Press Release

Press Release

Return to Press Releases


CAMBRIDGE, MASS. and CAMBRIDGE, U.K. – JANUARY 5, 2017 – Bicycle Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) product platform, announced today the appointment of Nicholas Keen, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer.

“Nick is a highly experienced oncology drug hunter and has great experience leading cancer drug discovery programs at the highest level in top biopharmaceutical companies. He has championed novel mechanisms and progressed multiple compounds into the clinic that will benefit cancer patients,” said Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Bicycle’s Chief Executive Officer. “This appointment is further validation of the transformative value of the Bicycle platform and builds on the exciting collaborations we announced with AstraZeneca and Cancer Research UK at the end of last year, as well as our Fierce Innovation Award for best drug delivery technology.”

Dr. Keen joins Bicycle from Novartis, where he served as the Cambridge (U.S.) head of oncology research. During his tenure at Novartis he was responsible for leading research from basic target identification and drug discovery through clinical trials. Under his leadership, the group delivered multiple new therapies to the clinic, published many basic discoveries in cancer biology, and built industry leading platforms in whole genome scale target identification and in modelling the diversity of human clinical trials in murine models. Prior to his time at Novartis, Dr. Keen held positions of increasing responsibility in AstraZeneca’s UK oncology research group, ultimately leading the early lead generation group for oncology at AstraZeneca’s U.S. research site with a focus on epigenetic regulation. Dr. Keen earned his B.A. in Natural Sciences, his Ph.D. in Virology and Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge and completed his post- doctoral training in transcriptional biology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.

“I am excited to join Bicycle at this pivotal time in the company’s development,” said Dr. Keen. “Bicycle’s technology possesses great potential – Bicycles are a completely new class of drugs that combine the rapid selection, affinity and selectivity of antibodies with properties of small molecules. I look forward to guiding efforts to leverage the strength and breadth of this technology, including a core oncology portfolio that has already delivered the first Bicycle Drug Conjugate into preclinical development.”

Commenting on the appointment, Rosamond Deegan, Bicycle’s U.S. President and Chief Business Officer remarked: “We are thrilled to welcome Nick to Bicycle’s leadership team and believe his expertise will prove invaluable as we continue to progress our U.K.-centred novel product platform and build our U.S.-based oncology hub.”

About Bicycle Therapeutics

Bicycle Therapeutics is developing a new class of medicines to treat oncology and other debilitating diseases based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle®) product platform. Bicycles® exhibit an affinity and exquisite target specificity usually associated with antibodies, whilst a low molecular weight delivers rapid and deep tissue penetration enabling more efficient tumour targeting. Their peptidic nature provides a “tuneable” pharmacokinetic half-life and a renal route of clearance, avoiding the liver and gastrointestinal tract toxicities often seen with other drug modalities. Bicycle Therapeutics is rapidly advancing towards the clinic with its lead molecule, BT1718 and is collaborating in oncology and other areas to realise the full potential of the technology. Bicycle Therapeutics’ unique intellectual property is based on the work initiated at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, U.K., by the scientific founders of the company, Sir Gregory Winter and Professor Christian Heinis. Bicycle Therapeutics is headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., with a U.S. subsidiary in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, visit


Ten Bridge Communications (U.S.)
Sarah Sutton

Consilium Strategic Communications (EU)
Mary-Jane Elliott / Chris Gardner / Ivar Milligan
+44 20 3709 5700