SYNthesis med chem, Cytopia and Ojjaara

In the late 2000’s, a small Australian biotech – Cytopia – discovered a molecule capable of selective inhibition of JAK1/2 and activin A receptor, type I (ACVR1). Since that time, it has passed through 4 companies, both big and small who variously advanced or failed the compound, finally landing at GSK for $1.9B dollars. This week the compound – Ojjaara (Momelotinib) received a formal approval from the FDA for the treatment of myelofibrosis patients presenting with anaemia. SYNthesis med chem co-founder Andrew Wilks and VP of medicinal chemistry John Feutrill are named as inventors on the patent covering this molecule. SYNthesis would like to recognise this achievement, not just for John and Andrew but also for Xian Bu (Co-founder of SYNthesis) and Anthony Cuzzupe (Director of Medicinal Chemistry at SYNthesis) who also contributed to the discovery of Momelotinib and have a shared history at Cytopia. It takes an army to make a drug – this is a success for all the ex-employees of Cytopia and for the wider Australian biotech community. The SYNthesis team look forward to further discoveries impacting patient outcomes working with our clients and collaborators to advance their programs.

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