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Lectus Therapeutics appoints new chairman, strengthens main and advisory boards


Cambridge, UK, 10 September 2008: Lectus Therapeutics Ltd, the drug discovery and development company focusing on next-generation ion channel modulators, announced today that it had appointed Dr Edwin Moses, as Non-Executive Chairman and Professor Raymond G Hill as a non-executive director to the company’s main board. The company also announced that it had appointed Dr Chas Bountra, as Chairman, and Professor Annette Dolphin to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr Moses joins Lectus as Chairman of the company’s main board and replaces Dr Phil Gould who has chaired the company since inception in 2003 and is now standing down to pursue other business commitments. Dr Gould will remain on the main board as an independent non-executive director.

Dr Moses brings considerable experience at board level, where he has over the last 5 years been represented, primarily as Chairman, in over 15 European life science companies. During this time he has been involved in financing rounds totalling in excess of €300M, a series of M&A transactions as Chairman including the £316M sale of Oxford Asymmetry International to Evotec and the recent £95M sale of Clinphone to Parexel. In addition, Dr Moses has led two successful IPOs as CEO and two further IPOs as Chairman. Amongst other activities, he currently holds the position of Chairman of Ablynx and since 2006 has extended this role, on invitation by Ablynx’s Board, to include that of CEO where in November 2007 he led the largest ever biotech IPO on EuroNext.

Professor Raymond G Hill brings more than 30 years of scientific and commercial expertise and experience working within the neuroscience and pain fields. Until April 2008, Ray was Executive Director, Licensing and External Research (Europe), for Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories. During his career at Merck, Ray has also held the position of Executive Director, Pharmacology, at the Neuroscience Research Centre where he was involved in the project teams responsible for the marketed products Maxalt® and Emend®.

In line with the company’s principal focus on the discovery and development of first-in-class ion channel therapeutics, identified using its LEPTICS® technology, for pain management and related indications, the company has appointed Dr Chas Bountra, as Chairman, and Professor Annette Dolphin to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Chas Bountra replaces Professor Leslie Iversen who chaired the SAB since its first meeting in 2003 and was instrumental in helping to develop the business’s formative research strategy. He brings a wealth of experience following nearly 19 years at Glaxo, Glaxo Wellcome and GlaxoSmithKline, latterly as Vice President and Head of Biology. During this time Dr Bountra played a major role in identifying in excess of 40 drug candidates across a range of target classes for progression in neurodegenerative, gastro-intestinal and pain conditions. Professor Annette Dolphin, who is internationally recognized for her work on voltage-gated calcium channels, provides Lectus with world class expertise in the role of accessory proteins of ion channels.

Dr Roland Kozlowski, CEO of Lectus, commented on the appointments: “We are very pleased to appoint such experienced professionals to the business. These additions to the company’s main and Scientific Advisory Board are an important part of the company’s near and long term corporate and scientific strategies, and will help enable the business to fully exploit its commercial and scientific potential.”


-ENDS-


NOTES TO EDITORS

About Lectus Therapeutics and LEPTICS®

Lectus Therapeutics is an emerging UK-based drug-discovery and development company, incorporated in December 2002, specialising in the discovery and development of novel drugs for pain management and associated disorders. Lectus’s vision is to become a world leader in developing next-generation ion channel therapeutics. Lectus exploits the power of its proprietary functional proteomics platform, LEPTICS® (Leveraged Enabling Proteomics Technology for Ion Channel Screening), and builds on its knowledge of ion channels, to develop novel ion channel modulators that have the potential to offer important clinical and economic advantages over existing therapies.

Ion channels are proteins that control the flow of ions, such as sodium, calcium and potassium, into and out of mammalian cells. They are integral to muscle movement, nerve impulse transmission and cardiovascular function. Historically, drugs targeting ion channels have been very successful and still generate well in excess of $6 billion in global sales per annum. In recent years however, efforts at identifying novel ion channel therapeutics have focussed on targeting the pore forming domains of ion channels and despite billions of dollars spent in R&D, this approach has not yet yielded further significant clinical success. This is believed to be mainly because of the side effects associated with the lack of specificity of this approach. Lectus’ next-generation ion channel therapeutics, selectively targeting ion channel accessory proteins, are anticipated to have a significantly enhanced safety profile with resultant therapeutic and economic benefits.

About Dr Edwin Moses

After completing his post-doctoral research in Germany, Edwin began a commercial career with successful periods spent at Amersham International, Enzymatix and Raggio-Italgene. From 1993-2001 as CEO and then Chairman he was responsible for the growth of Oxford Asymmetry (OAI) through a series of venture rounds cumulating in a floatation (LSE) in 1998 at a value of €175M (£120M) followed by a sale of the company to Evotec Biosystems in 2000 for €460M (£316M). During this period, OAI grew from four people to over 250. Over the past five years Edwin has played an important role at Board level (primarily as Chairman) in over 15 European life science companies. During this time he has been involved in financing rounds totalling in excess of €200M, a series of M&A transactions and three IPO’s. In March 2006, Edwin accepted the offer by Ablynx’s Board to extend his role as Chairman to include that of Chief Executive Officer. Edwin has been Chairman of Ablynx since 2004.

About Professor Raymond G. Hill

Until April 2008, Professor Hill was Executive Director, Licensing and External Research, Europe for Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Dr. Hill has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years initially for Parke Davis then Smith Kline and French and, more recently (1990 - 2008), for Merck. As Executive Director, Pharmacology at the Neuroscience Research Centre at Merck, Ray chaired the Merck Analgesia Task Force, coordinating basic research worldwide and between 1997 and 2002 he had oversight responsibility for Neuroscience research at the Banyu Research Labs in Tsukuba, Japan. At Merck he chaired discovery project teams responsible for the marketed products Maxalt® and Emend®.

Dr. Hill is also currently a non-executive director of Addex Pharmaceuticals and of Orexo AB, Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Imperial College London, Visiting Industrial Professor of Pharmacology in the University of Bristol, Visiting Professor and Chairman of the External Advisory Board in the School of Biological and Health Sciences at the University of Surrey and Visiting Professor in Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Strathclyde. He is a Director and Trustee of the Babraham Institute, Cambridge. Dr Hill received BPharm and PhD degrees from the University of London and was elected to Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2005. He was a lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Bristol School of Medicine from 1974 to 1983. He is President-Elect and Chair of the Executive Committee of the British Pharmacological Society and a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.

About Dr Chas Bountra

Dr Chas Bountra has worked at Glaxo, Glaxo Wellcome and GlaxoSmithKline for nearly 19 years. In this period he played a major role in identifying in excess of 40 candidates for several target classes for progression in neurodegenerative, gastro-intestinal and pain conditions. As Vice President and Head of Biology he was involved in target identification and validation, lead optimisation and clinical POC design. Chas has played a major role in progressing Lotronex to the market for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and for progressing three different assets into Phase III for Chronic Inflammatory pain, IBS and Alzheimer’s disease. His group were also the first to identify the potential of neurokinin NK1 receptor antagonists as anti-emetics.

Chas has held Visiting Professorships in Neuroscience and Mental Health (Imperial College), and Translational Medicine (University of Oxford). His mechanistic interests are neuro-immune interaction, neuronal-hyper excitability experimental models in volunteers and patients, and preclinical-clinical translation.

Chas is now Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), at the Structural Genomics Consortium in Oxford. Here he is working with NIH, Pharma and academic groups to identify small molecule ligands for human proteins, establishing disease association, and working with leading investigators, and the Oxford research community to progress these into the clinic.

About Professor Annette C. Dolphin

Professor Annette C. Dolphin received her BA in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Oxford and her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. She held postdoctoral fellowships at the College de France in Paris, and at Yale University, before returning to a post at the National Institute for Medical Research. She then took up a lectureship at St. George's Hospital Medical School, London, and was appointed to the chair of Pharmacology at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, in 1990. Following the merger of this Department with the UCL Department in 1997, she moved to the UCL campus. She is internationally recognised for her work on voltage-gated calcium channels. She was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 1999. She has received several prizes including the Sandoz Prize of the British Pharmacological Society (1986), Pfizer Prize in Biology (1991) and the G.L. Brown Prize of the Physiological Society (1994). She is currently an Editor of Pharmacological Reviews.

For further information please contact:

Lectus Therapeutics Limited
Tel: +44 (0)1223 499050
Roland Kozlowski, CEO
Fax: +44 (0)1223 499055

College Hill, Life Sciences
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7457 2020
Adam Michael, Holly Griffiths, Benjamyn Tan
Email: lectus@collegehill.com


Publisher Contact Information:

Lectus Therapeutics Limited
+44 (0)1223 499050
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