PTEN Research Foundation Further Strengthens its Scientific Advisory Board with the Appointment of Two New Senior Leaders from the Pharmaceutical Industry

 
  • Rare disease charity PTEN Research Foundation welcomes two new senior leaders from the pharmaceutical industry, Professor Sir Mene Pangalos and Dr Donald Ogilvie to the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
  • By strengthening its scientific oversight, the Foundation hopes to further progress and accelerate its mission to fund and facilitate research that will lead to better treatments and improved outcomes for people with PTEN Hamartoma Tumour Syndrome (PHTS).
 

CHELTENHAM, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- PTEN Research Foundation, a charity which funds and facilitates research with the aim of developing new and better treatments for the rare disease PTEN Hamartoma Tumour Syndrome (PHTS), today announced that it has further strengthened its scientific oversight of activities with two new senior leaders, Dr Donald Ogilvie and Prof Sir Mene Pangalos, joining the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

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Prof Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos DSc PhD FRSB FMedSci HonFBPhS FRS (Photo: Business Wire)

Prof Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos DSc PhD FRSB FMedSci HonFBPhS FRS (Photo: Business Wire)

“We are honoured that two such senior leaders with a wealth of drug development experience have agreed to join the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board,” said Thomas Pepper, Chief Executive of PTEN Research Foundation. “The SAB has a critical role in steering the Foundation’s scientific strategy and we continue to be privileged that senior leaders from pharma and biotech, as well as academic physicians and scientists with a deep knowledge of PHTS, have been willing to join the Board and guide the Foundation’s mission.”

PHTS is a condition caused by an alteration in the PTEN gene. Such an alteration, which may be inherited from the mother or father, or occur spontaneously during embryonic development, can affect multiple organs and result in a variety of symptoms. These include macrocephaly (enlarged head circumference), learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, vascular anomalies (abnormal growth of the blood vessels), gastrointestinal polyps (growths in the gut), and hamartomas (benign lesions of the skin and other tissues). In addition, people with PHTS have a significantly increased risk of developing cancer of the breast, thyroid and endometrium (lining of the womb).

Notes for Editors

About Dr Donald Ogilvie MA DPhil

Donald is an independent scientific consultant providing expert advice on cancer drug discovery to academic, industrial, and venture capital organisations.

Donald obtained an MA in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford, UK, in 1980, before working at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, for eight years on the role of proteases in cancer, then on inherited connective tissue disorders. The latter was the basis of his DPhil degree. In 1988, Donald joined ICI which subsequently became Zeneca then AstraZeneca. For most of his twenty-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, he worked on cancer drug discovery and early clinical development projects. He was directly responsible for the delivery of ten novel cancer development compounds, several of which have progressed to phase II & III clinical trials and two, so far, to regulatory approval. Between 2009 and 2017, Donald set up and led the academic Drug Discovery Unit at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute (University of Manchester, UK). Under his leadership, the team built a drug discovery infrastructure and a leading cancer project portfolio. During this period, three projects, including one with a development compound, were successfully licensed to downstream partners. Donald is a co-author on more than ninety peer-reviewed academic publications.

About Prof Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos DSc PhD FRSB FMedSci HonFBPhS FRS

Until Spring 2024 Mene held the role of Executive Vice President, Research and Development at AstraZeneca being responsible for R&D from discovery through to late-stage development covering Cardiovascular, Renal, Metabolism, Respiratory, Immunology, Microbial Science and Neuroscience areas. Prior to this, he served as Executive Vice-President of AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines & Early Development Biotech Unit and Global Business Development.

During his time with AstraZeneca, Mene led the transformation of R&D productivity through the development and implementation of the “5R” framework resulting in a greater than four-fold increase in success rates compared to industry averages. In parallel, he has championed an open approach to working with academic and other external partners, changing the nature of academic-industry collaboration.

In addition, Mene led and oversaw AstraZeneca’s R&D response to COVID-19; maintaining existing clinical trials and delivery of medicines to patients, responding to the UK government’s call for supporting its national testing effort, and discovering and developing new preventative and treatment approaches to the disease. This work involved partnering with Oxford University in the global development of a vaccine and ensuring broad and equitable access at no profit during the pandemic, the discovery and development of a long-acting antibody combination for those who could not be vaccinated, as well as exploring AstraZeneca’s existing portfolio as potential treatment options against the disease. The team were awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society in 2023.

Mene previously held senior R&D roles at Wyeth and GSK.

Mene holds Honorary Doctorates from Glasgow University and Imperial College, London, is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Biology and Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and is a Visiting Professor at The Wolfson Centre at King’s College. He co-chairs the UK Life Sciences Council Expert Group on Innovation, Clinical Research and Data and is a member of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. He is also on the Boards of The Francis Crick Institute and The Judge Business School, Cambridge University, and is a member of the Life Sciences Vision Advisory Group. Mene was awarded the 2019 Prix Galien Medal, Greece for his scientific research and named Executive of the Year at the 2019 Scrip Awards. In 2019, Mene was awarded the honour of a Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to UK science. In 2021 Mene was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Pharmacological Society. In 2022 Mene was elected as a Fellow of The Royal Society and an honorary professor of Cambridge University Medical School.

About PHTS

PHTS is a rare genetic disorder caused by alteration in the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) gene that results in a variety of symptoms in multiple organs. These alterations, which may be inherited from the mother or father or occur spontaneously during embryonic development, can result in a variety of symptoms. These include macrocephaly (enlarged head circumference), learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, vascular anomalies (abnormal growth of the blood vessels), gastrointestinal polyps (growths in the gut), and hamartomas (benign lesions of the skin and other tissues). In addition, people with PHTS have an increased lifetime risk of developing cancer, particularly breast, thyroid, and endometrial (lining of the womb) cancer.

Estimating the prevalence of PHTS is complex due to the varied presentations and diagnoses patients can have and because some features (e.g. benign breast lesions) also commonly occur in the general population. The prevalence of PHTS is estimated to be about 1 in 200,000, although this is likely to be an underestimate.

There are currently no health authority-approved treatments specific to PHTS, and clinical management consists mainly of cancer surveillance and supportive care. The need for cancer surveillance and lifelong supportive care places a high burden on affected individuals, their families and on healthcare systems.

About PTEN Research Foundation

PTEN Research Foundation was established as a charity under English law in 2017 (charity number 1173589). The Foundation’s mission is to fund and facilitate research that will lead to new and better treatments for individuals with PHTS. PTEN Research Foundation aims to have transformative therapies available as treatment options for people with PHTS within 10 years.

The Foundation’s strategy is centred on the generation of preclinical and clinical evidence that will enable the Foundation, and others (both academic collaborators and industry), to develop treatment options for people with PHTS.

www.PTENresearch.org

Contacts

Enquiries/Media:
Thomas Pepper
Chief Executive
PTEN Research Foundation
E: contact@PTENresearch.org
www.PTENresearch.org

 
 

Source: PTEN Research Foundation

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Prof Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos DSc PhD FRSB FMedSci HonFBPhS FRS (Photo: Business Wire)

Dr Donald Ogilvie MA DPhil (Photo: Business Wire)

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