Bicycle Therapeutics is privileged to have among its Scientific Advisors Professor Michel Aguet, molecular oncology expert; Dr. Jochen Knolle, peptide expert; and Sir Gregory Winter, pioneer in protein engineering.
Professor Michel Aguet, M.D.
Professor Michel Aguet, held positions in academia and industry (Associate Professor at the Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Zьrich; Head of Molecular Oncology, Genentech) before he was appointed director of the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) (1996-2009). In the context of the integration of ISREC into the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), he was appointed as Full Professor at the newly established School of Life Sciences in 2005. From 2001-2013 he directed the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Molecular Oncology, a national program launched by the Swiss National Science Foundation to encourage translational cancer research and for which ISREC was the leading house. Dr. Aguet has been a SAB member in the pharmaceutical industry, biotech industry and venture capital industry since 1997.
A large part of his scientific career was devoted to exploring the molecular biology of interferons (cloning of the interferon gamma receptor, generation of various interferon signalling mutants in the mouse) and, in collaboration with Professor Charles Weissmann, to investigating the role of prion related protein PrP in mouse prion disease models. More recently his interest shifted towards investigating the involvement of embryonic development pathways in tumour progression. Currently, his research focuses on validating a protein-protein interaction within the WNT pathway as a potential therapeutic target in colon and other WNT-activated cancers.
Jochen Knolle, Ph.D.
Jochen Knolle, Ph.D. has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, encompassing every aspect of drug discovery, development and registration. Dr. Knolle was named as inventor on more than 100 patents and author of more than 60 publications. Dr. Knolle was named as inventor of Quinapril and Firazyr. From 1978 to 1998, Dr. Knolle worked in several functions in the central pharmaceutical research unit of Hoechst AG and Hoechst-Marion-Roussel (HMR).
In 1998 Jochen left HMR to join Axys Pharmaceuticals, now Celera, in San Francisco, where he served as VP for Medicinal Chemistry and Structural Biology. From 2001 to 2008, he was the Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D on the management board of Jerini AG in Berlin, Germany. He initiated the drug discovery and development at Jerini. In 2001, Dr. Knolle in-licensed icatibant, a former research project of his, from Aventis. In 2008, icatibant was approved in the EU and is marketed now in more than 40 countries including the U.S. under the tradename Firazyr.
While at Jerini, Dr. Knolle facilitated and managed collaborations with Merck, Kos Pharmaceuticals and Abbott with upfront payments exceeding $30 million. He also supported all private financing rounds of Jerini, cumulating in the IPO of Jerini at the German Stock Exchange Frankfurt in 2005. In 2008, Shire acquired Jerini. After completion of the transaction, Dr. Knolle resigned from the management board and established JCK Consult.
In addition to his consultancy activities. Dr. Knolle acts as a board member for the Charitй CRO and Anchor Therapeutics in Boston and as Senior Advisor for the TVM Capital group. He studied chemistry in Goettingen and Muenster. After a postdoc in the laboratory of the Nobel Laureate E.J. Corey at Harvard University, Dr. Knolle joined the pharmaceutical unit of Hoechst AG in 1978.
Sir Gregory Winter, FRS (Co-founder and Director)
Professor Sir Gregory Winter is a member of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, U.K., and has served as both Deputy and Acting Director. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, was knighted in 2004 for services to science and in 2012 was appointed by the Queen as Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
He invented techniques to humanise rodent antibodies for use as therapeutics, and co-developed alemtuzumab/Campath-1H. Later, he developed methods to make fully human antibodies against human self-antigens using antibody libraries. His inventions are used in most of the antibody products on the market, including the humanised antibodies alemtuzumab/Campath-1H, trastuzumab/Herceptin, bevacizumab/Avastin, palivizumab/Synagis and the first human antibody (adalimumab/Humira) to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Sir Gregory has acted as an entrepreneur to translate his scientific inventions to medicines. He was a founder of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT,1989) and Domantis (2000); these companies pioneered the use of antibody libraries to make fully human antibody therapeutics including adalimumab/Humira and belimumab/Benlysta.
Sir Gregory has won several international scientific prizes, including the Prix Louis Jeantet de Medecine (Switzerland) in 1989; the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine (Molecular Immunology, Saudi Arabia) in 1995; the Biochemical Analysis Prize of the German Society for Clinical Chemistry in 1995; the Cancer Research Institute William B. Coley Award (U.S.) in 1999; and the Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 2011. For his work with industry, he received the National Biotechnology Ventures Award (US) in 2004 and the BioIndustry Association Award (UK) in 2008. In March 2013 he was awarded the Gairdner Prize for the engineering of humanised monoclonal antibodies and their widespread use in medical therapy, particularly for treatment of cancer and immune disorders.
Sir Gregory is a graduate of University of Cambridge (1973), specialising in chemistry and biochemistry; for his PhD (1976) and postdoctoral work (1977-1981) he specialised in protein and nucleic acid sequencing, respectively, and with colleagues determined the genome sequence of influenza virus. From 1982 he pioneered the science of protein engineering, focusing first on enzymes (with A. Fersht) and then antibodies.