Scientific Advisory Board

Sosei Heptares is fortunate to work with leading experts from the pharmaceutical industry and academia, providing advice ranging from science and technology through drug design and development to commercialization strategies.

Richard is a molecular biologist and biophysicist who is distinguished for his contributions to protein crystallography. Richard was the first to solve the structure of a protein found in the membrane of a cell.

Using X-rays to analyse bacteriorhodopsin, a light-harvesting protein found in tiny microbes, Richard discovered that it was composed of helices. Then, in collaboration with neuroscientist Nigel Urwin, he uncovered the three-dimensional arrangement of the helices within the bacterial membrane by electron microscopy — pioneering the powerful technique’s use to study biological molecules. Their model was published in the journal Nature in 1975.

Richard has worked at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge since 1973, and was its Director from 1996–2006. He was a founding scientist of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation. His awards include the 1999 Gregori Aminoff Prize, the 1993 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine and the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.

Chris obtained his PhD from the University of Bristol (1989) and then moved to the University of Cambridge (Dept of Biochemistry) to work on a unique 10-helix sugar transporter, RhaT. After obtaining a research fellowship at Girton College (Cambridge) he moved to the LMB to work in Richard Henderson's group on the serotonin transporter where he showed the role of N-glycosylation and the chaperone calnexin was important for protein folding. Chris then worked on the E. coli multidrug transporter EmrE and obtained both 2D and 3D crystals as well as a 3D crystal structure using cryo-EM. In 2005 he started working on the development of conformational thermostabilization of GPCRs, which resulted in the structure of the b1-adrenoceptor. Subsequent work has focused on understanding the molecular basis of GPCR pharmacology through structure determination of the b1-adrenoceptor and adenosine A2A receptor in multiple different conformations bound to ligands of different efficacy. In 2016 the Tate lab developed mini-G proteins as a tool for the structure determination of GPCRs in the fully active state. Structures have been determined either by X-ray crystallography of receptors coupled to either mini-Gs or mini-Go, or by electron cryo-microscopy of receptors coupled to the mini G protein bound to bg subunits.

He was a founding scientist of Heptares Therapeutics Ltd, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group Corporation.

Paul is a medicinal chemist with more than 35 years’ experience in major pharmaceutical companies. His industrial career began at Smith Kline and French Research Laboratories (now GlaxoSmithKline), and has taken him to Merck Sharp and Dohme, then to Wyeth (USA), and from 1997-2011, AstraZeneca, where he was head of medicinal chemistry at the Charnwood site and leader of AstraZeneca’s Global Chemistry Forum.  Since 2011 he has been a consultant for GlaxoSmithKline. 

Paul’s drug discovery contributions have been in the cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation therapy areas and he has a special interest in compound quality in relation to pipeline attrition.  In 2014 he received the Nauta Award for Pharmacochemistry from the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC).

Roberto is a Visiting Professor within the Infection in Airway Disease research group, Respiratory Infections section within the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, where he is focused on the discovery of novel targets to allow the development of anti-viral drugs against human Rhinovirus.

Previously, he worked at Glaxo (now GlaxoSmithKline), which he joined in 1986, and worked on inflammation and allergy drug discovery. He has since held a number of research posts in industry working from target discovery through to human clinical trials. Most recently, he was Vice President in the Respiratory Therapy Area at GSK leading a group working on the discovery of novel asthma drugs.

Roberto has also been involved with the creation of UK companies such as Astex Pharmaceuticals, Lorantis, Chroma Therapeutics and Heptares Therapeutics.

Elliot is the Chief Medical Officer of Expansion Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on advancing transformative medicines to patients with RNA-mediated disease, and Venture Partner at 5AM Ventures. He is formerly Executive Vice President of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer at Alkermes plc, with responsibility for the discovery, delivery science, research and development, project management and medical affairs functions. Prior to joining Alkermes in 2000, Elliot spent seven years at Merck & Co. Inc., overseeing the successful clinical development and registration of novel pharmaceuticals.

Elliot is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and has had numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Aileron Therapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company.

BS, University of Rochester, in Chemistry with High Distinction, 1973

PhD, Columbia University, in Organic Chemistry, 1978

Fellow, Department Of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1979

In 1979, after doctoral studies with Professor Gilbert Stork, Columbia University, and a postdoctoral fellowship with Professor Barry Trost, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Peter joined the Medicinal Chemistry Department of ICI Pharmaceuticals in Wilmington, DE. He worked there 31 years, continuing through its spin-off as Zeneca Pharmaceuticals and its merger with Astra Pharmaceuticals to form AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. Following his retirement in 2010 he established PhaRmaB LLC as a platform for providing consulting and mentoring in drug discovery and development.

Peter has worked at developing treatments to many different diseases, through multiple mechanisms of action, and has had more than 10 compounds advance into development. Early in his career he initiated, and worked on, ICI’s leukotriene antagonist project. During this effort he co-invented and helped develop Accolate™, the first leukotriene antagonist to be approved in the US. After developing and out-licensing a back-up, ZD3523, he moved onto inhibitors of human neutrophil elastase. Two compounds from those efforts, ZD8321 and ZD0892, entered clinical development. Since then he has worked on, or led, chemistry teams targeting: neurokinin antagonists, β-estrogen agonists, γ-secretase inhibitors, H3 antagonists, 5-HT1B antagonists and dual NET/DAT reuptake inhibitors. In the area of neurokinin antagonists he led the chemistry teams working on dual NK1/NK2 antagonists for pulmonary disease [ZD6021 and ZD2249] and selective NK1 antagonists for CNS indications [ZD4974]. Towards the end of his time at AstraZeneca, he led the preclinical 5-HT1B-antagonist [AZD3783] and the H3-antagonist [AZD5213] programs.

Peter is an author on greater than 200 scientific papers, presentations, and patents. He is active as a consultant, editor, and board member. He currently holds appointments as: Digests Editor, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters; Member, ISC Advisory Panel, Harrington Discovery Institute; and Affiliated Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware. He was the Chair of the 2004 Gordon Research Conference on Med Chem, Chair of the 17th Tetrahedron Symposium [2016], served 6 years on the ACS MEDI executive committee, 8 years as Member and Chair of the Carothers Award Committee of the Delaware Section ACS and 9 years on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Keystone Symposia. At AstraZeneca, in addition to managerial duties, he progressed up the Scientific Ladder to the position of Senior Principal Scientist.

After his retirement he was chosen as the “Distinguished Lecturer” for the 2010 AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award Symposium. In 2011 he was named to the ACS Division of Medicinal Chemistry Hall of Fame and in 2018 he was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Andreas has been Full Professor at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Zürich since 1993. His pioneering scientific work on protein engineering has made him one of the most highly cited scientists in this field and his work has been honored by a number of international awards. He studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) and received his graduate education at the University of California San Diego, where he obtained a PhD in 1982 in the group of Prof. Edward Dennis. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department of Harvard University (1982-1985), before becoming group leader at the Genzentrum and Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie in Martinsried, Germany (1985-1993). His work on synthetic antibodies and directed evolution led to the co-founding of MorphoSys (1992), a leading antibody company in Munich. His work on alternative scaffolds led to the co-founding of Molecular Partners (2004), a leading Swiss biotech company. His work on engineering and evolving G-protein coupled receptors led to the co-founding of G7 Therapeutics in Zürich (2014), which then become Sosei Heptares Zürich.