CellCentric expands team to push forward to IND

Posted on February 9th 2016

CellCentric is developing proprietary anti-cancer compounds that target androgen receptor (AR) regulation. These hold promise for castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) as well as other cancers. As the company moves towards Candidate selection and IND qualification, CellCentric is expanding its team for future activities.

Dr Nigel Brooks is joining CellCentric as Director of Translational Science. He has a distinguished track record over 20 years, taking compounds from lead optimisation through to Phase I/II clinical trials, mostly at AstraZeneca. Notably he oversaw the discovery of AZD3514, an androgen receptor down regulator programme, and the development of an AR anti-sense oligonucleotide, both in to Phase I. Nigel was also the lead of the AstraZeneca Urology Disease Area Team that had oversight of the discovery, development and commercial strategies for prostate and bladder cancer. Nigel currently holds a senior leadership role at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, where he will maintain ties.

Additionally, Dr Martin Page joins the team as a consultant, helping shape CellCentric’s discovery and clinical activities. Martin has over 30 years experience in Oncology R&D within pharmaceutical and Biotech companies, holding senior management positions. These include European Oncology Therapeutic Area Head for Glaxo-Wellcome, and Global Head of Oncology Research for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals where Martin was Vice President and responsible for the small molecule and biologic pipelines across Europe and USA.

CellCentric has also renewed its consultancy relationship with Prof Karen Knudsen, Director of the NCI-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and Chair, Department of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. Karen serves on multiple national boards and committees associated with both basic and clinical research, including several for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Endocrine Society, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Dr Will West, Executive Chairman commented ‘CellCentric is well placed to move forward with a highly focused and experienced leadership team. Targeting the androgen receptor pathway remains a key area of interest in addressing cancer, not only for prostate, but potentially other indications also. Attracting individuals of the calibre of Nigel, Martin and Karen is a strong endorsement of our efforts.’

CellCentric operates as a small highly experienced core team, overseeing operations with multiple contract research organisations (CROs). It is a highly capital efficient model which is becoming increasingly common, to efficiently create clinical and commercial value. The company’s Board consists of Reenie McCarthy (Morningside Venture Investments), Dr Neil Pegg (Research Director) and Dr Will West (Executive Chairman).