Southampton, UK – 1 January 2008 – Innovative pharmaceutical company Karus Therapeutics Ltd has today announced the appointment of Dr Stephen J Shuttleworth FRSC to the position of Chief Scientific Officer. Dr Shuttleworth brings substantial R&D management experience gained from major life-science companies on both sides of the Atlantic and will play a key part in Karus’s ongoing success.
Prior to joining Karus, Dr Shuttleworth was Head of New Projects Development at Cancer Research UK. From 2004 to 2006, he was Director of Chemistry/Oncology Program Leader at Piramed where he was responsible for the PI3 kinase program partnered with Genentech. Prior to this, he had established a strong track-record with high-caliber companies, including: Amgen (Tularik, San Francisco), Shire (Montreal, Canada) and Celltech-Chiroscience (Cambridge, UK).
Karus is developing new medicines to treat cancer and inflammatory disease. The company’s first programs are built on a new class of high-potency histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor known as OS-HDI. There is intense pharmaceutical industry interest in HDAC inhibitors, which can slow abnormal tumor-cell growth, cause tumor cell death and correct abnormal cell differentiation. Karus’s OS-HDI drugs are thought to be the most potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors known. They are highly selective for HDAC, have a distinctive efficacy profile and are well tolerated in vivo. Consequently, Karus believes that these compounds have best-in-class potential in the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disease.
Karus’s OS-HDI are expected to offer patients the promise of a potent and safer treatment for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Karus has two development programs, one in cancer and one in psoriasis and has initiated further programs in other disease areas, including rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplant rejection.
“We are delighted that Stephen has decided to join Karus” said Dr Simon Kerry, Chief Executive of Karus Therapeutics, “his expertise in lead optimization and drug development are essential for Karus’s continued development and growth”.
“I am looking forward to joining Karus at an exciting time in the company’s development” said Dr Stephen Shuttleworth, “Karus’s HDAC inhibitors potentially represent a major advance in this field and I am delighted to be able to participate in the program’s success”.
Karus was created in July 2005 to develop a new family of highly potent, optimized HDAC inhibitors that were identified at the University of Southampton and Cancer Research UK as part of collaborative research conducted between Professor Graham Packham, Dr Ganesan and Dr Paul Townsend.