C4XD, Manchester drug firm, appoints CSO

Manchester-based drug discovery company C4X Discovery Holdings plc announced the appointment of Nick Ray as its chief scientific officer (CSO) with immediate effect. 

Ray joined C4XD in 2016 and is currently senior vice president drug discovery, leading the medicinal chemistry, structural analysis and computational chemistry/cheminformatics teams. 

“Nick will continue to work closely with Clare Murray PhD, SVP Drug Discovery, to advance the C4XD Drug Discovery portfolio from target selection through to pre-clinical candidate generation and partnering, and with CTO, Charles Blundell PhD, to continue development of our conformational analysis technology, 4Sight,” said C4XD.

“Nick has more than 30 years’ experience leading key programmes at large multi-national companies including Rhône-Poulenc, Celltech and Argenta/Charles River, in the therapeutic areas of oncology, respiratory diseases, inflammation, CNS, pain and metabolic diseases. 

“Eight of these programmes have progressed into the clinic to date.

“As head of the chemistry department at Charles River’s Harlow U.K. site, Nick was responsible for more than 70 chemists, fostering both the importance of strong medicinal and synthetic chemistry skills and championing professional development for his team, winning the Royal Society of Chemistry Retrosynthesis competition in 2015. 

“He is a named inventor on over 75 patents and patent applications and has published 21 papers and presentation abstracts. 

“Nick holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK.”

C4XD CEO Clive Dix said: “Nick has played a key role in the growth of C4XD and its reputation as a leading Drug Discovery company. 

“Since joining the company in 2016, his in-depth scientific expertise, particularly in medicinal and computational chemistry, has enabled C4XD to develop a growing portfolio of high quality small molecule Drug Discovery programmes, the very core of our business. 

“Nick is highly respected both within C4XD and across our industry, and more recently, he has made a significant contribution to the commercial side of the business with the successful partnering of our IL-17A Inhibitor programme with Sanofi and our NRF2 Activator programme with AstraZeneca. 

“We are delighted to announce his promotion to chief scientific officer.”