The Board of Conformetrix Ltd, a leader in optimising drug discovery and design and spin-out from The University of Manchester, has appointed Dr Sam Williams as Chief Executive Officer, it is announced today. Dr Williams, who has extensive transactional and business development expertise, was previously a Non-Executive Director of the company. He takes over from one of Conformetrix’s founder scientists, Dr Andrew Almond, who becomes Chief Technology Officer.
Conformetrix uses its NMR-based technology to determine the accurate bioactive structures of molecules, an approach which has significant potential in the optimisation of drug discovery and design, as well as the generation of novel drugs. By solving dynamic 3D structures independently of techniques such as X-ray crystallography, the Conformetrix approach derives valuable data more quickly and cheaply than standard approaches. It has been validated by studies both in-house and with partners, and further data and partnering deals are expected this year.
Prior to moving into company management, Dr Williams spent over a decade in the City as a top-rated1 healthcare analyst, with Robertson Stephens and Lehman Brothers. As well as advising on life sciences investments, he was involved in several IPOs and M&A transactions. Sam has a biology degree from the University of Oxford and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He will combine his duties at Conformetrix with his role as CEO of Modern Biosciences, a virtual drug development company.
Dr Clive Dix, Chairman of Conformetrix, said, ‘We welcome Sam as CEO of Conformetrix, where his expertise will be invaluable as the company enters this important next phase of its development. The Board’s thanks are also due to Andrew and to Chief Scientific Officer and fellow founder Dr Charles Blundell for their significant contribution to the company’s growth so far.’
Dr Sam Williams, CEO of Conformetrix, added, ‘Conformetrix’s technology has huge potential in the optimisation of how the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry generates new products, and I’m really pleased to be taking on this more active role within the company. The team has expanded significantly during the last year, and I look forward to working with it as Conformetrix matures and moves towards collaborative deals.’
1 Number one-ranked European Biotechnology Analyst in Institutional Investor survey 2004-2006, and in Thomson Extel survey in 2004 and 2005.