Life science company bolsters drug discovery expertise with key appointment

ValiRx, a life science company focused on early-stage cancer therapeutics and women's health, has bolstered its drug discovery and therapeutic expertise with the appointment of Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart as its Interim Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

With more than 20 years’ senior academic and industry leadership experience, Cathy joins ValiRx from drug discovery company C4X Discovery, where she was CSO and managed the project portfolio and research and development (R&D) strategy. Prior to this, she was Senior Director of Alliances for Takeda Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible the strategic development and management of academic alliances for the US, Australia, Japan, and Europe.

Cathy started her career at GlaxoSmithKline in R&D roles, before moving into academia where she built drug discovery portfolios through to Phase III clinical studies at several organisations including Imperial College London and the University of California. She has a Biological Sciences BSc (Hons) and a PhD in Clinical Sciences from University College London.

To date, Cathy has been involved in advising, evaluating, and carrying out due diligence on over 500 projects and has supported and facilitated the translation of over 40 therapeutic technologies from academia to the clinic.

In her role at ValiRx, Cathy will review new scientific developments, accelerate the progress of existing drug discovery projects, and influence the overall strategic scientific direction of the company by supporting the development of a robust portfolio of therapeutic projects from academia.

Of Cathy’s appointment, ValiRx CEO Dr Suzy Dilly, says: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Cathy, whose wealth of experience in many therapeutic areas including oncology, respiratory, inflammation and neurosciences make her the ideal fit for this role. Cathy’s in-depth knowledge of drug discovery and the translation of early research innovation into drug discovery programmes will be invaluable as we work together to share ideas and develop and deliver on ValiRx’s strategic ambitions.”

Cathy adds: “The team at ValiRx and I share the belief that there are many innovative projects in academia which - with the right industry expertise and funding - can be translated into important medicines for unmet need. The challenge lies in identifying the best projects and moving them forward effectively to reach value-creation milestones that will enable their progression towards patients. It is fantastic to be part of a company that is developing a strong portfolio of innovative, high-value, new medicines to the often-neglected area of women's health. My new role as CSO represents an exciting opportunity to use my knowledge to make a significant impact.”

Cathy is a member of ELRIG Scientific Advisory Board, the British Pharmacological Society, and on the Board of Trustees for Antibiotics Research UK, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Fellow of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS).

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