NuCana bolsters team with ‘drug hunter’ McGuigan

Anti-cancer drug developer NuCana has bolstered its team with the appointment of Chris McGuigan as chief scientific officer.

McGuigan, currently professor of medicinal chemistry at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, invented the ProTide technology that Edinburgh-based NuCana uses in its search for anti-cancer treatments.

ProTides create compounds that bypass key resistance mechanisms that limit the activity of many current chemotherapy drugs, and NuCana’s lead product, Acelarin, is entering phase 3 studies with patients.

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McGuigan, who describes himself as a “drug hunter”, said earlier studies “have shown the potential of ProTides to define a new era in cancer treatment”.

NuCana chief executive Hugh Griffith said: “We look forward benefitting from Chris’s leading scientific knowledge as we further develop and target the commercialisation of our ProTide technology in oncology.”

The company last year raised $57 million (£36.3m) from investors including Sofinnova Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Morningside Ventures, Alida Capital International and the Scottish Investment Bank.