database and web site. He has more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and papers in scientific journals, including Nature, Nature Genetics and Science. Richard has a First Class BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in drug metabolizing enzymes both from the University of Dundee, Scotland.

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