today announced an expansion of its drug discovery leadership team to
strengthen its expertise in preclinical development and translational
science as the company advances internal drug discovery programs powered
by its physics-based molecular modeling platform.
Duncan Hamish Wright, Ph.D., who has previously served in senior
positions in clinical pharmacology, global clinical development, and
business development, joins Schrödinger as Vice President, Translational
Science. W. George Lai, Ph.D., a veteran drug developer with
translational ADME/PK and bioanalytical experience across multiple
products, will serve as Senior Director and will lead Schrödinger’s
translational PK/PD and drug metabolism function.
“As our proprietary programs advance, we are expanding our translational
science capabilities to ensure that we can continue to make rapid
progress,” said Karen Akinsanya, Ph.D., Schrödinger’s Chief Biomedical
Scientist. “Hamish and George have the experience and the expertise to
guide our programs as we transition compounds to the clinical candidate
stage. I am delighted to welcome them to the team.”
Dr. Wright and Dr. Lai join Schrödinger’s Drug Discovery Group, which is
advancing nearly two dozen programs in partnership with leading biotech
and pharma companies, as well as nonprofit research centers. These
global collaborations deploy Schrödinger’s advanced computational
platform to accelerate discovery and enable rapid iteration and
optimization of potential therapeutic compounds. Alongside these
partnered programs, Schrödinger is developing a wholly-owned pipeline,
focused first on oncology, with the goal of leveraging its computational
assays to identify and advance transformational medicines for patients
with unmet medical needs.
Hamish Wright, Ph.D., comes to Schrödinger after almost 20 years
at Merck Research Laboratories in roles of increasing responsibility.
Most recently, Dr. Wright served as Executive Director, Business
Development and Licensing. He was responsible for scientific diligence
of licensing opportunities and was a member of the deal team for a
number of Merck’s key oncology and immuno-oncology transactions. In
previous clinical development and emerging markets roles at Merck, Dr.
Wright led numerous early clinical programs and was the product
development team leader for Vaniprevir (VANIHEP™), a novel NS3/4A HCV
protease inhibitor, which was approved in 2014 and commercialized in
Japan. Dr. Wright received his Ph.D. in pharmacology and therapeutics
from McGill University and holds an academic appointment as Adjunct
Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and
Neuroscience at New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University.
George Lai, Ph.D., brings nearly 20 years of experience in the
pharmaceutical industry to Schrödinger. He most recently served as
Senior Director and Head of DMPK at Eisai, Inc. In this role, he led a
team that successfully completed high-quality regulatory submission
packages for at least ten diverse clinical candidates for immunology,
oncology, and neurology indications. In an earlier role at Eisai, Dr.
Lai made translational ADME and bioanalytical contributions that helped
ensure the successful development of HALAVEN® (eribulin mesylate) from
preclinical to clinical stages. Prior to joining Eisai, Dr. Lai worked
as a Senior Scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim. He holds a Ph.D. in
pharmaceutical science from the University of Toronto.
computational platform to accelerate drug discovery and materials design
is deployed by leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, and
electronics companies worldwide. In addition to this substantial and
growing global business, Schrödinger has built a robust pipeline of
therapeutic assets, held both internally and in partnerships, and has
co-founded leading biotech companies, including Nimbus Therapeutics and
Morphic Therapeutic. Schrödinger’s significant and ongoing investment in
basic research continues to drive advances in its computational
platform. Founded in 1990, Schrödinger has nearly 400 employees in its
New York City headquarters and around the world. Visit schrodinger.com
for more information.