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20 September, 2018 - 12:31 By Kate Sweeney

Big hitters fortify Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences, which specialises in ion channel contract research and drug discovery, has made two senior appointments to its management team. Dr Edward Stevens joins as head of drug discovery and Dr Andrew Lightfoot as head of medicinal chemistry and discovery funding.

The hires follow the expansion of Metrion’s internal drug discovery programme, driven by funding from Innovate UK, to support research into potassium ion channel inhibitors. 

The internal proprietary programme will now be led by Dr Stevens and Dr Lightfoot and is based on a portfolio of more than 2,000 novel small molecule inhibitors of potassium ion channels acquired by Metrion in January 2018. 

The company is evaluating the lead compounds as potential orally active drugs for treatment of auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Dr Stevens joins from Ario Pharma, where he was CSO. He previously held various roles at Pfizer Neusentis and Pfizer Sandwich and led several ion channel discovery programmes. 

He was also previously COO for NeuroSolutions, a Warwick University spin-out company and head of the Ion Channel Group at Cambridge Drug Discovery/BioFocus (now part of Charles River). 

Dr Lightfoot is currently CEO at Procarta Biosystems and was previously CEO and founder of Peptinnovate, a UK based, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, executive director of Swedish medtech CytaCoat AB, and CEO of Helperby Therapeutics. 

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Dr Edward Stevens

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