Oxford drug discovery company appoints new CSO

Dr Ian Churcher Chief Scientific Officer Oxstem

Regenerative medicine drug discovery company OxStem Limited, which spun out of Oxford University in 2016, has appointed Dr Ian Churcher to the role of Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

Ian  has 22 years’ experience in pharmaceutical R&D obtained in positions of increasing seniority in international companies including Merck Sharp & Dohme (Merck), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and BenevolentAI.

At BenevolentAI, Ian was SVP Drug Discovery with responsibility for leadership of a portfolio of drug discovery projects across several therapeutic areas, from target identification through lead optimisation to preclinical entry, working closely with machine learning experts to develop a cutting-edge AI drug discovery platform.

His major accomplishments in terms of innovative research and its practical application are demonstrated by 38 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 16 patents and identification/development of many new drug targets, drug discovery technologies and preclinical/clinical drug candidates.

Dr Stuart Collinson, Chairman and CEO, OxStem, said: “On behalf of the Board, I warmly welcome Ian to OxStem, we are pleased to have attracted such an accomplished drug hunter to the OxStem Team. Ian brings extensive R&D management experience to OxStem and his track record of innovation in both pharma and biotech is well-evidenced.

“We look forward to working with Ian on our important mission to deliver innovative regenerative medicines based on the translation of our breakthrough science.” In further announced changes to the management team, Chief Business Officer, Dr. Carolyn Porter left the Company at the end of December 2019 to take up a CEO position with a UK start-up company, while former CSO Dr. Georg Terstappen has left the Company to pursue other opportunities. Dr. Stuart Collinson, further commented “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Dr. Georg Terstappen and Dr. Carolyn Porter for their dedication, professionalism and contributions to OxStem and we wish them both well for the future.”