Harren Jhoti Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK BioIndustry Association

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 honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA).

The Award was presented to Dr. Jhoti by BIA Chair, Dr. Jane Osbourn, at the BIA Gala Dinner, the BIA’s annual flagship event, which was held last night at The Brewery, in central London.

The BIA Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest accolade awarded by the BIA, recognises outstanding contribution to the life sciences sector in the UK.  The award is made in recognition of Dr. Jhoti’s scientific contributions to the UK life science sector, his entrepreneurial approach and his commitment to scaling and supporting UK biotech.

Dr. Jhoti has steered Astex to become one of the UK’s most successful biotech companies. Employing some 130 staff at its research headquarters in Cambridge UK and over 200 worldwide, including at its clinical development and regulatory headquarters in Pleasanton, California, USA, Astex is today an independent wholly-owned subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, with a focus on cancer and diseases of the central nervous system.

The Company has applied its leading fragment-based discovery platform and other technologies to the development of an internal pipeline of proprietary novel therapies and several partnered products are being developed under collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies.  2017 was a pivotal year for the company with Kisqali® (ribociclib, formerly known as LEE011), a drug co-discovered under a partnership with Novartis receiving marketing approval in the USA and Europe as a treatment for advanced (metastatic) breast cancer.

On receiving the Award last night Dr. Jhoti commented, “As scientists we always hope that our discoveries will make a difference and as entrepreneurs we strive to build sustainable companies to translate those discoveries into significant new medicines for patients.  At Astex we have been lucky enough to achieve both of these goals due largely to our highly talented team.  These achievements have been made possible  by playing an active part in the life sciences community in Cambridge and the UK, and I’m delighted and humbled to have received this award from the BIA.

Jane Osbourn, BIA Chairman, said: “Harren’s contribution to the UK biotech sector recognises his combination of scientific and leadership skills, as well as his passion and determination to succeed. He has risen to the challenges of driving innovation, developing productive partnerships, raising investment capital and motivating a team.  He makes an active contribution to initiatives in the UK biotech sector and provides a role-model for today’s entrepreneurs.”


Notes to Editors

Harren Jhoti co-founded Astex in 1999 and was Chief Scientific Officer until November 2007 when he was appointed Chief Executive Officer.  He also served as President and member of the Board of Directors of Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc., following the merger of Astex with SuperGen Inc., (subsequently renamed Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc.) in July 2011.

Dr. Jhoti was elected a Fellow of Royal Society of Biology in 2017, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2016, and of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015.  He was awarded the Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery by 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 having been 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.

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.

For more information about Astex Pharmaceuticals, please visit https://stagin.astx.co.uk

For more information about Otsuka Pharmaceutical, please visit http://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/

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
Email: jeremy.carmichael@astx.com