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Small Molecule Highlights #09 – March 2023

This issue highlights 8 small molecules reported in recent medicinal chemistry literature, out of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, and the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Interestingly, several unique scaffolds are represented by this list of compounds, including indazoles, pyrimidines, chromanes, and urea pyrazoles. These small molecules also present several MOAs including standard inhibition, agonism, antagonism and covalency. Enjoy!

Small Molecule Highlights #09 – March 2023

Compound 14

Compound 14
Compound 14

Compound 14: This 2H‑Indazole-3-carboxamide has been reported in J.Med.Chem. as an EP4 antagonist as an anticancer immunotherapy with medicinal utility against colorectal cancer (CRC). EP4 is a Gαs-coupled GPCR, with roles in cAMP pathways and PGE2 immunosuppressive responses. In a cAMP assay, a hEP4 IC50 value of 1.1 nM was reported, whilst against EP1, EP2, and EP3, an IC50 > 10 µM was found. Across various hEP4 assays (Ca2+ flux, β-arrestin, and CRE), an IC50 value of 2.1 nM, 0.9 nM, and 4.1 nM was observed. Against HLM, a T1/2 of 145 mins was found, with limited CYP inhibition (IC50 > 50 µM). At 5 mg/kg (p.o.), an oral bioavailability (F %) of 46.8% was found. In vivo efficacy was also seen in a CT26 syngeneic tumor mouse model (at 100 mg/kg, p.o.), with a TGI of 76%

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c02058

Compound 24

Compound 24
Compound 24

Compound 24: This small molecule by Abbvie, has been recently reported as a covalent glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) inhibitor, which induces a special type of iron-dependent cell death known as Ferroptosis. GPX4 plays critical roles in lipid peroxidation, the formation of phospholipid hydroperoxides (PLOOH) along with the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This molecule uses a reactive chloroacetamide electrophile, targeting a unique selenocysteine (Se) nucleophile within the GPX4 active site. A cell viability EC50 of 117 nM was reported, with a half-life in hPlasma of 14 hrs. Against GSH, a half-life of 1.3 hrs was found. Pharmacokinetic studies (100 mg/kg), found a CMax value of 5.31 µg/mL, a PAMPA score of 3.1, and aqueous solubility of 13.8 µM (at pH 7). Target engagement with kidney GPX4 was found, along with the induction of relevant PD markers in SCID/Beige mice models.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c01415

Compound 28.1

Compound 28.1
Compound 28.1

Compound 28.1: In this article, a class of 2-aminopyrimidines were found to be agonists of the bitter taste receptor (TAS2R14), out of which compound 28.1 was highlighted. TAS2R14 is a GPCR and bitter taste receptor found on the tongue, and airway passages with roles in bronchodilation. This allows it to find utility as a potential drug target for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inhibitor design followed a scaffold-hopping strategy from Flufenamic acid, an NSAID clinical standard. Compound 28.1 found a TAS2R14 activation EC50 of 72 nM, with an EMax of 129% (relative to the standard). Molecular docking studies predict useful pi-pi stacking interactions between the tetrazole motif and Trp89, Phe186, and Phe243. Against a panel of 24 non-bitter taste receptors, this molecule was selective for TAS2R14.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c01997



CVN636: This chromane scaffold out of Ceravance (and Takeda) has been reported as an allosteric agonist of the metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7). This glutamate receptor is abundantly expressed across the central nervous system, as well as pre-synaptic glutamatergic, and GABAergic terminals. Starting with a high through-put screen of 650K analogs, followed by 3 rounds of structural optimization, CVN636 was reported as a CNS-penetrant molecule, with an EC50 of 7 nM (cAMP assay). This molecule has a MW of 377 g/mol, a PSA of 72.5 Å2 and a cLogP of 2.06. In vivo PK studies (at 3 mg/kg, p.o.) revealed a half-life of 2.25 hrs, with a TMax of 0.67 hrs, and a CMax of 1.24 µM. Oral bioavailability was also observed (F % = 24 %). In an efficacy study, CVN636 reduced ethanol self-administration in msP rats (in vivo).

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.2c00529

Compound 19

Compound 19
Compound 19

Compound 19: Incyte has recently reported this pyrazolo[4,3-d]pyrimidine as an inhibitor of the fibroblast growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase. FGFR kinases play critical roles in in PLCγ, PI3K-AKT, and RAS-MAPK signaling, with pervasive downstream roles in the incidence and progression of human cancers. Inhibitor design followed a scaffold-hopping strategy, by re-purposing a known ALK inhibitor. The initial hit identified demonstrated a FGFR3 IC50 of 266 nM. Structural optimization led to a molecule with an IC50 against FGFR1,2,3,4 of 27, 1.8, 2.0, and 157 nM (selective for FGFR2/FGFR3, 14-79x FS). In cells, against FGFR2 KATOIII, and IC50 of 24 nM was found, while against BaF3, and V555L, IC50 values of 16, and 1.5 nM were observed. Pharmacokinetics (cyno, at 3 mg/kg, p.o.) found a half-life of 3.2 hrs, with a CMax of 825 nM, and an oral bioavailability F % of 20%.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.3c00003

Compound 35i

Compound 35i
Compound 35i

Compound 35i: This 3-substituted indazole has been reported as an androgen receptor (AR) antagonist, with medicinal use in prostate cancer. Inhibitor design strategy involved a metabolism-guided approach, improving the metabolic stability of a previously identified first-in-class indole AR antagonist via the use of blocking groups. Metabolic soft spots were identified as the 2,3 positions of the indole core-scaffold. As an AR antagonist, an IC50 of 21 nM was found, with no binding to AR LBD (Ki > 100 µM) and a weak degradation profile. In vitro stability studies in MLM revealed a half-life of 120.6 mins (10-fold improvement) and an intrinsic clearance of 0.6 mL/min/kg (9-fold improvement). Analogs of this scaffold were shown to display in vivo AR antagonism using a Hershberger assay.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c01858



YL5084: This molecule out of the Gray lab in Stanford has been reported as a covalent inhibitor of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK), targeting Cys116 via a canonical 1,4-conjugated acrylamide electrophile (carrying the increasingly popular dimethylamino-handle). JNK kinases, as part of the MAPK pathway involve 3 isoforms: JNK1 (implicated in apoptosis), JNK2 (implicated in cell survival), and JNK3 (roles in the central nervous system). Against JNK1, JNK2, and JNK3, IC50 values of 2173, 70, and 84 nM were reported (this represents 30-fold selectivity for JNK2, over JNK1). With regards to covalent potency against JNK1, and JNK2, kinact/Ki values of 335 and 7166 M-1s-1 were reported. Anti-proliferative activity was observed in cellulo along with the induction of apoptosis in MM cells in a JNK-2 dependent manner.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.2c01834

Compound 17b

Compound 17b
Compound 17b

Compound 17b: This 3,5-diaryl-1H-pyrazol-urea based small molecule has been reported as a RET kinase inhibitor. Inhibitor design followed a ligand-based design strategy, using a scaffold-hoping approach from a previously identified FLT inhibitor, towards a potent RET binder, with high affinity (RET Kd = 6.5 nM). In cells, against BaF3 an IC50 of 3870 nM was observed, however against BaF3-CCD6-RET, this value went down to 13.6 nM. Against various BaF3-RET mutants (V804M, G819C), IC50 values of 12.1 and 84.6 nM were found. In a Kinome screen against a panel of 468 kinases, the only targets with IC50 < 100 nM were RET, DDR1, KIT, and PDGFRB. Cell target engagement was also confirmed, with activity against RET signalling (BaF3-CCD6-RET cells). In vivo PK analysis (at 25 mg/kg, p.o.) revealed a half-life of 12.4 hrs, a TMax of 6.7 hrs, and an oral bioavailability (F %) of 21.1%.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejmech.2023.115237

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Kaushik Ghosal, PhD

Head, Business Development

Kaushik Ghosal is a successful entrepreneur and business development executive with over 15 years of bio-pharma experience in a variety of R&D and BD roles across several verticals in R&D business models, corporate expansion and strategic leadership in drug discovery and early development. Most recently Kaushik was Director of BD at Evotec (NASDAQ: EVO) leading partnered drug discovery and development programs for both stand alone and integrated drug discovery projects for several small and large biotechs, drug development accelerators and large pharma clients. 

​Prior to Evotec, Kaushik was the Director of Business Development at BioMotiv where he was instrumental in launching and leading a portfolio of venture-backed biotechs such as Sujana Bio, Optikira, Koutif Therapeutics. During his tenure, BioMotiv and Harrington project grew into a 360M + global initiative and established strategic partnerships with Takeda, Biogen, Arix Bioscience and Charles River Laboratories. At BioMotiv, Kaushik also founded therapeutic focused start-ups such as BioExcel and Inclera therapeutics to advance academic sourced drug discovery programs, some of which developed into clinical stage assets.

Before BioMotiv, Kaushik was Director of R&D at ReXceptor Inc, a clinical stage biotech company where he led preclinical and clinical development, establishing strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and drug-development accelerators. 

Kaushik received MSc in Biotechnology (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay), a Ph.D. from Miami University and completed his postdoctoral training in Neuroscience from the Cleveland Clinic. Kaushik has served on various advisory and on the boards of non-profit and for-profit organizations in the healthcare field such as NIH, John Hopkins Technology Ventures, EDI and Case Venture Mentorship Program.

Richard Rathmell, PhD

SVP Discovery Chemistry

Rich is Dalriada’s SVP Discovery Chemistry, responsible for scientific strategy of programs in discovery chemistry and a key contributor to the continuous R&D capability build at Dalriada. He brings 23 years of discovery experience, medicinal chemistry, and project leadership working at Eli Lilly and most recently Evotec, in the UK.  

Before joining Dalriada, Rich was Vice President and Head of a Chemistry Department at Evotec UK, where he held strategic and scientific direction oversight for a portfolio of pain and metabolic disorder programs. He helped to shape the vison and direction of the chemistry group and additionally was a key contributor developing new screening strategies, and designing associated libraries, for early phase projects.

Prior to Evotec, Rich gained exceptional experience in integrated drug discovery with a 20+ year career at Eli Lilly UK. He held the positions of Group Leader and Research Advisor, where he had oversight for the portfolio management of his team. Scientifically, Rich has been involved in 25+ integrated drug discovery programs across neurosciences, pain, and metabolic disorders. His expertise spans all stages of drug discovery, from target identification and validation to Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization, culminating in the delivery of 8 clinical candidates, two reaching PhI and one still progressing through PhIIa for Alzheimer’s disease. He is familiar with multiple modalities, from small molecules, protein-protein interactions, protein degradation, protein translation inhibition and peptides. He brings extensive experience with target classes such as GPCRs, enzymes, transporters, and ion channels.

Rich has a B.Sc (Hons) and a Ph.D in Chemistry from the University of Exeter UK, before taking up a postdoctoral position working with the late Sir Jack Baldwin at the University of Oxford.

Adam Davenport, PhD

Chief R&D Officer

Adam is Dalriada’s Chief R&D Officer. A seasoned drug hunter and innovator, he brings over 22 years of hands-on life science and partnership organization experience, having contributed to drug candidates and clinical assets through both governance and leadership roles.

Prior to Dalriada, Adam’s outstanding career was spent at Evotec, then Oxford Asymmetry International, which he joined in 2001. There, he gained extensive experience from Hit ID through to IND, across diverse modalities, target classes (GPCRs, ion-channels, PPIs, CNS, kinases, enzymes) and therapeutic areas (pain, inflammation, cognition, metabolic, Women’s Health and respiratory).

As a Project Leader, Adam has progressed multiple projects through Discovery into Clinical evaluation and is lead inventor of P2X3R antagonists Eliapixant and Filopixant, achieving Phase 2a PoCs in Persistent Chronic Cough (PCC), and Bradykinin B1R antagonist Fulimetibant, undergoing a Phase 2a study to treat diabetic neuropathic pain (DNP).

Adam’s promotion to VP Medicinal Chemistry saw him take on scientific and strategic portfolio responsibilities as well as operational duties in Abingdon, UK. Progression through Senior to Executive VP expanded Adam’s leadership and strategic influence on the organisation, where he established and led as Head of Global Molecular Discovery, a multi-modality data-driven Design and Synthesis function based in the UK, FR, IT and US.

Passionate about science and communication, Adam has authored over 55 patents, publications and external presentations and was co-recipient of the Bayer Healthcare Drug Discovery Award for Collaborative Innovation in 2017.

Adam holds a B.Sc. Honours degree in Chemistry and a PhD in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Leicester, UK.

Frosty Loechel, PhD

SVP Biology

Frosty is Dalriada’s Head of Biology, responsible for the scientific strategy of the discovery program in biology and a key contributor to the continuous evaluation of our scientific capabilities, operations, and infrastructure. He brings 20 years’ academic experience and 25 years working in pharma, biotech, and CROs.

Before joining Dalriada, Frosty gained exceptional experience in discovery programs at Evotec. First as a VP, Metabolic diseases, he built up a large department running iPSC work, in vitro pharmacology, advanced cellular platforms, transcriptomics, imaging, and data science. Then, as SVP, Therapeutic Area Lead and Scientific Director, he led on new collaborative drug discovery agreements with pharma/biotech partners and on the strategy of project portfolio in major multi-target collaborations.

Prior experience includes work at Zealand Pharma, where he focused on peptide drugs for a portfolio of diabetes and obesity projects. His earlier career was spent at Lundbeck, Thermo Fisher, Neurosearch and BioImage, where he gained a strong background in a broad spectrum of scientific areas.

Frosty has been involved in hundreds of drug discovery projects and gained a wealth of experience across multiple areas and therapeutic modalities including CNS and metabolic diseases. His expertise spans all stages of drug discovery, from target identification and validation to Hit-to-Lead and Lead Optimization, and nomination of preclinical candidates. He is familiar with multiple modalities, from small molecules, to peptides, to biologics, and brings extensive experience with target classes such as GPCRs, kinases, transporters, ion channels and proteases.

Frosty has a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. from the Faculty of Health Sciences of the University of Copenhagen. He is a Danish citizen and is fluent in English, Danish, and Italian.

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Brian Sequeira

Brian Sequeira

Director, Information Systems, PMO

As Director of Information Systems and PMO, Brian leads the IT, PMO and Procurement functions. With a strong foundation in technology, a successful track record in leading cross functional and multi-disciplinary project management teams, and in-depth experience in purchasing and materials management, Brian is passionate about delivering to and exceeding client expectations through critical thinking, analysis and effective communication. He brings more than 20 years experience in various industries including corporate law, pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and big data market research.

Brian completed his BSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto and certified as a Project Management trainer with Kepner Tregoe.

Lisa Cline

Lisa Cline

Director, Human Resources​

As the Director of Human Resources (HR), Lisa leads this function at Dalriada. Lisa is recognized as a pragmatic partner, team builder and innovator who brings balance and clarity to HR policies, practices, and procedures.

With more than 25 years in a management capacity, Lisa is known for designing and developing programs, performance improvement measures and policies that help organizations build highly engaged workplaces, boost their bottom line, and defuse workplace issues before they escalate.

She began her HR career at GlaxoSmithKline advancing through increasingly responsible positions and supporting practically every division within the company. Lisa has also operated her own HR consultancy. Since joining Dalriada in 2020, Lisa has established an efficient and engaging HR infrastructure that delivers sustainable organizational and cultural success.

Lisa attained her Certified Human Resources Leader designation, (CHRL) from the University of Toronto.

Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet Kaur, PhD

Director Chemistry & ADME

As Director of R&D Operations, Harpreet leads Dalriada’s Chemistry and ADME functions. Passionate about building highly effective, result-oriented teams, Harpreet is known for her strong rapport with clients and inter-disciplinary colleagues.

Harpreet brings more than 20 years R&D experience in both academic and industry settings. Beginning her career at Dalton Pharma Services as a medicinal chemist, Harpreet has progressed into roles such as chemistry team leader, chemistry manager and associate director for R&D operations. Harpreet brings a broad range of drug development experience in preclinical, clinical, and commercial stages for more than 10 pre-clinical candidates and 2 commercial products. Her experience also includes contract research, process development and analytical method development and validation. She has served as SME for process development and analytical method development during FDA and Health Canada audits.

Harpreet completed her BSc degree in Biological Sciences, MSc and PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from Kurukshetra University, India.

Mohammad Eram

Mohammad Eram, PhD

Director Biology & Biophysics

Mohammad attained his PhD in Biochemistry and Enzymology at the University of Waterloo (Canada) and holds MSc degree in Medical Microbiology and a BSc degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. As the Director of Biology Department at Dalriada, he oversees the work of the cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics and proteomics teams.

Prior to joining Dalriada, Mohammad worked on early stage hit discovery projects at the Structural Genomics Consortium in Toronto, including projects in collaboration with Bayer, Takeda, Eli Lilly, and Merck. His work at SGC focused on biochemical and biophysical methods with applications to high-throughput and fragment-based drug discovery.

With over 17 years in biochemical/biophysical assays and small molecule R&D, Mohammad was involved in programs spanning small molecule inhibitor modalities including allosteric inhibitors, tight binders, targeted covalent therapeutics, and protein degraders. These programs covered a diverse range of protein targets including transcription factors, epigenetic modulators, oxidoreductases, dehydrogenases, kinases, methyl- and acetyltransferases, deacetylases, demethylases, PPI, GPCRs, and transcription regulators.

Jeff O’Meara

Jeff O’Meara, MSc

VP Drug Discovery

As Vice President, Drug Discovery at Dalriada, Jeff is responsible for overseeing all drug discovery activities from target identification to pre-clinical development. Jeff has nearly 30 years of drug discovery experience in hit ID, hit to lead, lead optimization and candidate nomination in projects targeting kinases, protein-protein interactions, protein degraders, covalent inhibitors, proteases and GPCRs in the areas of anti-infectives, oncology, immunomodulation, pain and CNS therapeutics. Prior to Dalriada, Jeff was Head of Research at M4K Pharma where he led a successful multinational open science lead optimization drug discovery project targeting DIPG, a rare childhood cancer.

Previously, Jeff spent 8 years as an integral part of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research’s Drug Discovery team where he drove hit to lead and lead optimization projects of which two were eventually partnered with pharma in deals totaling > $2B. Jeff also trained for 17 years as a medicinal chemist and project team leader at Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd. where he helped discover several novel antivirals that progressed to clinical trials. He has published more than 50 papers and patents in the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery and in 2010 was the recipient of the American Chemical Society’s TAOC award.

Jeff has an M.Sc. in organic chemistry from University of Ottawa.

Tom Coulter

Tom Coulter, PhD

Head, Drug Discovery Programs and Partnerships

Tom is part of the R&D leadership team, overseeing partnership activities, drug discovery program planning and execution, as well as lifecycle management for current and prospective partners.

Over the past three decades, Tom has held senior roles in European pharma and biotech, including almost 20 years in contract research with Evotec as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery, and more recently growing and leading Selvita’s integrated drug discovery portfolio.

Tom’s background is in medicinal chemistry, and he has extensive experience in the discovery and delivery of new small molecule and biologic agents targeting enzymes, GPCRs and other cell membrane targets including ion channels and SNARE proteins. He has managed multiple drug discovery programs covering the hit identification, hit to lead, and lead optimization stages of drug discovery, including 15 projects resulting in nomination of preclinical development candidates in the fields of cancer, inflammation, endocrine disease and antivirals. Tom has also contributed to the identification of multiple investigational new drugs. In recent years Tom has driven the identification of commercial opportunities as well as the creation and execution of sophisticated integrated discovery collaborations for clients.

Tom has a BSc (Hons) degree in chemistry from the Queen’s University of Belfast and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Leeds under Professor Ron Grigg. After completing his PhD, he joined Jim Thomas’ group at the University of Manchester before starting his industrial career at Organon.

Rav Kumar

Rav Kumar, PhD

Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Rav Kumar is Chief Strategy Officer at Dalriada. He spent 25 years with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in the UK, France and Canada at vice-president level leading pharmaceutical R&D and business development. Key areas of expertise include formulation development, regulatory submissions, manufacturing and GMP audits. He has been involved with development of numerous medicines and vaccines plus many successful business change initiatives.

Most recently, he was Managing Director for Apotex in India (Bangalore and Mumbai), leading over 2,000 professionals in Pharmaceutical R&D, Manufacturing, Quality, Regulatory Affairs & Commercial Services.

Dr. Kumar is passionate about growing Canadian Life Sciences and has been involved with many industry-academic-government collaborations for which he was recognized with the Award for Leadership in in Canadian Pharmaceutical Sciences. He conceived the $150M spinout of GSK’s vaccines R&D to create the Neomed Vaccines and Biologics Centre of Excellence in Montreal. Other contributions include the CIHR Steering Committee for Patient Oriented Research, the Board of CQDM Research Consortium in Quebec and President of the Canadian Society for Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Dr. Kumar also serves as Director of The Centre for Medicinal Chemistry and an Assistant Professor at University of Toronto. He has a Pharmacy Degree and completed a PhD in Novel Drug Delivery at University of Bath in the UK.

Charlie Younger

Charlie Younger, PhD

Chief Operating Officer

Charlie joined Dalriada in 2020 as Chief Operating Officer, bringing over 25 years of pharma/biopharma experience. Charlie has a proven track record of leading organizations through rapid growth and transformations.

Charlie started his career as an Analytical Scientist at Glaxo and has taken on progressive leadership roles in pharma/biopharma. Charlie has worked with leading private and public pharma/biopharma organizations including leadership roles at CROs such as Patheon and Therapure Biopharma. He has also served as COO in both public and private organizations.

Driven by a personal passion to grow R&D in Canada, he has been a contributing member on multiple SR&ED tasks forces and executive roles in training organizations.

More recently, Charlie runs his own professional services business since 2016, helping companies grow and/or streamline operations for start-ups through to $B+ multinationals. He completed an HBSc in Chemistry at Western University (Canada) and a PhD in Organic Chemistry at McMaster University (Canada).

Patrick Gunning

Patrick Gunning, PhD

Co-founder & CSO

Patrick is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto, Canada Research Chair in Medicinal Chemistry, and Founder and Chief Scientific Director of the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry (UofT). Patrick obtained his PhD at the University of Glasgow in 2005 under the supervision of Profs. Robert Peacock and Andrew C. Benniston, and conducted post-doctoral studies at Yale University with Prof Andrew Hamilton.

Patrick’s research has focused on developing inhibitors of numerous protein classes, including transcription factors, kinases, and epigenetic targets, using novel covalent therapeutics and monovalent protein degraders. Patrick has published ~120 research papers, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, won 20 research awards including Canada’s Top 40 under 40, the 2010 Boehringer Ingelheim Young Investigator Award, the 2012 RSC MedChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship by the Royal Society for Chemistry, Rose Winer Levin Lectureship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (2015), and the 2016 Canadian Society for Chemistry’s Bernard Belleau award.

Patrick, the co-founder and CSO of Dalriada Drug Discovery, has founded three other biotech companies with over $34M in funding, including Janpix Inc, now a Centessa Pharmaceuticals’ company, Dunad Therapeutics, and Dalriada Therapeutics.

Diana Kraskouskaya

Diana Kraskouskaya, PhD

Co-founder & CEO

Diana completed Honors BSc Degree in Molecular Biology and PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Toronto, and is a co-founder of two other biotechs, which have raised > $10 M in VC funding.

During her time in academia and biotech, Diana worked on diverse small molecule programs across protein-protein interactions, epigenetics, GPCRs, covalent inhibitors, and is an inventor on several patents.

As a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dalriada, Diana brings to Dalriada years of leadership and hands-on cross-disciplinary biotech and drug discovery experience spanning areas of company building, scientific & IP program strategy, and operations. ​

Following completion of her PhD, Diana took appointment as a research manager of the Centre for Medicinal Chemistry, where she was involved in multiple drug discovery programs and provided oversight over the build-out of the >$100 M integrated drug discovery infrastructure at the University of Toronto. Diana co-founded and led two other biotechs, Dunad Therapeutics and Dalriada Therapeutics. In this process she recognized the shortcomings of the existing options for outsourcing innovative science, which led to the creation of Dalriada Drug Discovery’s Turn-Key™ Model. With this new model and under Diana’s leadership the company has grown to over 60 people within 3 years. ​

Diana is the recipient of several entrepreneurship awards, including RBC Prize for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and the 2018 MNP Future Leaders awards.

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