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New Appointments at London Genetics to Drive Strategy Forward
Date:9/18/2009

LONDON, September 18 /PRNewswire/ -- London Genetics Limited, which expedites pharmacogenetic partnerships between the biopharmaceutical industry and London-based centres of excellence in genetics research, announces today several prestigious appointments to its Board and management team. The new appointments, which include Dr Barrie Ward as Chairman, will drive the next phase of the company's growth as the importance of pharmacogenetics in drug development increases. They bring important commercial, clinical and academic expertise.

In addition to Dr Ward, London Genetics has appointed Dominique Kleyn as CEO and Dr Mark Caulfield as Clinical Director. Having held senior positions at Glaxo R&D and various biotechnology companies in the US and UK, Dr Ward brings significant industrial and commercial expertise. Ms Kleyn joins from a series of leadership roles at Imperial College London, where she headed up bioscience Business Development, Technology Transfer and New Venture teams. Prior to this she worked in the biotech sector where she was extensively involved in the exploitation and licensing of intellectual property and development of new businesses. Clinical Director Dr Mark Caulfield is an expert in the genetics of cardiovascular disease, particularly hypertension. He is Director of the William Harvey Research Institute at Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary, University of London.

Pharmacogenetics is the study of how our genetic make-up affects the way in which we metabolise and respond to drugs. As a result, it is expected to play a key role in the future of drug development and healthcare delivery as the industry faces increasing pressure to replenish its pipeline and improve drug safety. By combining its access to genetic expertise with strategic advice on the application of pharmacogenetics in drug development, London Genetics can help companies meet this need for smarter, faster and safer drug development. Chief Scientific Officer Dr Elizabeth Foot, appointed earlier this year, was in her previous role involved with developing the strategy for and implementation of pharmacogenetics at GlaxoSmithKline and brings significant expertise to the company.

Given its access to the resources of its founding partners, London Genetics has broad therapeutic experience with a particular focus on cardiovascular drugs and cardiovascular safety. The company will be holding its inaugural state-of-the-art conference in September (1), which will focus on how pharmacogenetics adds value to drug development and patient care, in particular in the cardiovascular area.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr Ward said 'I am delighted to have joined the strong team at London Genetics at a time when the importance of pharmacogenetics in drug development is becoming increasingly clear. This is a pivotal phase of the company's development as it works in partnership with biopharmaceutical companies to add value to drug development programmes'. Ms Kleyn added 'We have an exciting partnering programme lined up for the coming months and I look forward to working together with our founding institutions and the biopharmaceutical industry to build interactions that will help to make a difference to drug development.'

(1) London Genetics Limited Pharmacogenetics Conference - Harnessing Genetic Knowledge To Improve Clinical Development and Patient Care.

23rd - 24th September 2009, Tylney Hall, Hampshire, UK

Pictures of Dr Ward, Ms Kleyn, Dr Caulfield and Dr Foot available on request

Notes to Editors:

About London Genetics

London Genetics Limited is a not-for-profit company which expedites pharmacogenetic and biomarker partnerships between industry and academia for more effective targeted drug development, and addition of value to marketed medicines. Established in 2007 with funding from the London Development Agency, its seven founding partners are leading London academic and medical institutions with clinical and genetic expertise and significant patient resources. The company provides pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with access to this expertise and resource, as well as providing strategic advice on the application of pharmacogenetics for successful drug development. LGL's area of focus is cardiovascular disease and drug side-effects of a cardiovascular nature. Recent agreements developed by London Genetics include a collaboration between the International Serious Adverse Events Consortium, St George's University of London and the Drug Safety Research Unit at Southampton, UK. The parties are working on genetic markers for drug-induced cardiac arrhythmia. The company is based at the Imperial College Incubator in London, and has ISO 9001:2008 accreditation. For further information, please go to http://www.londongeneticslimited.co.uk.

About pharmacogenetics

Genetic differences between individuals means that drug response rates are often variable across a population, and this has significant healthcare cost effectiveness implications. Pharmocogenetics, the study of the clinical consequences of genetic differences in the way people metabolise and respond to drugs, is expected to generate better understanding of how drugs work in the body, and therefore give insight into how to develop more efficacious and safer drugs. It also has implications for product life cycle management and the revitalisation of drugs which previously failed in clinical trials. With drug development costs rising and R&D productivity falling, plus increased regulator focus on safety and cost-effectiveness, pharmacogenetics is expected to become increasingly important in drug development. The FDA and the EMEA have recognised this in their Critical Path Initiative and Road Map respectively.


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SOURCE London Genetics Ltd
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