Astex’s Harren Jhoti Made Fellow of the Royal Society

Astex Pharmaceuticals (“Astex”), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule therapeutics for oncology and diseases of the central nervous system, announced today that Harren Jhoti Ph.D., co-founder of Astex and President and CEO of Astex Pharmaceuticals (UK) has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his outstanding contribution to drug discovery research and science in general.

Election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society is the highest accolade in UK science and recognises individuals for their scientific excellence and substantial contributions to research endeavours. At Astex Dr. Jhoti pioneered the development of fragment-based drug discovery, an approach now widely used in pharmaceutical and academic drug discovery centres worldwide.

Astex is one of the UK’s leading biotech companies, employing some 130 staff at its research headquarters in Cambridge UK and over 200 worldwide, and has been highly successful in translating research into new medicines. Notably this includes Kisqali®, a drug co-discovered by Astex under a partnership with Novartis that received marketing approval in the USA and in Europe as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer in 2017.

Dr. Jhoti commented, “I’m delighted and humbled to have been made a Fellow of the Royal Society.  I would like to thank all my scientific colleagues, past and present, who have supported me in my research career. This Fellowship is also a reflection of the excellence of science at Astex created by its many highly talented researchers.”


Notes to Editors

About Astex Pharmaceuticals

Harren Jhoti co-founded Astex in 1999 and was Chief Scientific Officer until November 2007 when he was appointed Chief Executive Officer.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018, the Royal Society of Biology in 2017, the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016, and of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.  In January 2018 he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA).  He received the Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery from the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry in 2012 and was also named by the Royal Society of Chemistry as “Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year” for 2007.

He has published widely including in leading journals such as Nature and Science, and has also been featured in TIME magazine after being named by the World Economic Forum a Technology Pioneer in 2005.  He has served on the board of the BIA, the UK BioIndustry Association and currently consults for life science venture capital firms. Before founding Astex in 1999, he was head of Structural Biology and Bioinformatics at GlaxoWellcome in the United Kingdom (1991-1999). Prior to Glaxo, Dr. Jhoti was a post-doctoral scientist at Oxford University. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Protein Crystallography from the University of London in 1989.

More information on the Royal Society can be found here:

About Astex Pharmaceuticals

Astex is a leader in innovative drug discovery and development, committed to the fight against cancer and diseases of the central nervous system.  Astex is developing a proprietary pipeline of novel therapies and has a number of partnered products being developed under collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies.  Astex is a wholly owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan; a global healthcare company with the corporate philosophy: “Otsuka – people creating new products for better health worldwide.”  Otsuka researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative and original products, with a focus on pharmaceutical products for the treatment of diseases and nutraceutical products for the maintenance of everyday health.

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At the Company

Jeremy Carmichael
VP Corporate Development
Head of Business Development
Astex Pharmaceuticals
436 Cambridge Science Park
Milton Road, Cambridge

Tel: +44(0)1223 226289
Mobile: +44 (0)7786 738066