About us

About
Calcico Therapeutics

Calcico is a venture backed biotechnology company focused on the development of novel CRAC channel inhibitors.

The company aims to develop selective small molecules to treat atopic dermatitis where there is clear evidence linking CRAC to human disease. Calcico is an Oxford based start up, formed in April 2012 and funded by Advent Life Sciences and Touchstone Innovations. The company has developed proprietary ‘know-how’ comprising novel systems for selective CRAC channel screening and molecule characterisation.

This puts us in a unique position to achieve the goal of potent and selective CRAC channel inhibition, which has so far eluded pharmaceutical companies.

Board of Directors

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Roberto Solari

Chairman

Anant Parekh

Founder / Director

Dani Bach

Investor Director

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Roberto Solari

Roberto is the Chairman and CEO of Calcico. He has over 30 years experience in drug discovery in Pharma, Biotech and academia. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, a Venture Partner for Brandon Capital, and Chairman of Auspherix. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Board of Astex Pharmaceuticals.

Roberto was previously Vice President and Head of Biology in GSK’s Respiratory Therapy Area based in Stevenage, UK where his role covered drug discovery from target identification through to proof of concept studies in man. Before joining GSK, Roberto was CEO of the UK Medical Research Council’s technology transfer arm, MRCT, creating spin out companies and developing an internal drug discovery group. He obtained a PhD in Physiology and Cell Biology from Nottingham University in 1981 and went on to do post-docs at the Institut de Biochimie, Université de Lausanne and Liverpool University. Following his academic studies, he joined Glaxo then GlaxoWellcome and worked in inflammation drug discovery.

Anant Parekh

Anant is the scientific founder of Calcico and was a medical student at Oxford University, where he obtained his undergraduate and doctoral degrees. He then moved, initially as an Alexander Von Humboldt Scholar, to the Max Planck Institute for biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, where he worked in Professor Erwin Neher’s department with Professor Walter Stuehmer and then Professor Reinhold Penner, the discoverer of the CRAC channel. He returned to Oxford (Physiology) in 1997 as a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and Sir Edward Abraham Research Fellow at Keble College. He was subsequently awarded a Lister Institute Senior Research Fellowship, Amersham Medical Fellowship (Keble College) and then Monsanto Senior Research Fellowship (Exeter College, Oxford). In 2002, he was appointed to a faculty position (Physiology Department) and Tutorial Fellowship (Lady Margaret Hall). In the same year, he was awarded a personal chair. In 2015, Anant was awarded a research professorship at Oxford and is now a Fellow of Merton College.

Anant’s research interests for the last twenty years have focussed on CRAC channels and how channel activity can engender a wide range of cellular responses. In particular, his work has addressed how these channels interact with intracellular organelles like mitochondria and how these fundamental elements go awry in human disease. He was awarded the Wellcome Prize in Physiology (2002), India International Foundation Prize (2009), GL Brown Prize from the UK Physiological Society (2012). He is a member of Academia Europaea and is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was elected Vice-Chair (2015) and Chair (2017) of the Gordon Conference on calcium signalling.

Dani Bach

Dani joined the IP Group team following the combination with Touchstone Innovations, having joined that business in 2016 from Aravis, where as managing partner he co-led the design of the investment strategy, fund raising and investment process.

His areas of investment have ranged from medical devices to protein therapeutics. Prior to Aravis, Dani worked at Index Ventures, helping build companies such as Acutus Medical, Levicept, and Versartis. Dani holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Barcelona and an executive MBA from the Escuela de Organización Industrial (Madrid).

Andrew Wood

Director

Shazhad Malik

Investor Director

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Andrew Wood

Andrew has 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with Eli Lilly & Co. He was initially responsible for clinical development and registration of new molecules, principally in relation to neurological and psychiatric disorders and subsequently managed both clinical and preclinical discovery organisations, across multiple therapeutic areas, in Europe and in Asia.

Latterly, Andrew was leader of Eli Lilly’s in-licensing and business development organisation in Europe. Within this role, he had responsibility for evaluating drug and technology development projects and for structuring collaborations with external partners in the biotechnology sector and in academia.

Andrew retired from Eli Lilly in February 2010, since when he has worked as an independent consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. He currently sits on company boards and SABs and is a member of the Wellcome Trust TechnologyTransfer Strategy Panel.

Andrew graduated in Natural Sciences (Cambridge University) and Clinical Medicine (Oxford University Medical School) and spent 10 years in academic medicine before entering the pharmaceutical industry.

Shazhad Malik

In over a decade of venture investing at Advent, Shahzad has been actively involved with numerous successful investments in Europe and the US in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics arenas. These include Algeta, Respivert, Biocartis, Powdermed and Versartis.

Shahzad came to Advent in 1999 with a strong background in science and clinical medicine. He gained invaluable experience at the London office of McKinsey & Company serving international clients in the Healthcare and Investment Banking sectors. Shahzad gained an MA in Physiological Sciences while at Oxford University and an MD from Cambridge University.

He then specialised in interventional cardiology while at the same time pursuing research interests in heart muscle disorders, both in the clinic and basic science laboratory.

Management Team

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Roberto Solari

CEO

David Madge

VP Chemistry

Fraser Murray

VP Biology

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Roberto Solari

Roberto is the Chairman and CEO of Calcico. He has over 30 years experience in drug discovery in Pharma, Biotech and academia. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, a Venture Partner for Brandon Capital, and Chairman of Auspherix. He is also a member of the Science Advisory Board of Astex Pharmaceuticals.

Roberto was previously Vice President and Head of Biology in GSK’s Respiratory Therapy Area based in Stevenage, UK where his role covered drug discovery from target identification through to proof of concept studies in man. Before joining GSK, Roberto was CEO of the UK Medical Research Council’s technology transfer arm, MRCT, creating spin out companies and developing an internal drug discovery group. He obtained a PhD in Physiology and Cell Biology from Nottingham University in 1981 and went on to do post-docs at the Institut de Biochimie, Université de Lausanne and Liverpool University. Following his academic studies, he joined Glaxo then GlaxoWellcome and worked in inflammation drug discovery.

Dave Madge

Dave Madge has extensive experience of small molecule drug discovery gained over a career based in big pharma, academic research roles, and in biotech companies. Dave previously served as VP, Research at Xention Limited and also as its VP, Medicinal Chemistry. Prior to Xention Dave was Chief Operating Officer of NCE Discovery, a specialist chemistry company, and Principal Research Fellow at the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, London, where he specialised in ion channel chemistry.

Dave also served as a Senior Medicinal Chemist at the Wellcome Foundation, Beckenham where he was involved in the development of ion channel blockers for pain, epilepsy, neuro-protection and drug dependency. Dr. Madge has advised and held board positions in a number of start-up companies and holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Imperial College, London.

Fraser Murray

Fraser Murray is Calcico’s Vice President of Biology. Dr Murray brings more than 20 years’ of drug discovery and early development experience across a range of therapeutic areas, including inflammation, gastrointestinal, neurodegeneration, psychiatry and dermatology. He has held leadership roles at Shire, AstraZeneca, Merck and Polleo Pharma.

Prior to co-founding Polleo Pharma and raising investment to fund the portfolio, Dr Murray was Senior Director and Head of Discovery Biology for Shire Speciality Pharmaceuticals, focused on CNS and GI disorders. Dr Murray holds a PhD from The School of Pharmacy UCL, a BSc from the University of Strathclyde and an MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School.

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Helen Barker

COO & Head of Pharmaceutical Development

Lynn Purkins

Clinical Development Officer

Dan

Daniel Bakowski

Principal Scientist

Daphne Tsitoura

CMO

Helen Barker

With over 20 years in large pharma and biotech companies, Helen brings proven success in the development of innovative strategies and the delivery of projects to key milestones. Leader of global, multidisciplinary teams in CMC, diagnostics, clinical research and across the R&D sphere.

Visiting academic in infectious diseases at the University of Oxford and, recently, the Head of Pharmaceutical Development at Ziarco, which was acquired by Novartis in 2017.

Helen held a range of positions in Pfizer, including global lead roles in infectious and respiratory diseases, followed by roles in multiple start-up companies and academia, enabled by degrees in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science and an MBA.

Board member of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Science, elected in 2008, Faculty Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist.

Lynn Purkins

Daniel Bakowski

Daniel Bakowski brings longstanding expertise in CRAC channel physiology. He obtained a BA in Physiological Sciences and DPhil in Medical Sciences (“Store-operated Ca2+ entry in a mast cell line”) from the University of Oxford, where he was awarded both undergraduate and graduate scholarships. Before joining Calcico, he was senior postdoctoral researcher in Professor Anant Parekh’s group in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford.

Daphne Tsitoura

Investors

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