Cambridge, Tuesday, 17 September 2013: Cambridge, UK, based biotech company XO1 Ltd has appointed Dr Richard Mason as Chief Executive Officer. Dr Mason will join the company from BTG plc, where he is currently Head of Business Development and Strategy.
"We are delighted to have Richard lead the company" said Dr David Grainger, of Index Ventures, Chairman of the XO1 Board. "It is a testament to the huge potential of ichorcumab, our lead programme, that we have been able to attract such a talented and experienced executive team."
Ichorcumab is a monoclonal antibody against thrombin exosite 1 that may offer the potential to deliver anticoagulation in the absence of bleeding side-effects. It is based on a naturally-occurring antibody found in a single patient who attended Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, in 2008 and is currently in early development for prevention of heart attack and stroke, with the first clinical studies planned for 2015.
"I am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges associated with drug development in such an important area of medicine" said Dr Mason. XO1 Ltd was founded early in 2013 by Index Ventures as a single asset virtual development company, using out-sourced drug development service providers to advance its programme into the clinic.
A number of global though-leaders in anticoagulation have also joined the Scientific Advisory Board of the company, co-chaired by Professor Jim Huntington and Dr Trevor Baglin, the company's scientific founders.
Professor Richard Lawn began his research career by joining in the first characterization of isolated human genomic clones while at CalTech. He then served as a Senior Scientist at Genentech, where one of the projects he led was the isolation and study of the human factor VIII gene and the production of the recombinant protein for the treatment of hemophilia. His research and drug discovery in the fields of thrombosis and cardiovascular disease continued as a Professor of Medicine at Stanford and Vice President, Discovery Research at CV Therapeutics.
Professor Jeff Weitz, Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, and Director of the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton, and Professor Harry Buller, Professor of Medicine at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands, both specialize in clinical trials examining optimal methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of clotting disorders.
Professor Ken Mann, a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Vermont, Burlington, USA, received a Special Recognition Award from the American Heart Association in 2008 for his pioneering work on the mechanisms of blood coagulation.
Professor J. Evan Sadler is Director of the Division of Hematology, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He investigates the pathophysiology of hemorrhagic and thrombotic diseases including von Willebrand disease and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
Dr Ander Cohen is a consultant physician at King's College Hospital, London, and an internationally-recognized expert on the use of anticoagulants to prevent thromboembolism.
Dr Peter DiBattiste (Janssen) and Dr John Lepore (GSK) will also serve on the XO1 Scientific Advisory Board contributing development, as well as scientific, expertise to the company. GSK and Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation, the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, are limited partners in the Index Ventures fund that invested $11million in XO1 Ltd in June 2013.
"All the key thought-leaders in cardiovascular medicine recognize the potential for ichorcumab to deliver a step change in clinical outcomes for millions of patients, and we are delighted to have their insight and expertise guiding us as we move forward" said Professor Huntington, ahead of chairing the first Scientific Advisory Board Meeting in Boston, MA, in October.
About XO1 Ltd
XO1 is a virtual, single-asset drug development company founded in 2013 to develop ichorcumab, an antibody that prevents blood coagulation without causing bleeding. Ichorcumab is based on naturally occurring antibodies found in a single patient who attended Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK, in 2008.
XO1 completed a Series A investment round, led by Index Ventures, in June 2013, having raised in excess of $11million to fund the development of ichorcumab. Current financing will support the first clinical trial for ichorcumab, scheduled for 2015.
As a virtual company, XO1 advances the development of its asset through carefully selected partnerships with out-sourced drug development service providers.
For further information, please contact:
David Grainger (Interim CEO) +44 7515 565616
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading global venture capital firm active in technology and biotechnology venture investing since 1996. In the life sciences field, Index invests in companies with disruptive platform technologies capable of growing into global leaders. It has also pioneered the "asset-centric" investment model, focused on investing in single assets with the potential to be first or best in class.
In March 2012, Index launched its first fund dedicated to life sciences. The $200 million fund includes investment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the venture capital affiliate of the Janssen pharmaceutical companies, part of Johnson & Johnson.
About the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge's mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Cambridge's reputation for excellence is known internationally and reflects the scholastic achievements of its academics and students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by its staff. Some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs occurred at the University, including the splitting of the atom, invention of the jet engine and the discoveries of stem cells, plate tectonics, pulsars and the structure of DNA. From Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking, the University has nurtured some of history's greatest minds and has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other institution with 89 laureates.
About Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH)
CUH is one of the largest and best-known hospitals in the United Kingdom. As well as delivering care through Addenbrooke's and the Rosie, it is also:
· a leading national centre for specialist treatment for rare or complex conditions
· a government-designated biomedical research centre
· one of only five academic health science centres in the UK
· a university teaching hospital with a worldwide reputation
· a partner in the development of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus
· CUH's vision is to be one of the best academic healthcare organisation in the world.