Cambridge, UK, [26 January 2016]: Phico Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a novel platform technology for a new generation of antibiotics aimed at overcoming antibacterial resistance, announces that it has appointed Dr. Nicki Thompson as its Chief Business Officer.
As CBO for Phico, Nicki brings over 20 years' experience and a solid track record of successful delivery in pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D and partnering.
Nicki joins Phico from F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, where she held the position of VP and Global Head of External Drug Discovery. In this role, Nicki built Roche's first external discovery team and pipeline, leveraging innovative partnership models with biotech and entrepreneurs including Roche's partnership with Spero Therapeutics, targeting drug resistant bacterial infections.
Heather Fairhead, Chief Executive Officer of Phico Therapeutics, said: "Nicki's discovery, business development and leadership expertise brings a unique perspective and a complementary set of skills to the Phico team as it focuses on advancing Phico's unique SASPject™ antibacterial platform. We are delighted that she will be joining the Phico team at this important point in our development."
Nicki Thompson commented: "Phico is a company with a unique and very promising approach to the global challenge of antibacterial resistance; I'm really excited by the scientific innovation at the company and look forward to working with the rest of the team."
Nicki previously worked as a Senior Director, Business Development for GSK's Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (Ceedd), where she was responsible for search and evaluation strategy and deal execution for the Ceedd, delivering assets into the GSK pipeline via external partnerships.
Nicki has also served on executive management teams for biotechnology companies. As Head of Drug Discovery for Syntaxin Ltd., she shaped Syntaxin's discovery team and led development of its novel recombinant botulinum neurotoxin pipeline, delivering candidate molecules into the development portfolio of Allergan. She holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (UCL).
For further information contact:
Phico Therapeutics, Heather Fairhead: +44 (0)1223 496562
Consilium Strategic Communications, Jessica Hodgson, Mary-Jane Elliott, Chris Gardner: +44 (0)203 709 5000
Notes for editors:
About Phico Therapeutics:
Phico Therapeutics, founded in Cambridge by Dr Heather Fairhead, is built around the SASPject™ platform, which utilises a unique anti-bacterial protein, SASP, which targets and deactivates bacterial DNA stopping bacteria from metabolising or reproducing. Phico has raised almost £19M from business angels, high net-worth individuals, and the Wellcome Trust and Government grants. Phico's goal is to advance the science of antibacterial therapy to help overcome the problem of bacterial resistance.
SASPject™ delivers pan-spectrum anti-bacterial proteins called small acid-soluble spore proteins, or SASPs, to selected bacterial species using targetable nano-delivery vehicles (NDVs). SASPject™ works by injecting a gene that encodes SASP directly into the targeted bacteria. The injected gene then produces SASPs, which bind to bacterial DNA and inactivate it. SASPs "turn off" DNA so the targeted bacterial cell cannot metabolise or reproduce. The immune system can then remove the bacteria from the body.
SASPs bind to all bacterial DNA, irrespective of the sequence of that DNA. Spontaneous mutations in DNA, or the import of new DNA that gives new characteristics to the bacterial cell, are key ways in which bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics. Neither of these strategies affects the ability of SASP to bind to and inactivate bacterial DNA.