BUSINESS WIRE: Adrestia appoints Head of Chemistry and initiates multi-target partnership with Proteros to discover first-in-class drugs for intractable genetic diseases


  • Drug discovery leader Dr James Osborne brings strong track record of delivering drug candidates for oncology and CNS disorders
  • Proteros selected for its cutting-edge structure-based drug discovery engine
  • Signals new phase as Adrestia moves a portfolio of validated synthetic rescue targets into drug discovery for genetically defined neurologic and cardiomyopathic diseases

CAMBRIDGE, England --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 25.10.2022 --

Adrestia Therapeutics, a leader in synthetic rescue therapies for genetic diseases, today announced the appointment of Dr James Osborne as Head of Chemistry and the initiation of a multi-target partnership with Proteros biostructures GmbH (Munich, Germany) to accelerate the discovery of first-in-class candidate drugs for intractable diseases.

“Throughout my career I’ve watched our industry design candidate drugs for targets that turned out to be inadequately validated,' said Tom Heightman, Adrestia’s Chief Research and Development Officer. “Adrestia is different: our synthetic rescue platform is identifying novel targets that are highly validated by clinically relevant human cellular experiments with strong support from human genetics. Given our high conviction in these targets, we are applying parallel drug discovery strategies to maximize probability of success and accelerate timelines to IND. I’m thrilled to be working with James and Proteros – we’re poised to deliver some revolutionary new medicines.”

James Osborne is an accomplished drug discovery leader with experience in several successful biotech companies. He has led or been involved with the delivery of seven drug candidates across a range of target classes. In James’s most recent position he ran the medicinal chemistry function at Amphista Therapeutics. Prior to that he led small molecule discovery at GW Pharmaceuticals and held project and medicinal chemistry leadership roles at Astex and Charles River Labs. James started his drug discovery career at the Institute of Cancer Research. He holds an MSc in Chemistry and a PhD in organic synthesis from Nottingham University and completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of Oxford.

'I’m really excited by the opportunity of Adrestia’s target portfolio,” said Dr. Osborne, “and I look forward to exploiting a range of modalities including small molecule and oligonucleotide chemistries. Our collaboration with Proteros allows us to apply sophisticated structure-guided drug design methodologies including crystallographic fragment screening, artificial intelligence and virtual library screening.”

As a leader in structure-based drug discovery, Proteros enables Adrestia to accelerate its drug discovery activities by providing access to leading protein biochemistry, assay development and high throughput protein structure capabilities. “Adrestia’s carefully validated targets discovered through their unique platform and their disease applications are an inspiration to Proteros. We are delighted to support Adrestia in their accelerated drug discovery endeavors for a variety of complex targets to treat genetic diseases,” said Debora Konz Makino, VP Business Unit Discovery Solutions. The collaboration is already providing Adrestia with world-first protein crystal structures and is using both the Swiss Light Source (Villigen, Switzerland) and the Diamond Light Source, the UK's synchrotron facility, to enable rapid drug design.

About Adrestia’s synthetic rescue platform

Adrestia has developed a leading synthetic rescue drug development platform, which has already identified completely new targets for treating intractable genetic diseases. The platform identifies and validates novel targets across the human genome and delivers optimized drug candidates. The platform’s data contributes to Adrestia’s synthetic rescue ‘Atlas’ of the human genome. As the Atlas expands, it will identify both rare and common diseases with a shared genetic component where synthetic rescue drugs could offer new hope for treatment.

This scalable platform builds on decades of research by Professor Steve Jackson’s laboratory at the University of Cambridge into synthetic rescue and the related concept of synthetic lethality for the treatment of cancer. The Jackson Laboratory’s foundational work is complemented by world-class genomic analyses, screening and drug discovery activities led by recognized experts in their fields who have joined Adrestia.

About Adrestia

Adrestia is a leader in synthetic rescue therapies for genetic diseases. As many directly causative mutations are not druggable, synthetic rescue embraces the much broader target set represented by functionally connected genes, to correct the effects of the causative mutations and ‘rescue’ health. Adrestia is creating a synthetic rescue ‘Atlas’ of the human genome and advancing a portfolio of first-in-class therapies, initially for neurologic, neuromuscular and cardiomyopathic diseases. Adrestia’s platform and in-house programs are complemented by a target discovery alliance with GSK and a Huntington’s disease collaboration with noted researchers including Dr Sarah Tabrizi at University College London.

Adrestia was co-founded by Professor Steve Jackson and the deep technology investment fund Ahren Innovation Capital, which co-led Adrestia’s Series A financing along with GSK. Jackson co-originated the first synthetic lethality drug, olaparib, which was the first drug approved to treat cancers caused by inherited mutations. For further information, visit:

About Proteros biostructures GmbH

Proteros is a privately-held company with expertise in structure-based drug discovery powered by a cutting-edge discovery engine tailored to unlock even the most technically challenging disease-relevant targets. The company provides small molecule drug discovery services and its comprehensive enabling technology platforms, coupled with roots to Nobel Prize winning science and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, have enabled prominent contributions to several lead optimization programs and clinical-stage compounds.

Proteros’ scientific rigor can accelerate overall research timelines for clients by solving the “High-hanging-fruits” of the early drug discovery and development stages and the company is consistently seen as the go-to partner for Hit to Lead Optimisation services. Proteros supports many of the world’s top 20 largest pharmaceutical companies and more than 200 pharmaceutical and biotech partners in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

For more information please visit

Robert Johnson

Tom Donovan
+1 857 559 3397

For Proteros
Debora Konz Makino
VP Business Unit Discovery Solutions
Phone: +49 89 700761-0