OMass Therapeutics Expands its Senior Leadership Team
OMass Therapeutics (“OMass”), a biotechnology company using structural mass spectrometry to discover novel medicines, today announced the expansion of its senior leadership team with the appointments of Dr Ali Jazayeri as Chief Scientific Officer; Dr Giles Brown, VP, Medicinal Chemistry; and Dr Hsin Loke, VP, Head of Finance and Strategy. These appointments come shortly after the completion of a £14 million Series A financing from Syncona Ltd and Oxford Sciences Innovation.
OMass is developing novel medicines using its suite of proprietary technologies based on high-resolution mass spectrometry of intact protein assemblies. The technology enables detection of drug leads that not only bind to the target complex, but also exert a functional effect through modulation of complex formation. These platforms are being applied to drug discovery for a variety of complex targets, including membrane receptors, addressing severe unmet medical needs.
Dr Edward Hodgkin, Executive Chairman, OMass Therapeutics said:
"Having recently re-launched OMass as a drug development business, we are delighted to announce the appointment of three experienced pharmaceutical leaders, who complement the technology expertise of the founders of OMass. Ali is a highly-experienced leader of therapeutic discovery teams, with a strong track record of applying technology innovation to drug development at Heptares. Giles and Hsin join us from Heptares and GSK, respectively, and complete the leadership team we need to build the company’s discovery pipeline.”
Dr Ali Jazayeri, Chief Scientific Officer, OMass Therapeutics commented on behalf of the expanded team:
“We are excited to be joining OMass at this transformational stage in the company’s development. I’m impressed by the company’s powerful and unique structural mass spectrometry platform, and we look forward to working as a team to build a pipeline of differentiated, innovative medicines.”
Dr Ali Jazayeri was previously Chief Technology Officer of Heptares Therapeutics. He joined the company in 2007 and as one of the first scientists he was involved in the transfer of the receptor stabilisation (StaR®) technology from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology to Heptares. Following successful implementation and industrialisation of the original technology, he led the development of novel methodologies that significantly increased the efficiency and reach of the StaR® technology. Prior to Heptares, Ali worked as a post-doctoral scientist in Clare Hall Laboratories (a Cancer Research UK institute) and Kudos Pharmaceuticals where he carried out research on the role of cell cycle checkpoint kinases in DNA damage response pathways. He has a BSc in Genetics from University of Manchester and obtained his PhD in molecular biology with Prof Steve Jackson at the Gurdon Institute from University of Cambridge.
Dr Giles Brown also joins OMass from Heptares Therapeutics where he held the position as Head of Medicinal Chemistry. He joined the company in 2010 to help develop their structural biology platform as a new approach to structure-based drug design and lead identification for GPCRs. He was promoted to Director of Chemistry in 2015 and Head of Medicinal Chemistry in early 2018. Prior to that he worked for Cambridge BioTechnology (which was acquired by BioVitrum in 2005) as a Medicinal Chemistry Team Leader to help establish the chemistry team and advance the internal pipeline. Previously he worked for Evotec OAI, as a Senior Scientist, a role he took on after completing a two-year postdoctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania in synthetic chemistry. Giles obtained a BSc and PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Bristol and an MBA from Henley Business School at the University of Reading.
Dr Hsin Loke joined OMass Therapeutics from GSK where she spent 16 years in a variety of leadership roles, most recently leading Finance, Strategy and Operations for the Company’s Rare Diseases Unit, which developed and commercialised a portfolio of innovative medicines, including gene therapies. Prior to this, Hsin led Strategy and Operations for GSK’s biopharmaceuticals platform, and has held roles within an internal consulting group, commercial finance and internal audit. Hsin qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PwC, and completed her BA (Hons) in Biological Sciences and D.Phil. in genetics and immunology at Oxford University.