Adrestia appoints Head of Chemistry and initiates multi-target partnership with Proteros to discover first-in-class drugs for intractable genetic diseases


  • Drug discovery leader Dr James Osborne brings strong track record of delivering drug candidates for oncology and CNS disorders

  • Proteros selected for its cutting-edge structure-based drug discovery engine

  • Signals new phase as Adrestia moves a portfolio of validated synthetic rescue targets into drug discovery for genetically defined neurologic and cardiomyopathic diseases

Adrestia Therapeutics, a leader in synthetic rescue therapies for genetic diseases, today announced the appointment of Dr James Osborne as Head of Chemistry and the initiation of a multi-target partnership with Proteros biostructures GmbH (Munich, Germany) to accelerate the discovery of first-in-class candidate drugs for intractable diseases.

“Throughout my career I’ve watched our industry design candidate drugs for targets that turned out to be inadequately validated," said Tom Heightman, Adrestia’s Chief Research and Development Officer. “Adrestia is different: our synthetic rescue platform is identifying novel targets that are highly validated by clinically relevant human cellular experiments with strong support from human genetics. Given our high conviction in these targets, we are applying parallel drug discovery strategies to maximize probability of success and accelerate timelines to IND. I’m thrilled to be working with James and Proteros – we’re poised to deliver some revolutionary new medicines.”

James Osborne is an accomplished drug discovery leader with experience in several successful biotech companies. He has led or been involved with the delivery of seven drug candidates across a range of target classes. In James’s most recent position he ran the medicinal chemistry function at Amphista Therapeutics. Prior to that he led small molecule discovery at GW Pharmaceuticals and held project and medicinal chemistry leadership roles at Astex and Charles River Labs. James started his drug discovery career at the Institute of Cancer Research. He holds an MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in organic synthesis from Nottingham University and completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Oxford.

"I’m really excited by the opportunity of Adrestia’s target portfolio,” said Dr. Osborne, “and I look forward to exploiting a range of modalities including small molecule and oligonucleotide chemistries. Our collaboration with Proteros allows us to apply sophisticated structure-guided drug design methodologies including crystallographic fragment screening, artificial intelligence and virtual library screening.”

 As a leader in structure-based drug discovery, Proteros enables Adrestia to accelerate its drug discovery activities by providing access to leading protein biochemistry, assay development and high throughput protein structure capabilities. “Adrestia’s carefully validated targets discovered through their unique platform and their disease applications are an inspiration to Proteros. We are delighted to support Adrestia in their accelerated drug discovery endeavors for a variety of complex targets to treat genetic diseases,” said Debora Konz Makino, VP Business Unit Discovery Solutions. The collaboration is already providing Adrestia with world-first protein crystal structures and is using both the Swiss Light Source (Villigen, Switzerland) and the Diamond Light Source, the UK's synchrotron facility, to enable rapid drug design.

Article sourced from: 
Published on: 25.10.22