Newly appointed President and CSO, David Knowles, and Director of Discovery Research,
Neil Pegg will drive CellCentric’s epigenetic target programmes into lead optimisation and
Rainbow Seed Fund investment CellCentric, the biotechnology company unlocking epigenetic control
mechanisms, is expanding its leadership team further to capitalise on its multiple target and small molecule
The company is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr David Knowles as President and CSO and Dr
Neil Pegg as Director of Discovery Research. They both join us from Piramed Pharma where they oversaw
the development of small molecules in multiple programmes, including a major collaboration with Genentech.
Piramed was subsequently acquired by Roche, returning over 8x return on investment for shareholders.
CellCentric has demethylase, methyltransferase and ubiquitin-related targets amongst others that have come
forward from the company’s discovery base: a worldwide network of relationships with over 20 leading
laboratories in epigenetics.
David Knowles, 56, has built a successful career in the healthcare industry over 30 years, the last 10 in
biotech. He has held senior R&D positions in Smithkline Beecham, both in the UK and US and has held
numerous executive, non-exec and scientific advisory positions in European and Asian biotech companies.
Neil Pegg, 46, also has experience of both large pharma and small biotech companies; from driving lead
generation and optimisation teams at Glaxo through to senior positions at OSI and ReOx.
Commenting on the recent additions to the CellCentric team, Will West, Chief Executive said: ‘I am delighted
that we have recruited discovery and development leaders of the calibre of David and Neil. They have the
proven ability to build significant value into programmes at the pre-clinical stage.’
David Knowles added, ‘CellCentric is remarkable. Its extensive, global epigenetics discovery base gives it
unique insights into a wide range of potential therapeutic targets which it has now translated into well defined
and differentiated drug discovery programmes. I look forward to working as part of the CellCentric team,
advancing these and additional programs into lead optimisation and beyond.’
Neil Pegg said ‘Epigenetics is continuing to prove a very hot space for Pharma, biotech and investors.
CellCentric has a strong position with multiple start points from which to take forward programmes that offer
significant therapeutic potential for cancer as well as other areas. I too am looking forward to working with
the CellCentric team and delivering these new and much needed drug candidates.’
Based in Cambridge, UK, CellCentric is a biotechnology company focused on epigenetics. Since 2004 it has
built tied relationships with over twenty world leading laboratories in epigenetics, predominantly in the US
and Europe. The company has prioritised a series of novel targets for validation and is generating novel
small molecule drugs, principally for cancer treatment.
About Rainbow Seed Fund
The £8.5m Rainbow Seed Fund was established in 2001 with funding from the Office of Science and
Innovation to commercialise scientific research in a leading group of the UK publicly funded institutions, our
partners. The Fund made its first investment in 2002 and has increased its partner base twice, in 2004 with
the addition of BBSRC and in 2006 when 6 other leading research institutes joined the Fund.
The Fund invests at the earliest stages of a technology’s development, and helps to turn an idea into a
business by supporting the management of the business and facilitating investment. Rainbow's partners
spend over £1 billion on research and development every year giving the Fund privileged access to high
quality investment propositions at the earliest stage.
Our close involvement at this level means that we are in a key position to identify the products with a
commercial future and play an active role in the successful development of these technologies into products