Bicycle Therapeutics Sets Up Shop in Massachusetts, Taps a New President and CBO

Bicycle Therapeutics Sets Up Shop in Massachusetts, Taps a New President and CBO May 23, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Bicycle Therapeutics, headquartered in Cambridge, UK, announced today that it is opening an office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The U.S. office will be led Rosamond Deegan, who will be president and chief business officer in a newly created position.

Bicycle Therapeutics focuses on a new treatment modality, which the company describes as “highly constrained bicyclic peptides, typically between 8 and 15 amino acids in size.” These peptides apparently have antibody-like affinity and selection, but also tissue penetration similar to small molecules. The company is developing cancer treatments using bicycle drug conjugates that will selectively deliver chemotherapeutic drugs to tumors.

Deegan’s role will be to lead the company’s business development activities and establish a U.S. team for oncology clinical development. Prior to joining Bicycle, Deegan was senior vice president, business development and operations at Trevena . Before Trevana, Deegan was director of business development at GlaxoSmithKline in the U.S., and before that, director of operations for GSK’s Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEED).

“Our expansion into the U.S. in one of the world’s preeminent biotechnology hubs is an important step as we transition to a clinical-stage company with our first bicycle drug conjugate program for oncology entering clinical testing next year,” said Kevin Lee, Bicycle’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Ros brings proven experience in business development, finance, operations and commercial development. We are pleased to have her join our leadership team at this important time in the company’s development.”

The company’s technology is built on work from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Its scientific founders are Sir Gregory Winter and Christian Heinis.

This is only the most recent in several key leadership appointments. On May 5, the company announced the appointment of Michael Skinner as vice president of operations, Alan Watt as vice president of therapeutics, and Gillian Langford, as head of clinical and project management.

Prior to joining Bicycle, Skinner led rare disease discovery projects in Europe for Pfizer , founded and led the Pfizer Rare Disease Consortium, and established the Genetic Medicine Institute.

Watt, before joining Bicycle, co-founded Xenovium, a drug discovery and development consulting firm. He was also chief operating officer and executive vice president of research and development for Trident Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Trident, Watt was vice president of therapeutics at Cellzome UK, and was involved in the company’s acquisition by GlaxoSmithKline in 2012.

Prior to Bicycle, Langford was program director of Boyd Consultants. Previously she was a product development manager for Alizyme Therapeutics. She also acted as head of gene medicine development at Ark Therapeutics.

Of her new position in the U.S., Deegan said in a statement, “I am excited to join Bicycle, which has strong potential to create a new class of drugs with important advantages in delivering toxin to tumors, and broad applicability in a range of therapeutic areas. Bicyclic peptides hold the potential to deliver greater potency, specificity and penetration than current modalities, with more rapid clearance from the body. Our U.S. operations will play a central role for Bicycle as we advance our near-term oncology programs and enter collaborations across a range of diseases.”

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