International drug-discovery leader Dr Jeanette Wood has been appointed to the advisory committee of The University of Queensland’s (UQ) drug discovery initiative, QEDDI, the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative.
Managed by UQ’s commercialisation company UniQuest, QEDDI is the only facility of its kind in Australia. It houses a world-class, fully-integrated, small molecule drug discovery facility to accelerate the development of new drugs from leading academic research.
UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said QEDDI’s team of industry-experienced biologists and medicinal chemists were working on projects that aimed to translate academic disease biology to new therapies for diseases with unmet medical need.
“Dr Wood brings extensive experience in all aspects of drug discovery and development across disease areas relevant to QEDDI projects including: cancer, cardiovascular, and inflammatory diseases,” he said.
“She has an enviable track record in the discovery of many approved drugs, and has been regularly recognised for her scientific and drug discovery excellence.
“She has served as a scientific and strategic advisor to biotech companies and universities with drug discovery activities around the world, is author of more than 180 peer-reviewed journal publications, book chapters and reviews and an inventor on more than 20 patents.”
Born and educated in New Zealand, Dr Wood began her career in the pharmaceutical industry with Ciba-Geigy in Switzerland working in the cardiovascular area.
Most recently Dr Wood was the chief scientific officer of Genkyotex, a Swiss-based biotech company developing new treatments for fibrotic diseases.
Her previous positions include vice president and head of iScience Oncology at AstraZeneca with responsibility for early discovery oncology, and head of biology at S*BIO, Singapore’s first biotech drug discovery company.
Dr Wood is currently performing board director and advisory roles for Nuevolution in Denmark, Idorsia, Basilea and Telremo in Switzerland, Cumulus in the UK and Maurice Wilkins Institute in New Zealand.
“Translating research into drug candidates for clinical trials and taking them through to market can take decades and has a high attrition rate. It is expensive and the risks are great,” said Dr Moss.
“QEDDI, with its long-term commitment from supporters and its strong team of industry-experienced medicinal chemists and biologists is designed to translate novel world-leading academic research into significant commercial and patient outcomes.”
Dr Wood said QEDDI had the ability to fill gaps not well covered by the pharma industry. “Integrating industry-experienced drug discovery professionals with leading academic research affords a great opportunity for finding novel approaches to treating diseases with high unmet medical need,” she said.
“I am excited to be part of the advisory committee and looking forward to supporting this great initiative.”