Company History, Founders
Prestwick Chemical has been created in 1999 from the joint effort of Prof. Camille G. Wermuth, PhD, PharmD., co-founder, formerly President and Chief Scientific Officer and Dr Kathleen Clarence Smith, PhD, MD, and co-founder.
- Professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Strasbourg
- Founded Prestwick Chemical Inc. in 1999 in which he acted as President and CSO
- Main research themes focus on the chemistry and the pharmacology of pyridazine derivatives, among them one can cite: antidepressant and anticonvulsant molecules
- Marketed drugs: Cantor® (antidepressant) , Junctum®, Cogitum® (analeptic)
- 300 scientific papers and about 60 patents
- Co-author or editor of several books
- President of the Medicinal Chemistry Section of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
- Internationally-recognized neurologist
- Developed new pharmaceuticals and shepherded them from early stages onto the market
- Senior positions in large pharmaceutical companies (Sanofi; Roche; Otsuka)
- Later founded, raised money and headed start-up pharmaceutical companies
- Founded Prestwick Holding and Chemical Inc. in 1999 in which she acted as CEO
- Board certified neurologist for several companies
- > 100 peer-reviewed papers
- Founder and a president of the American Society of Experimental NeuroTherapeutics (ASENT) and member of several scientific societies
BSc (Hons), PhD, MAICD, FTSE, CEO
A seasoned biotech executive of over 20 years, Dr Deborah Rathjen is CEO of Prestwick Chemical since October 2014. She is leading Bionomics since June 2000 after being Manager of Business Development and Licencing at Peptech Limited. Dr Rathjen was a co-inventor of Peptech's TNF technology and leader of the company's successful defence of its key TNF patents against a legal challenge by BASF, providing Peptech with a strong commercial basis for licensing negotiations with BASF, Centocor and other companies with anti-TNF products. Dr Rathjen has significant experience in company building and financing, mergers and acquisitions, therapeutic product research and development, and business development and licensing. Dr Rathjen is Chairperson of the AusBiotech Board and in 2004 was awarded the AusBiotech President's Medal for her significant contribution to the Australian biotechnology industry. In 2006 she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Flinders University, in 2009 the BioSingapore Asia Pacific Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, 2010 Bio Innovation SA Industry Leader Award, BioSpectrum Asia Person of the Year 2013, and in 2014 the Life Science Woman of the Year.
Pharm MS, PhD, CSO
Thierry Langer joined Prestwick Chemical in April 2008. His previous employment had been Professor at Leopold-Franzens-University of Innsbruck, Austria, where he began his career after completing a post doctoral fellowship at Strasbourg University (France) with Prof. C. G. Wermuth in 1992. Prof. Langer holds an M.S. degree in Pharmacy (1988) and a Ph.D. (Medicinal Chemistry, 1991) from the University of Vienna, Austria. In 2003, together with Prof. Stuppner and Dr. Wolber (University of Innsbruck, Austria) he founded the spin-off company Inte:Ligand GmbH, in which he also was CEO prior to joining Prestwick Chemical. His research interests have been focused on computer-assisted medicinal chemistry, including pharmacophore-based methods as well as 3D-QSAR molecular modeling techniques. Since 1993 he established at Innsbruck University the Computer Aided Molecular Design Group, was appointed Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 1997, and served as Head of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department in 1998 and 1999. Prof. Langer is a well known scientist in the field of computer aided molecular design: His scientific work has culminated in more than 150 original articles and invited reviews in peer reviewed journals, several book chapters, one edited book, and more than 200 presentations at scientific meeting.
Who are we?
Head Of Medicinal Chemistry
Christophe Morice, is Head of the Medicinal Chemistry Department at Prestwick Chemical since 2010. He obtained his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Rennes in 1998. He joined in 1999 the group of Pr Wermuth at the faculty of Pharmacy of Strasbourg for a Post-Doctoral fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry for Eli Lilly & Co laboratories (Indianapolis, IN). During this 2 years period, he developed SAR on selective 5HT agonists. Prior to joining Prestwick Chemical in 2003 he worked for one year (2002) at the R&D department of Cilag AG (Johnson&Johnson Group, Shaffhausen, CH) for which he set up optimization processes for the synthesis of a NCE. He has developed at Prestwick Chemical, as Research Chemist then Team Leader (2007), lead optimization programs in various therapeutic areas that led to the deposit of 9 patents. One of this optimized lead has been recently successfully licensed to the pharmaceutical industry.
VP Sales & Business Development
Marie-Louise Jung is currently Vice-President Sales & Business Development of Prestwick Chemical in Strasbourg. She started the company in 1999 with Prof. Camille Wermuth and put in place the fundaments of the company first as general manager. Prior to joining Prestwick, she was a sales manager at Antibody Solutions Inc., a biotechnology company headquartered in the U.S. specializing in customized monoclonal antibodies. Formerly she worked for > 10 years for a Swiss pharma company specialized in phytochemicals, and earlier in various research laboratories at the Strasbourg University, mostly in anti-cancer drug discovery. Marie-Louise Jung is a graduate of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Strasbourg University, and her Ph.D. is in Biochemistry.
Head Of Library Department
M.S. in Biochemistry, D.E.S.S. diploma
Jean-Marc Simon is Quality Control Manager of Prestwick. He obtained his M.S. in Biochemistry, complemented by one year specialized studies in chemical and biologic analysis ("D.E.S.S. diploma"), Strasbourg University. He joined Prestwick Chemical in April 2001 as Quality Assurance Manager for both the Medicinal Chemistry and Library departments. His role includes the supervision of the Prestwick Chemical Libraries department. Prior to joining Prestwick, Mr. Simon has worked in the European Center of Diabetology Studies in Strasbourg, where he collaborated on the development of a screening test system for early diabetes, type I.
Creative Medicinal Chemistry
The company consists of 30 people and is located in its own purpose built facility in the Parc d'Innovation d’Illkirch near Strasbourg, at the crossroads between France, Germany, and Switzerland. We provide comprehensive R&D services in early drug discovery, including hit identification and validation, hit to lead, and lead optimization, using our long term expertise supported by state of the art computational technology.