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Optibrium hires former Novartis ace


Optibrium, a Cambridge UK developer of software for drug discovery, has continued significant expansion of its R & D and operational teams with a key hire.

Dr Peter Hunt joins the medical technology business as director of computational chemistry, as part of further growth across all areas of the business.

The success is built on a growing, global customer base for Optibrium’s flagship product StarDrop™ within the pharmaceutical industry and its adoption in other chemistry fields including agrochemicals and cosmetics.

Optibrium has also recently extended its product portfolio with the introduction of Asteris™, an iPad app that enables researchers to rapidly evaluate new compound ideas when and where they want.

Reflecting the growth in the business, Optibrium has expanded its R & D and operational teams to further accelerate the rate of product innovation and support its rapidly growing customer base. This has required the company to extend its facilities by 50 per cent, less than two years after its last office expansion.

Hunt joins Optibrium from Novartis, where he was group leader, Computer Aided Drug Discovery (CADD). He has over 25 years of experience in drug discovery, both in industry and academic research, having previously been CADD group leader at Merck and the 3D Centre in Australia.

He will provide leadership on research efforts relating to Optibrium’s software and the EU funded HeCaToS project, and his extensive drug discovery experience will further support users of Optibrium’s software platforms.

Hunt said: “I am thrilled to be joining Optibrium and contributing to the development of the StarDrop product and the research into hepatic and cardiac toxicity estimation funded through the EU.

“Having been a user of StarDrop for several years, I have been impressed by the usability and intuitive nature of the software and hope to build on this as we bring new features to StarDrop and Optibrium’s growing product portfolio.”

CEO Dr Matthew Segall, said the team had maintained “an impressive rate of innovation over the last five years as we expanded our customer base worldwide.

“The continued growth of Optibrium is a result of the team’s hard work and together we look forward to developing new solutions that will help scientists to improve the efficiency and productivity of drug discovery.”