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NEW HAVEN, Conn., September 20, 2017 – Arvinas LLC, a private biotechnology company creating a new class of drugs based on protein degradation, today announced the appointment of John Houston, Ph.D., as president and chief executive officer. Dr. Houston will also join the board of directors of Arvinas Holding Company, LLC, and all of its subsidiaries. He joined Arvinas in January 2017 as president of research and development and chief scientific officer leading the discovery, translational, and early clinical development research efforts.
“John has made key contributions in the growth and development of our PROTAC platform since joining Arvinas earlier this year. His experience from years of successful execution on the senior research team at Bristol-Myers Squibb will be invaluable as our oral androgen and estrogen receptor programs advance into the clinic next year,” said Timothy Shannon, M.D., General Partner at Canaan and chairman of the board of directors of Arvinas. “With John’s guidance, we believe Arvinas will further establish itself as a leader in targeted protein degradation.”
Dr. Houston has over 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and spent the last 18 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb serving in multiple positions of increasing responsibility. Notably, he served on the executive team that drove decision-making on drugs such as daclatasvir (Daklinza), dapagliflozin (Farxiga), apixaban (Eliquis), ipilimumab (Yervoy) and nivolumab (Opdivo). While at BMS, his positions included head of immuno-oncology, immuno-science, fibrosis, cardiovascular, virology, neuroscience and genetically defined diseases; head of translational research teams in oncology, immuno-oncology and immunology; head of technology groups such as biologics, genomics, bioinformatics, lead discovery and optimization; chair of the BMS target portfolio committee; site head and chair of the BMS Wallingford, Connecticut, site; and chair of the R&D site evolution steering committee. Dr. Houston holds a doctorate in cell wall metabolism from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, and a bachelor’s degree in medical microbiology from the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, UK.
“The unique opportunity for protein degradation to play a substantial role in how we treat important diseases was a key driver in my decision to join the company. It is an honor to take on the role of CEO and lead such a talented team. This is an important time for Arvinas as our two lead oncology products progress to the clinic in 2018, and our novel platform advances our growing pipeline in oncology and other therapeutic areas. ,” noted Dr. Houston.
Arvinas is a pharmaceutical company focused on developing new small molecules ‒ known as PROTACs (PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras) ‒ aimed at degrading disease-causing cellular proteins via proteolysis. Based on innovative research conducted at Yale University by Dr. Craig Crews, Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor, the company is translating natural protein degradation approaches into novel drugs for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. The proprietary PROTAC-based drug paradigm induces protein degradation, rather than protein inhibition, facilitating the ubiquitin proteasome system and offers the advantage of potentially targeting “undruggable” as well as “druggable” elements of the proteome. This greatly expands the ability to create drugs for many new, previously unapproachable targets. For more information, visit www.arvinas.com.
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