NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Schrödinger today announced an expansion of its drug discovery leadership team to strengthen its expertise in preclinical development and translational science as the company advances internal drug discovery programs powered by its physics-based molecular modeling platform.
Duncan Hamish Wright, Ph.D., who has previously served in senior positions in clinical pharmacology, global clinical development, and business development, joins Schrödinger as Vice President, Translational Science. W. George Lai, Ph.D., a veteran drug developer with translational ADME/PK and bioanalytical experience across multiple products, will serve as Senior Director and will lead Schrödinger’s translational PK/PD and drug metabolism function.
“As our proprietary programs advance, we are expanding our translational science capabilities to ensure that we can continue to make rapid progress,” said Karen Akinsanya, Ph.D., Schrödinger’s Chief Biomedical Scientist. “Hamish and George have the experience and the expertise to guide our programs as we transition compounds to the clinical candidate stage. I am delighted to welcome them to the team.”
Dr. Wright and Dr. Lai join Schrödinger’s Drug Discovery Group, which is advancing nearly two dozen programs in partnership with leading biotech and pharma companies, as well as nonprofit research centers. These global collaborations deploy Schrödinger’s advanced computational platform to accelerate discovery and enable rapid iteration and optimization of potential therapeutic compounds. Alongside these partnered programs, Schrödinger is developing a wholly-owned pipeline, focused first on oncology, with the goal of leveraging its computational assays to identify and advance transformational medicines for patients with unmet medical needs.
Hamish Wright, Ph.D., comes to Schrödinger after almost 20 years at Merck Research Laboratories in roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, Dr. Wright served as Executive Director, Business Development and Licensing. He was responsible for scientific diligence of licensing opportunities and was a member of the deal team for a number of Merck’s key oncology and immuno-oncology transactions. In previous clinical development and emerging markets roles at Merck, Dr. Wright led numerous early clinical programs and was the product development team leader for Vaniprevir (VANIHEP™), a novel NS3/4A HCV protease inhibitor, which was approved in 2014 and commercialized in Japan. Dr. Wright received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and therapeutics from McGill University and holds an academic appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience at New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University.
George Lai, Ph.D., brings nearly 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to Schrödinger. He most recently served as Senior Director and Head of DMPK at Eisai, Inc. In this role, he led a team that successfully completed high-quality regulatory submission packages for at least ten diverse clinical candidates for immunology, oncology, and neurology indications. In an earlier role at Eisai, Dr. Lai made translational ADME and bioanalytical contributions that helped ensure the successful development of HALAVEN® (eribulin mesylate) from preclinical to clinical stages. Prior to joining Eisai, Dr. Lai worked as a Senior Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science from the University of Toronto.
Schrödinger’s industry-leading computational platform to accelerate drug discovery and materials design is deployed by leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, and electronics companies worldwide. In addition to this substantial and growing global business, Schrödinger has built a robust pipeline of therapeutic assets, held both internally and in partnerships, and has co-founded leading biotech companies, including Nimbus Therapeutics and Morphic Therapeutic. Schrödinger’s significant and ongoing investment in basic research continues to drive advances in its computational platform. Founded in 1990, Schrödinger has nearly 400 employees in its New York City headquarters and around the world. Visit schrodinger.com for more information.