- Dr Monika Ermann appointed Vice President Drug Discovery to advance Curve’s therapeutic programmes directed at challenging cancer targets
- Julian Downward (Francis Crick Institute) and Prof. Steven Benkovic (Penn State University) join the Scientific Advisory Board
- Relocation to bespoke laboratories and offices at Southampton Science Park
Southampton, UK, 2 May 2023 – Curve Therapeutics (Curve), a private biotechnology company pioneering a game-changing, functional drug discovery platform, today announces it has appointed Dr Monica Ermann as Vice President Drug Discovery and expanded its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with two highly distinguished scientists. Curve has also moved to new bespoke laboratory and office space on the Southampton Science Park to accommodate expansion of the company’s research team.
Dr Monika Ermann has more than two decades of experience in drug discovery and a strong track record of delivering innovative drug discovery programs from early stage through lead optimisation up to preclinical development. Monika joins Curve from Exscientia where she held the position of Director Chemical Biology. Prior to this Monika spent 20 years at Evotec where she led multiple hit to lead programs in a broad range of disease areas, including cancer, working with both major pharma partners and academic collaborators.
Simon Kerry, PhD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Curve Therapeutics, said: “We are delighted to welcome Monika to Curve. This appointment marks another important milestone for the Company as we expand our capabilities from the development of our Microcycle platform to the discovery of new drugs. Monika’s extensive expertise will be invaluable to the team as we continue to advance the outputs from our unique platform technology.”
Dr Monika Ermann, Vice President Drug Discovery of Curve Therapeutics, commented: “Curve’s technology platform is potentially game-changing in that it enables direct discovery of functionally active molecules against difficult to address drug targets expressed in their native intracellular environment. I look forward to working with the excellent team at Curve in the discovery and development of therapies that offer potential to make a real difference in the lives of patients with difficult-to-treat diseases.”
Curve has also expanded the SAB with key appointments. Professor Julian Downward of The Francis Crick Institute has over 35 years of research experience and is a world-renowned expert in Ras biology. Professor Steven Benkovic of Penn State University is highly regarded for his major contributions in Chemical Biology that have initiated and shaped the understanding of biological processes, including the production of cyclic peptides using Siclopps.
To facilitate Curve’s planned growth, the company has relocated its laboratories and offices to the prestigious Southampton Science Park. The new 8,000 sq. ft bespoke facilities will enable the company to expand its team from the current 18 to more than 50 scientists and management.
Professor Ali Tavassoli, Chief Scientific Officer of Curve, added: “We are honoured to welcome Julian and Steven to the Scientific Advisory Board; they bring a wealth of experience and knowledge which will help guide our research efforts. This is an exciting time for Curve, and with our new team members and relocation to state-of-the-art facilities, we are well positioned to build a pipeline of first-in-class small molecule drugs with the potential to transform the treatment of solid and haematological tumours.”
Curve’s novel, proprietary platform enables the direct discovery of biologically active molecules against targets that have been difficult to address using conventional drug discovery methods. The platform allows rapid enrichment of highly diverse Microcycle® libraries in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells to identify library members that have a desired biological activity against a therapeutic target. Importantly, the compact size of Microcycle® enables their transformation to non-peptidic small molecules for lead optimisation and development: an unparalleled advantage compared to other cyclic peptides.
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About Curve Therapeutics
Curve Therapeutics (Curve) is a private biotechnology company pioneering a game-changing, functional drug discovery platform to generate higher quality hits and leads with the aim of discovering first-in-class therapeutics. Curve originated from world-leading Microcycle® research conducted by Professor Tavassoli’s group in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. Curve has developed an IP-protected, mammalian cell platform technology for functional screening and enrichment of diverse hexameric cyclic peptide Microcycle® libraries to identify those library members that have the desired biological activity against a therapeutic target. Curve’s platform enables the discovery of biologically active molecules against targets that have evaded conventional drug discovery techniques. A key advantage of the technology is that both the library and the target are present in all of their native conformations within a cell. Uniquely, the compact size and rigid structure of Microcycle® enables the design of small molecule hits and leads. The platform can be used for a wide range of therapeutically relevant targets, including protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions and has been used by Curve to develop a pipeline of cancer programmes against targets including a dual HIF-1/HIF-2 inhibitor. Based in Southampton, Curve was established in 2019 by founding investor Advent Life Sciences and subsequently joined by Epidarex Capital. In 2022, the company announced a US$1.7bn global research collaboration with MSD the trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ USA, to discover and validate modulators of up to five therapeutic targets using its Microcycle® technology, initially for oncology and neurology indications. For more information visit: www.curvetx.com