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13 January, 2022 - 11:59 By Tony Quested

Bicycle Therapeutics bolsters management team

NASDAQ-quoted life sciences innovator Bicycle Therapeutics has expanded its management team as its cancer technology suite gathers pace.

Chief operating officer Michael Skynner has been appointed to the newly created position of chief technology officer. He will focus on leading and overseeing the growth of Bicycle’s proprietary phage display discovery platform in oncology, as well as on creating innovative opportunities for the platform outside of the cancer segment.

Dr Skynner joined the company in January 2016 as vice-president, Operations and Discovery and had served as COO since March 2018. 

Alistair Milnes, who has served as the company’s VP, Human Resources and Communications since January 2021, has assumed the COO role. He previously led human resources and communications at multinational energy and mineral companies. Both Skynner and Milnes are based in the UK. CEO Kevin Lee said the double move signalled the company’s growth intentions on both sides of the Atlantic.

He said: “Mike has been an invaluable contributor to Bicycle’s success to date and has led our platform discovery efforts since joining in early 2016. Following recent promising clinical progress, we believe it is time to focus on accelerating the growth of our proprietary oncology pipeline and on identifying innovative ways to potentially capitalise on our unique technology beyond our current therapeutic focus. 

“I am confident that Mike can help us achieve these objectives. I am similarly enthusiastic about Alistair’s appointment as COO and believe his operational experience and track record of successfully identifying, recruiting and retaining key talent at large, multinational companies will be instrumental in helping guide Bicycle through our next phase of growth.”

Bicycle is pioneering a new and differentiated class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) technology and reports continued progress in its ongoing Phase I/II clinical trials of BT8009, BT5528 and BT7480.

Dr Lee said: “Last quarter we reported interim clinical results from ongoing trials of two of our Bicycle toxin conjugates, BT8009 and BT5528, demonstrating preliminary anti-tumour activity in two tumour types, and announced the first patient dosed in the Phase I clinical trial of BT7480, our first tumour-targeted immune cell agonist to enter the clinic.

“In our trial of BT8009 we are pleased to confirm the preliminary activity and see that these patients remain on trial. We look forward to presenting interim BT8009 Phase I results at a medical meeting and initiating the BT5528 expansion cohorts this year. 

“We are also pleased with our progress advancing BT7480 in the ongoing Phase I clinical trial and look forward to sharing additional details regarding the potential for Bicycles beyond our toxin conjugates as we strive to become a leader in the development of targeted oncology therapeutics.”

Bicycle is headquartered in Cambridge UK with many key functions and members of its leadership team located in Lexington, MA.

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