NRG Therapeutics Appoints Vad Lazari Ph.D. as Vice President of Biology to Advance its Mitochondrial Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Disorders
● Vad Lazari Ph.D., appointed to newly created position of VP of Biology, based in Stevenage, UK
● Joins from Charles River and brings two decades of drug discovery experience including at Pfizer and BioFocus DPI
● Will be responsible for leading the biology to support NRG’s pipeline of potential first-in-class brain-penetrant small molecule inhibitors of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) as treatments for Parkinson's and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Stevenage, UK, 19 April 2023 – NRG Therapeutics, Ltd., an innovative neuroscience company targeting mitochondrial dysfunction, today announces the appointment of Vad Lazari Ph.D. who joins in the newly created position of VP of Biology, to be based in the Company’s facilities in Stevenage.
Reporting to NRG’s co-founder and CSO Richard Rutter Ph.D., and a member of the Company’s leadership team, Dr Lazari will be responsible for managing internal and external biology resources to advance the Company’s pre-clinical pipeline of small molecule assets which inhibit the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) through a novel mode of action (MOA).
Dr Lazari brings two decades of experience in R&D gained at Charles River, Pfizer, and BioFocus DPI. He joins from Charles River, where over his 10-year tenure he led projects and teams working across a wide range of therapeutic areas in both hit finding and compound optimization projects, including assay development, screening cascade design and biomarker development. Prior to joining Charles River, he worked in the New Opportunities Unit and Primary Pharmacology Group at Pfizer in Kent, UK. His earlier scientific career included periods at BioFocus DPI and in Veterinary Medicine Discovery Biology at Pfizer Animal Health. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Brunel University and a PhD in molecular parasitology from the University of Liverpool.
NRG Therapeutics’ co-founder and CEO Neil Miller Ph.D. said, “I am delighted to welcome Vad to our team. This is our second senior appointment in 2023, following the arrival of Gilles Ouvry as our VP of Chemistry earlier in the year and underlines NRG’s maturation following its series A financing of £16m in late 2022. Working closely with our scientific team led by Professor Seth Masters at WEHI in Australia and our external CRO partners, Vad and Gilles are focused on progressing two promising chemical series of potential first-in-class brain-penetrant, small molecule mPTP inhibitors in parallel as potential treatments for Parkinson’s and ALS (also known as motor neurone disease or MND).”
Mitochondria are the powerhouses or batteries of cells and therefore are essential for maintaining cell health. There is a substantial body of evidence demonstrating mitochondrial failure or dysfunction is common across many neurodegenerative disorders.
Vad Lazari Ph.D., VP of Biology at NRG Therapeutics said, “NRG’s ground-breaking discoveries pointing to the role of the mPTP in neurodegenerative diseases has enabled the discovery of small molecule mitochondrial therapeutics targeting the pore. It’s a very exciting time to be joining the Company as it focuses on pre-clinical candidate selection and progression into IND-enabling studies.”
NRG Therapeutics operates a semi-virtual business model, with R&D teams based at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), UK and at the WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research) in Melbourne, Australia, and outsourced R&D partners including Domainex, Evotec and Pharmaron.
About NRG Therapeutics – http://www.nrgtherapeutics.com
NRG Therapeutics is a neuroscience drug discovery company building a pipeline of disease-modifying mitochondrial therapeutics to slow or halt the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND).
The company’s pre-clinical pipeline of small molecule assets is based on inhibiting the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) through a novel mechanism of action. Inhibition of the mPTP has been shown to protect neurones, reduce neuroinflammation and extend survival in pre-clinical disease models.
Based at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), UK, NRG Therapeutics is a private company with equity investment from Parkinson’s UK, Omega Funds and Brandon Capital. The company has also received grant funding from The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Innovate UK (Biomedical Catalyst Award), and is the industrial partner for a FightMND Drug Discovery grant awarded to WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research).
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