Pfizer-to-Bicycle migration continues with Phil Jeffrey appointment

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Jeffrey is one of four people who have taken similar paths to Bicycle. (Pixabay)

Bicycle Therapeutics has named Phil Jeffrey as its SVP of preclinical development. The appointment adds another set of footprints on the well-trodden path from GlaxoSmithKline to Pfizer to Bicycle. 

Jeffrey spent almost four years at Pfizer—where he served as head of translational research for the rare disease research unit—before leaving to work as an independent consultant in the summer of 2017. Before joining Pfizer, Jeffrey spent five years at GSK, where he held senior medicinal chemistry and translational discovery roles at its immuno-inflammation and immune epigenetics units. 

At Bicycle, Jeffrey will apply this experience to the discovery and advancement of candidates based on bicyclic peptides, small, chemically-synthesized molecules that can be conjugated to toxins, used to target innate immune activators or designed to modulate T cells. 

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“Phil brings a wealth of experience in drug discovery and development,” Bicycle CEO Kevin Lee said in a statement. “He has wide expertise in drug discovery from lead optimization through to the clinic, across multiple disease areas and modalities. We ... believe his deep knowledge will be a huge asset as we continue to grow our pipeline.”

Lee is one of four other people, including Jeffrey, who have taken similar paths to Bicycle. Jeffrey and Lee crossed paths around the start of the decade at GSK, where the now Bicycle CEO led an epigenetic research unit. Lee left for Pfizer in 2012 to serve as CSO of orphan and genetic diseases. Two years later, Jeffrey took up his translational research post at Pfizer. 

Both careers intertwined with those of Bicycle’s COO and CMO, Michael Skynner and Maria Koehler. Like Jeffrey and Lee, Skynner and Koehler both worked at GSK around a decade ago before moving on to take positions at Pfizer.