Tony Kouzarides, Founder of STORM Therapeutics, Awarded British Knighthood for Services to Healthcare Innovation and Delivery

Ground-breaking discoveries on the characteristics of RNA epigenetics unveiled novel targets to treat diseases

CAMBRIDGE, England, June 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — STORM Therapeutics Ltd. (STORM), the clinical stage company pioneering cellular reprogramming through RNA modifications to treat disease, is delighted to announce that its Founder & Director and Professor of Cancer Biology, University of Cambridge, UK, Tony Kouzarides, PhD, FMedSci, FRS, will be honored with a Knighthood for his global impact on disease treatment. Professor Kouzarides, a world leading cancer biologist with a career spanning over 25 years, will be awarded the knighthood at the King’s Birthday Honors, 2024, Investiture ceremony.

Professor Kouzarides has been dedicated to the conversion of science into patient benefit throughout his career.

STORM Therapeutics was spun out from the University of Cambridge in 2015 by Professor Kouzarides and his colleague Professor Eric Miska, following their groundbreaking work in RNA epigenetics. Professor Kouzarides and his research group identified the importance of RNA modifications during the development of cancer, opening the pathway for STORM to develop first-in-class drugs targeting this new mechanism. STORM’s platform, eliciting cellular reprogramming through RNA modification, has potential beyond cancer in areas including neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation and infectious diseases.

Professor Tony Kouzarides, Founder & Director of STORM Therapeutics, said: “I am honored to receive this award, which reinforces the importance of translating basic research into therapies by engaging academic researchers with healthcare businesses. STORM Therapeutics represents a shining example of this principle.”

Jerry McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of STORM Therapeutics, commented: “STORM is delighted to see Tony recognized nationally as a pioneer in the field of cellular reprogramming through RNA modification. Receiving this honor from the King is the pinnacle of a tremendous and productive career. Tony’s commitment, focus and dedication has been unwavering, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as STORM’s programs advance into the clinic as effective treatments for patients.”   

In addition to his role at STORM, Professor Kouzarides is Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Group Leader at the university’s Gurdon Institute, specializing in developmental biology and cancer biology. He is also the Director and Co-Founder of the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge, which focuses on building scientific collaborations to transform therapies. Professor Kouzarides also has his own laboratory in Cambridge, The TK LAB and has been studying epigenetic modifications for many years, starting with the identification of the first human enzymes to modify chromatin in 1996. His lab has identified and characterized many chromatin modification pathways and showed their involvement in cancer. The lab is now investigating the functions of mRNA modifications and their connections to cancer. In close collaboration with STORM Therapeutics, The Kouzarides Lab is targeting RNA modification pathways with small molecule inhibitors, to develop drugs against cancer and other diseases.

Professor Kouzarides is also the Founder and Director of Cambridge Gravity, an organization for the promotion of science at the University of Cambridge. He is Founder and Patron of the Spanish cancer charity Vencer el Cancer (“Conquer Cancer”). Professor Kouzarides is Co-Founder and ex-Director of antibodies and reagents company Abcam, which was sold to the Danaher Corporation for US$5.7 billion (£4.5bn) in 2023. He was also Co-Founder and ex-Director of Chroma Therapeutics, a drug discovery company based in Oxford.

Professor Kouzarides is an elected member of the European Molecular Laboratory Organization (EMBO), fellow of the British Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci), fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) and fellow of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts. He has also been awarded the Bodossaki Foundation prize in Biology, the Wellcome Trust Award for Research in Biochemistry Related to Medicine, the Tenovus Medal, the Bijvoet Medal, the Biochemical Society Novartis Medal and Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the Cyprus Excellence in Science Award and the Nemitsas Prize. Find out more about Professor Kouzarides on his Wikipedia page, here.

NOTES TO EDITORS 

About STORM Therapeutics

STORM Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering cellular reprogramming through RNA modifications to treat disease. Its world leading understanding of RNA modifying enzymes (RME) has led to the discovery of breakthrough small molecule drugs that precisely reprogram cells through RNA biology for the treatment of cancer, inflammation, viruses and CNS diseases.

STORM’s lead product, STC-15, is the first RNA modifying enzyme inhibitor to enter human clinical development. STC-15 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with advanced solid tumors, establishing a data set allowing development in future clinical studies. Preclinical data have revealed that METTL3 inhibition stimulates immune cells and activates interferon pathways, leading to the destruction of tumor cells. Additional preclinical studies have demonstrated enhanced anti-tumor properties in combination with checkpoint inhibitors, supporting clinical development in tumor types where an augmented immune response may result in anti-cancer activity. STORM is building on its first-mover advantage by positioning additional RME inhibitor programs to advance into IND-track activities in 2024. STORM is seeking partners to collaborate and accelerate development of these novel drugs for disease applications outside of oncology.

STORM’s specialist healthcare investors include M Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures LLC, Seroba Life Sciences, Cambridge Innovation Capital Limited, IP Group plc, UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. and the Fast Track Initiative (FTI).

For more information, please visit www.stormtherapeutics.com.

About STC-15

STORM’s lead product, STC-15, is the first RME inhibitor to enter human clinical evaluation. This agent is an oral small molecule that inhibits METTL3, an RNA methyltransferase implicated in oncology and other diseases. Certain RNA methyltransferases are important regulators of RNA sensing and innate immune activation and, as such, represent novel immune-regulatory targets.

STC-15 has also been shown preclinically to inhibit tumor growth through mechanisms involving anti-cancer immune responses, such as changes in interferon signaling and synergy with T cell checkpoint blockade.

STORM is studying the safety and pharmacology of STC-15 in a Phase 1 clinical study in patients with solid tumors. Details of the study can be found on clinicaltrials.gov under the identifier NCT05584111.

 

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