Advertisement: Cambridge Network mid banner
6 October, 2021 - 16:38 By Tony Quested

Adrestia kicks on with hire of new R & D thought leader

Adrestia Therapeutics, a Cambridge biotech using cutting edge cell and molecular biology to develop precision medicines, has strengthened its hand with the appointment of Dr Tom D. Heightman as chief R & D officer. 

He is a leading medicinal chemist with broad experience of drug discovery, and over his 23-year career has implemented transformative innovation in drug discovery and delivered multiple programs into the clinic.

Adrestia was founded by Professor Steve Jackson in 2018, together with Ahren Innovation Capital. Adrestia’s Disease Rebalancing Platform uses synthetic viability to identify phenotypic and molecular imbalances of disease as the basis for novel target discovery and drug discovery. 

In December 2020, the company announced a Series A co-led investment from Ahren and GSK, together with a multi-project Adrestia-GSK collaboration agreement seeking to discover novel drug targets across a number of therapeutic areas.

Genetic, environmental, or other factors cause imbalances in physiological processes and pathways, leading to disease. Adrestia’s Disease Rebalancing Platform uses cutting edge cell and molecular biology to restore the biological balance in diseased or dying cells; a concept coined ‘synthetic viability’. 

The platform can be applied to diverse therapeutic areas, which are caused by faulty molecular pathways that lead to cellular dysfunction or death. Through this approach and bolstered by the strategic collaboration with GSK, Adrestia is developing precision genetic models to search for therapeutic targets, precision diagnostics, novel drug compounds and new applications for existing drugs.

Professor Steve Jackson, chief scientific officer and interim CEO of Adrestia said: “We founded Adrestia Therapeutics in order to build a cutting-edge drug discovery company to develop novel therapies, as well as finding new applications for existing drugs. 

“We are delighted to have appointed Tom Heightman as chief R & D officer. As an experienced and entrepreneurial scientist with a strong track record of applying technology innovation to drug discovery, Tom’s skills complement the expertise of the founders and we look forward to growing Adrestia and building out the company’s discovery pipeline.”

Dr Heightman believes that “Adrestia has unique opportunities to tackle diseases that have hitherto been difficult to treat.”

Newsletter Subscription

Stay informed of the latest news and features