John Houston brings more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development in pharma and biotech as Cybrexa prepares to transition to become a clinical-stage company
New Haven, Conn., September 3, 2019 – Cybrexa Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a new class of cancer therapeutics through its alphalex™ tumor-targeting platform, today announced the appointment of John Houston, PhD, to its board of directors. Dr. Houston brings more than 30 years of biotech and pharma drug development and management experience, including serving as the current CEO of Arvinas, Inc., a publicly traded targeted protein degradation biotech with programs in Oncology and Neuroscience.
“John has established an incredible reputation and track record in leading companies to successfully and quickly bring innovative drugs to patients,” said Per Hellsund, President and CEO of Cybrexa. “We are delighted that John will be joining the Cybrexa board at this point in time. Cybrexa is on the cusp of entering the clinic with our lead candidate, CBX-11 (alphalexTM-rucaparib), and substantially expanding our pipeline. John’s experience in oncology and guiding companies through the transition from preclinical- to clinical-stage and private to public will be extremely valuable as Cybrexa continues to grow.”
Dr. Houston is President and Chief Executive Officer of Arvinas, Inc. Previously, he was the SVP of Specialty Discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). He spent more than 18 years at BMS in roles of increasing responsibility and had accountability for all Discovery Biology disease teams as well as various Discovery technology departments. He was also the site head of the BMS Connecticut facility. Dr. Houston was a member of the BMS R&D Executive Leadership team and chaired the Target Portfolio Committee which had governance oversight in the discovery space. With his teams and research colleagues, he progressed over 200 compounds into early development, several of which advanced into late stage clinical trials, and toward commercialization. Dr. Houston has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, he worked at Glaxo Wellcome Research and Development in the UK, where he served as head of the Lead Discovery Unit.
Dr. Houston obtained his B.Sc degree in Medical Microbiology from Glasgow University and obtained his Ph.D. with Professor Brian Catley in Microbial Biochemistry from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He also completed his post-doctoral studies on an MRC grant with Professor Julia Douglas at Glasgow University.
“I believe Cybrexa’s alphalexTM technology platform has tremendous potential to efficiently bring new treatment options to patients by leveraging already identified anti-cancer agents that have prohibitive toxicity profiles but promising potential efficacy” said Dr. Houston. “I am excited to be joining the Cybrexa board and look forward to working with the leadership team to provide my insights about the further development of CBX-11 and other alphalex-conjugates for cancer patients with high unmet need”
About the alphalex™ Technology Platform
The Cybrexa alphalex™ technology platform enables the delivery of small molecules across the cell membrane under low pH conditions, which is a universal feature of cancer cells. As a result, alphalex™ technology – which consists of a novel peptide, linker and small molecule anti-cancer agent – allows for antigen-independent, intracellular delivery of small molecule anti-cancer agents directly into the tumor cell. View a video of the mechanism of action of the technology at www.cybrexa.com.
Cybrexa is a privately-held biotechnology company dedicated to developing an entirely new class of cancer therapies using its alphalex™ platform to deliver anti-cancer agents directly into tumor cells. The Company’s lead candidate, CBX-11, an alphalex™-PARP inhibitor combination, is in preclinical development with advancing plans to initiate clinical development. Cybrexa was founded by physician-scientists, and has an experienced management team that has built numerous successful life sciences companies and raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. For more information about Cybrexa, please visit www.cybrexa.com.