- Prof. Frances Balkwill, OBE FMedSci, and Dr. David Morris join Inflazome’s Scientific Advisory Board
- Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of UCB, appointed to Inflazome’s Board of Directors
Dublin (IE), Cambridge (UK) | 28 November 2017: Inflazome Ltd, the biotech company developing small molecule drugs that stop harmful inflammation, today announces the appointment of three leading scientific, industry & clinical experts to its Scientific Advisory Board and Board of Directors.
Prof. Frances Balkwill, OBE, FMedSci, a scientific expert in cancer biology joins Inflazome’s Scientific Advisory Board from Queen Mary University of London, where she leads the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation. With a clinical, scientific background and extensive operational experience, Dr. David Morris also joins the Scientific Advisory Board from Novartis Venture Fund. Furthermore, Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of global biopharma company UCB, based in Brussels, Belgium, has been appointed to Inflazome’s Board of Directors as an Independent Director, following a distinguished career in Novartis.
Dr. Matt Cooper, Co-founder and CEO of Inflazome Ltd, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome these renowned and accomplished experts to Inflazome. Prof. Balkwill’s knowledge of translating cancer biology and its links to inflammation will progress the development of anti-inflammatory drugs in the field of oncology. Dr. Morris’s and Dr. Patel’s experience and guidance will be instrumental as we transition Inflazome’s research programmes into clinical development and expand our pipeline of novel inflammasome inhibitors. These appointments significantly augment Inflazome’s senior advisory team and their contributions will help us towards achieving our mission; improving lives by delivering new medicines that stop harmful inflammation.”
Prof. Frances Balkwill, OBE FMedSci, commented: “I’m excited to join Inflazome’s Scientific Advisory Board and contribute to their outstanding scientific underpinnings. Understanding the role inflammasomes play in driving tumour progression could deliver innovative cancer therapies from Inflazome’s portfolio of potent and selective NLRP3 inhibitors.”
Dr. David Morris, Novartis Venture Fund, commented: “Inflazome is attacking harmful inflammation which causes many of our most challenging medical conditions today. I‘m pleased to join the Scientific Advisory Board to help steer the company forward to develop potential new and necessary treatments for patients.”
Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, UCB, commented: “I’m excited to join Inflazome’s Board of Directors to help guide Inflazome’s pipeline of drugs that target aberrant, innate immune system activation. The company has an advanced portfolio of potent drug leads and drug candidates, led by an accomplished management team with a wide range of expertise and capabilities.”
About Prof. Frances Balkwill
Prof. Frances Balkwill OBE FMedSci is Professor of Cancer Biology at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London where she leads the Centre for Cancer and Inflammation. She studies the links between cancer and inflammation, with a special interest in translating knowledge of cancer biology into new biological treatments for cancer, the role that inflammatory cytokines play in cancer promotion and novel ways of modelling the human tumour microenvironment. Prof. Balkwill runs a research centre of approximately 30 scientists, postgraduate students and clinicians. She is an author on 250+ scientific papers and reviews and has written and edited a number of academic books on her subject. In 2006, she was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and has served on its Council.
About Dr. David Morris
Dr. Morris joined Novartis in Basel in 2009 and has held multiple positions within the organization including the Development Franchise head for Respiratory and Primary Care. His team were responsible for the clinical development, regulatory approvals and lifecycle management of multiple Novartis medications including new treatments for serious respiratory diseases (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary hypertension) and diabetes. He also held overall responsibility for global clinical operations, quantitative sciences, digital innovation, development informatics, and global clinical research capabilities development for Novartis Global Drug Development. In September 2016, he transitioned to the Novartis Venture Fund to leverage his basic and clinical scientific background and operational experience to better speed the discovery and development of new medicines by working closely with external entrepreneurs and venture backed start-ups.
About Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel
Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel joins Inflazome as an Independent Director on the Board of Directors. Dr Patel brings extensive experience in drug discovery in industry. During a 10 year career in Novartis, he led Research in Europe and the Autoimmunity, Transplantation and Inflammation Disease Area which contributed to the registration of several leading drugs in multiple indications. Dr Patel has most recently been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, UCB, the global biopharmaceutical company.
Members of Inflazome’s Board of Directors include:
• Dr. Manus Rogan, Chair, Managing Partner, Fountain Healthcare Partners
• Dr. Matt Cooper, Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer
• Florent Gros, Managing Director, Novartis Venture Fund
• Prof. Luke O’Neill, Co-founder & Chief Scientific Officer
• Dr. Dhavalkumar Patel, Independent Director
Members of Inflazome’s Scientific Advisory Board include:
• Prof. Luke O’Neill, Trinity College Dublin
• Dr. Douglas Golenbock, University of Massachusetts Medical School
• Prof. Veit Hornung, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
• Prof. Mihai G. Netea, Nijmegen University
• Prof. Frances Balkwill, Queen Mary University of London
• Dr. David Morris, Novartis Venture Fund
Utilising the scientific expertise of our founders and advisors, Inflazome is leading the way in developing orally available drugs to address clinical unmet needs in inflammatory diseases by targeting the inflammasome, which is now thought to drive many chronic inflammatory conditions.
Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Inflazome was founded by leading academics Prof. Matt Cooper, The University of Queensland (Australia) and Prof. Luke O’Neill Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), following a highly productive joint collaboration. inflazome.com
Founding investors are Fountain Healthcare Partners (Dublin, Ireland) and Novartis Venture Fund (Basel, Switzerland).
About Fountain Healthcare Partners
Fountain Healthcare Partners is a life science focused venture capital fund with €176 million ($200 million) under management. Within the life science sector, specific areas of interest to Fountain include specialty pharma, medical devices, biotechnology and diagnostics. The firm deploys the majority of its capital in Europe, with the balance in the United States. Fountain’s main office is in Dublin, Ireland, with a second office in New York. fh-partners.com
About The Novartis Venture Fund
The Novartis Venture Fund (NVF) manages over $700 million in committed capital. NVF invests in companies that have the potential to change a core therapeutic field or explore new business areas that will be critical to patient care. NVF’s primary interest is in the development of novel therapeutics and platforms as well as medical devices, diagnostics, and delivery systems. The Funds invest for financial objectives at all stages, but prefers to invest in the early-stages of company development. With investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA the team has extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D and venture capital. nvfund.com