Calcico | About us
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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

roberto

Roberto Solari

Chairman

Anant Parekh

Founder / Director

Mary Fitzgerald

CSO

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Roberto Solari

Roberto is the Chairman of Calcico and also a Venture Partner at Touchstone Innovations. His career has been focused at the interface of innovation and entrepreneurship, including technology transfer, venture capital, pharma, biotech and academia. He is currently working at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, on the mechanisms of Rhinovirus replication. He is an advisor to Imperial Innovations and Brandon Capital, and is Chairman of Auspherix and a member of the Science Advisory Board of Astex Pharmaceuticals.

Roberto was previously Vice President 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 has advised and worked in venture capital firms Apax Partners and Abingworth following a period at GlaxoWellcome, and academic positions at the Institut de Biochimie, Universite de Lausanne and Liverpool University. He has a PhD in Physiology and Cell Biology from Nottingham University.

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.

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald, PhD, is Calcico’s Chief Scientific Officer. She was previously the Executive Vice President of Respiratory at Pulmagen Therapeutics, where she led a multi-disciplinary team that specialised in pre-clinical safety, regulatory affairs, CMC and clinical operations. In this role she took two compounds through to Phase II Proof of Concept studies in asthma and COPD. Dr Fitzgerald was also responsible for clinical development at Argenta Discovery from 2008 to 2010. Previously, she was also the Head of Pharmacology at Argenta Discovery for 6 years with responsibility for establishing disease relevant models of chronic respiratory disease. Dr. Fitzgerald was with Bayer HealthCare for 14 years, latterly as Head of Pharmacology.

She has spent over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry and her major interest is in the development of anti-inflammatory therapies for a wide range of chronic conditions including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and asthma.

Dr. Fitzgerald held board positions at Etiologics, Pulmagen Therapeutics and Argenta Discovery and has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Sunderland / Wellcome Research Laboratories.

Andrew Wood

Director

Maina Bhaman

Investor 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.

Maina Bhaman

Maina Bhaman is Director of Healthcare Investments at Touchstone Innovations. Maina has led a number of investments in Imperial Innovations’ healthcare portfolio including recent investments into Psioxus Therapeutics and Cellmedica . Maina currently serves on the board of Autifony Therapeutics, Cell Medica, Ixico ,Psioxus Therapeutics and Topivert Pharma. Maina was also served on the board of Acrobot and Molecular Vision Ltd.

Maina joined Innovations in 2006 and prior to that worked in the research and development team at Celltech (previously Oxford Glyco Sciences). Maina’s experience includes Chimeric Therapies, a cell therapy start-up based in Philadelphia and GeneMedicine, a gene therapy company based in Houston, Tx. Maina has a BSc from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Imperial Business School.

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

Mary Fitzgerald

CSO

David Madge

VP Chemistry

Fraser Murray

VP Biology

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Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald, PhD, is Calcico’s Chief Scientific Officer. She was previously the Executive Vice President of Respiratory at Pulmagen Therapeutics, where she led a multi-disciplinary team that specialised in pre-clinical safety, regulatory affairs, CMC and clinical operations. In this role she took two compounds through to Phase II Proof of Concept studies in asthma and COPD. Dr Fitzgerald was also responsible for clinical development at Argenta Discovery from 2008 to 2010. Previously, she was also the Head of Pharmacology at Argenta Discovery for 6 years with responsibility for establishing disease relevant models of chronic respiratory disease. Dr. Fitzgerald was with Bayer HealthCare for 14 years, latterly as Head of Pharmacology.

She has spent over 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry and her major interest is in the development of anti-inflammatory therapies for a wide range of chronic conditions including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and asthma.

Dr. Fitzgerald held board positions at Etiologics, Pulmagen Therapeutics and Argenta Discovery and has a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Sunderland / Wellcome Research Laboratories.

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.

Investors

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