Heptares Chief Scientific Officer and Founder Fiona Marshall Receives Prestigious UK "Women of Outstanding Achievement Award"

WELWYN GARDEN CITY, England and BOSTON, November 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Heptares Therapeutics, the leading GPCR drug discovery company, is delighted to announce that its Chief Scientific Officer and founder, Fiona Marshall, has received a 2012 Women of Outstanding Achievement Award from WISE, a UK national campaign to promote female talent in science, engineering, technology and the built environment. Dr Marshall received the award in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship category in recognition of her academic and industry achievements as well as her positive contributions in attracting women to the life sciences area.

Dr Marshall received her award from Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal at the prestigious WISE Awards held yesterday at The Institution of Technology and Engineering in London, UK.

"I'm very grateful to receive this award. I have seen Heptares grow from just two of us in a portacabin to a world-leading biotech company with more than 60 scientists, including women from around the world, working in chemistry, crystallography, biochemistry and pharmacology. It has been wonderful to work with so many talented young scientists." commented Dr Marshall. "This team is central to Heptares' leadership in the GPCR field, solving the structures of clinically important GPCRs and leveraging this structural insight to discover and design exciting new drug candidates. Heptares today has a substantial pipeline of unique agents in development for treating serious diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, chronic insomnia, addiction disorders, migraine and diabetes, as well as partnerships with multiple leading pharmaceutical companies."

Malcolm Weir, Heptares' CEO, added: "Fiona is an exceptional scientist and on behalf of all of us at Heptares, we congratulate her on receiving this award in recognition of her work; it is very well deserved."


Dr Marshall received a BSc in biochemistry from Bath University and a PhD in neuroscience from Cambridge University. She has more than 20 years' experience in drug discovery with particular expertise on GPCRs, is inventor of seven patents and author of over 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers in the area of GPCRs. Her work has contributed to the development of drugs for asthma, schizophrenia, heart disease and Parkinson's disease.

Dr Marshall set up Heptares Therapeutics, one of the UK's leading biotechnology companies, with Malcolm Weir in 2006. She now leads a team of 60 scientists at Heptares, which is pioneering a structure-based drug design approach to GPCRs and building a broad pipeline of novel medicines to transform the treatment of serious diseases. Heptares has established drug R&D collaborations with Shire, Takeda, AstraZeneca and Medimmune.

Before Heptares, Dr Marshall spent 12 years at GlaxoWellcome/GlaxoSmithKline where she held a number of senior positions including Head of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Head of GPCR research. She was Director of Discovery Pharmacology, Europe for Millennium Pharmaceuticals and then spent several years as an independent consultant to a variety of venture capital and biotech companies. She was chair of the BBSRC biochemistry and cell biology committee for three years and is currently Chair of the CRUK Drug Discovery Committee and Vice-chair of the Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Committee.

A short video clip can be seen by clicking here.

About the Awards

The Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards celebrate women who are creating change, making discoveries, innovating processes, establishing new ventures and helping the UK excel in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). They are presented by WISE, a UK national campaign to promote female talent in science, engineering, technology and the built environment.

WISE provides training and consultancy to schools, colleges, business and industry to help them attract, retain and develop the potential of women studying and working in the fields of science, engineering, technology and the built environment. Find out more at http://www.wisecampaign.org.uk or ring +44-(0)1274-724-009.

About Heptares Therapeutics

Heptares discovers and develops new medicines targeting GPCRs (Gprotein-coupled receptors), a super-family of drug targets linked to a wide range of human diseases.  Our pharmaceutical partners include Shire, AstraZeneca, MedImmune and Takeda, and we are backed by MVM Life Science Partners, Clarus Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund and Takeda Ventures.

Heptares is pioneering the application of structure-based drug design to the GPCR superfamily of targets and is focused on creating molecules that modulate high-value, yet historically undruggable or challenging, GPCRs.  Our platform incorporates proprietary technologies for engineering stabilised GPCRs in their natural pharmacological conformations, identifying previously unknown chemistries for GPCR protein-drug interactions, and deploying advanced fragment-based approaches to GPCR target space for the first time.

Using this approach, we have generated a broad pipeline of drug candidates for the treatment of serious disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, depression, chronic insomnia, addiction disorders, migraine and diabetes.  For more information about Heptares, please visit http://www.heptares.com.

SOURCE Heptares Therapeutics

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