New Scientific Advisory Board adds 70 years of R&D expertise to Turbine’s simulation-first drug discovery mission

08 January 2020

Turbine, a simulation-first drug discovery company, today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointments of Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Dr. Mihriban Tuna, and Dr. Alan Barge. The first members of the SAB together bring 70 years of pharma and biotech leadership expertise and drug development insight, with over 20 approved drugs between them. The globally recognised scientists will help Turbine transform the costly and failure-prone oncology drug R&D into a series of rational steps, guided by the company’s AI-powered simulation platform.

Turbine aims to redesign anticancer drug discovery and development by simulating complex biological problems before crucial points at which drug discovery programmes usually fail today. Dr. Annalisa Jenkins, Dr. Mihriban Tuna, and Dr. Alan Barge will play an instrumental role in Turbine’s endeavour, employing decades of global industry experience advancing scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval, and incorporating research into healthcare systems. Having led teams and programmes across biotech and pharma, the newly appointed SAB members understand the complexity of cancer biology and the translational challenges of drug discovery. Serving as scientific advisors, they will help Turbine grow their simulation-based oncology pipeline relying on the Company’s Simulated Cell technology. This proprietary simulation platform has the capacity to uncover novel biology while cutting the cost and time of discovery compared to wet lab-heavy methods.

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins commented: “The use of AI-enhanced technology combined with scientific wisdom and guidance from pharma R&D expertise is a step change opportunity to shape the future of the industry. I am delighted to join forces with this young, entrepreneurial team at Turbine, who have already made remarkable progress demonstrating the value of their simulation-first discovery platform through collaborations with pharmaceutical companies.”

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins

Dr. Annalisa Jenkins is a biopharma thought leader with over 25 years of industry experience. Her leadership roles have included the Global Head of R&D at Merck Serono, as well as several senior positions at Bristol Myers-Squibb. Dr. Jenkins is also a committee member of the Science Board to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Dr. Mihriban Tuna

Dr. Mihriban Tuna is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Adaptate Biotherapeutics and has over 15 years of experience in biologics drug discovery and development. Previously, she held the position of Senior VP of Drug Discovery at F-star, overseeing all internal and collaborative bispecific antibody discovery programs.

Dr. Alan Barge

Dr. Alan Barge is a Partner at Delin Ventures, the leading investors behind Turbine’s recent €3 million seed funding round. Dr. Barge has led pharmaceutical R&D teams for more than 30 years. He was previously VP of Clinical Development, and Head of Oncology and Infection at AstraZeneca, responsible for building and managing the global oncology portfolio. In this role, he oversaw the acquisition of Kudos, which yielded the drug olaparib (Lynparza®).

Turbine’s CEO, Szabolcs Nagy added: “Simulation-first drug discovery’s greatest promise is effective, efficiently developed cancer drugs that truly improve outlook for certain patient groups. Our newly appointed Scientific Advisory Board members have faced the scientific and commercial challenges of traditional drug discovery numerous times. With their help, we will use our cell simulations to make better decisions at the most failure-prone points in drug discovery, enabling the development of the right therapies for the right patients.”

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