PRESS RELEASE: Establishment of IOTA Pharmaceuticals

Establishment of IOTA Pharmaceuticals, a new Fragment-based Drug Discovery Company, with Research Centres in Cambridge (UK), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), and Ahmedabad (India)

CAMBRIDGE, England, September 25, 2007 -- The formation of a new drug discovery company, IOTA Pharmaceuticals, is announced. Centred on fragment- based drug design, IOTA offers pharmaceutical clients a range of new tools and technologies for drug discovery and lead optimization. 

IOTA's founder investors are experienced pharmaceutical discovery scientists. Dr Paul England, head of IOTA's screening activities, led Smith- Kline's high-throughput screening operation and was one of the senior executives at the Californian biotechnology company Aurora Biosciences. Dr Susan Boyd, leading IOTA's computational chemistry, has worked in computational chemistry teams at Pfizer, Celltech and Scynexis and continues to consult for the pharmaceutical industry. Dr Iwan de Esch, based at the VU University in Amsterdam, brings expertise in medicinal chemistry and structure- and fragment-based drug discovery.

These scientists are backed by an experienced commercial team, led by Dr David Bailey, who previously headed up Pfizer's Molecular Sciences Department in Sandwich, UK, and Incyte Pharmaceuticals' European HQ in Cambridge. David is supported by Sunil and Prashant Shah, co-founders of several Cambridge and Far East start-ups, including Oxygen Healthcare, a chemistry company based in Gujarat, India.

This experienced founding group is joined as an investor by the VU University, Amsterdam, a world-leading academic centre of excellence in the Health Sciences. Since its formation in the 1960s, research in the medicinal chemistry department at the VU has focused on the molecular aspects of pharmacology, drug design and chemical synthesis, developing state-of-the-art technologies to discover new chemical entities with potential in human healthcare.

More information on IOTA Pharmaceuticals and its FBDD platforms can be found at