About Us

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Our main focus is:

"To build a precision medicine company offering new and transformative epigenetic cancer therapies."

Prof Nicholas La Thangue

Overview

Argonaut Therapeutics is a spin-out from Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division focusing on new cancer treatments. The technology is based on original discoveries made in Oxford that characterised abnormal arginine methylation in advanced and metastatic tumours. This established PRMT5 as a drug target and the company generated two distinct series of PRMT5 inhibitors, coupled with proprietary companion diagnostics, which enable a precision medicine approach to treating cancer. Its intellectual property is protected by a comprehensive suite of patents extending to the 2040s. The company has identified a lead candidate and is progressing it into clinical trials.

Our Team

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Nicholas La Thangue

MA MSc PhD FRSE FMedSci

CEO & Founder

Professor La Thangue has over 30 years of experience in biotech entrepreneurship, translational cancer science and drug development. He previously founded Prolifix focused on cell cycle therapeutics, where he acted as CSO and CEO until its merger with TopoTarget which led to a highly successful IPO. He also founded Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, which continues to develop a portfolio of marketed precision cancer medicine tests, where he held senior positions including CEO and CSO. Later on, Nick founded Celleron Therapeutics, a precision medicine company focusing on clinical stage oncology drugs. Argonaut Therapeutics, his most recently founded company, focuses on exploiting the PRMT5-E2F1 signalling pathway in cancer therapy. Nick is Professor of Cancer Biology at Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Cancer Science, the Lister Institute and Professorial Fellow of Linacre College Oxford. He has over 200 publications and is an inventor on numerous patents.

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Shonagh Munro

PhD

Research Director

Dr Munro has two decades of research experience in cancer biology, initially at Dundee, then at Oxford University. She brings to the company deep biological understanding and key technological expertise. She has an extensive publication record in high impact, peer reviewed journals and holds a PhD from the University of Dundee.

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Collette Coll

MBA

Operations Director

Ms Coll a highly qualified and experienced business leader. She has held several management positions in both industry and academia throughout her career. Her recent experience includes knowledge and technology transfer in several Oxford University spinouts and patent portfolio management. She demonstrates leadership in strategic planning and implementation of cross-functional corporate and business activities.

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Prof Paul Brennan

PhD

Medicinal Chemistry Advisor

Professor Brennan received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley under the mentorship of Paul Bartlett working on synthetic methodology for combinatorial chemistry and synthesizing inhibitors for new anti-bacterial targets. Following three years of post-doctoral research with Steve Ley in Cambridge University on the total synthesis of rapamycin, Paul returned to California to take a position at Amgen.  His research was focused on designing and synthesizing kinase inhibitors for oncology.  After two years at Amgen, Paul accepted a position as Medicinal Chemistry Design Lead at the Pfizer research labs in Sandwich, UK.  Over the next six years Paul designed and synthesized compounds for most major drug classes: GPCR’s, CNS-targets, ion-channels and metabolic enzymes. Following the closure of the Pfizer site in Sandwich, Paul joined the SGC as the Principal Investigator for medicinal chemistry to discover chemical probes for epigenetic proteins. He was made full Professor in August 2018

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Shawn Zheng

DPhil MBA FRSB

Business Advisor

Dr Zheng is a business development professional with experience spanning across a number of Oxford University spinouts. He has a strong background in cancer research and was formerly a principal investigator of a joint drug discovery programme between MSD and A*STAR Singapore. Shawn was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge where he received his DPhil and MBA degrees, respectively, and underwent postdoctoral training with Sir David Lane FRS. He is a lead author in a number of top-tier scientific publications and a recipient of multiple prestigious scholarships. He is a Visiting Fellow at Linacre College Oxford and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Board of Directors

Simon Kerry

Simon Kerry

PhD MBA

Chairman

Dr Kerry is a business professional with two decades’ experience of creating and developing innovative life science companies. CEO of Karus until recently, having joined them in 2006. He was Director of Business Development at Ablynx NV (Ghent, Belgium), where he secured a number of research, development and licensing agreements with major pharmaceutical companies including Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Novartis. During this time, he played a key role in Ablynx's growth from early-stage to one of Europe's most promising antibody companies. Prior to Ablynx, Simon was Director of Business Development at Active Biotech AB (Lund, Sweden), where he spun-out the molecular evolution company, Isogenica Ltd (Cambridge, UK), later joining the spin-out as Vice President of Business Development. Simon has held other key commercial appointments at Actinova Ltd (Cambridge, UK), and Actigen Ltd (Cambridge, UK). He has also occupied senior commercial roles at the Health Protection Agency (Salisbury, UK) and within the Jasmin group of companies. Simon has a degree in Medicinal Chemistry, a Life Science PhD and an executive MBA from Loughborough University Business School. Simon is on the Advisory Board of MedCity, an initiative that positions London and South-East England as a world leading, interconnected region for life science research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation. Simon is also a co-founder of Angels4LifeSciences), an angel investment community committed to early-stage UK-based life science companies.

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Prof Nick La Thangue

MA MSc PhD FRSE FMedSci

Executive Director

Professor La Thangue has over 30 years of experience in biotech entrepreneurship, translational cancer science and drug development. He previously founded Prolifix focused on cell cycle therapeutics, where he acted as CSO and CEO until its merger with TopoTarget which led to a highly successful IPO. He also founded Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, which continues to develop a portfolio of marketed precision cancer medicine tests, where he held senior positions including CEO and CSO. Later on, Nick founded Celleron Therapeutics, a precision medicine company focusing on clinical stage oncology drugs. Argonaut Therapeutics, his most recently founded company, focuses on exploiting the PRMT5-E2F1 signalling pathway in cancer therapy. Nick is Professor of Cancer Biology at Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the European Academy of Cancer Science, the Lister Institute and Professorial Fellow of Linacre College Oxford. He has over 200 publications and is an inventor on numerous patents.

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Nick Dixon-Clegg

MA (Cantab)

Investor Director

Mr Dixon-Clegg is Principal Investor at Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI). He previously held investment roles at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nordic Capital and Valiance Asset Management, specialising in healthcare and life sciences companies. He holds an MA in Natural Sciences (Triple First) from the University of Cambridge

Bungkwn Lee

Bungkwn Lee

Investor Director

Lee is an experienced Financier and Business Leader. He was formerly a Bond Dealer for The Bank of New York in Seoul, before moving into industry as CEO of The Sudokwon Environment Company.  Mr Lee is currently CEO of Muhan Corporation Ltd and a Professional Investor.

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Chan-Hee Park

PhD

Investor Director

Dr. Park is currently CTO of JW group and CEO of JW Creagene (An affiliate of JW Shinyak). He joined JW Pharmaceutical in 1996 and served as the Chief of Discovery Research Center of C&C Research Laboratoris (Affiliate of JW Pharmaceutical) and Chief of Drug Discoevry Center of JW Pharmaceutical Corp. And currently he also responsible for JW Research Strategy Office of JW Holdings. He also serves as a board of appraisal of KDDF (Korea Drug Development Fund), a member of R&D Policy Board of KPBMA (Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-pharma Manufacturers Association) as well as a member of TBC (Technology Business Committe) of KDRA (Korea Drug Research Association) in Korea. now also the vice-board president of Korea Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (KPMA). He graduated from the Dept. of Chemistry of Sung Kyun Kwan University and received his PhD. degree from Seoul National University.

Investors

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