New appointments add deep expertise in small molecule drug discovery, business development, and strategic partnerships

Drs. Ujjainwalla and Hughes join an executive team of pioneers and long-time leaders in artificial intelligence, biology and preclinical development, automation, and nanotechnology

PASADENA, Cali., March 1, 2022 – Terray Therapeutics, a biotechnology company propelling drug discovery into the information age, today announced the appointments of Feroze (Fez) Ujjainwalla, PhD, as Head of Business, and Adam D. Hughes, PhD, as Head of Chemistry. They join an expanding lineup of industry veterans including Vanessa Taylor, Terray’s Head of Biology and Preclinical Development, Narbe Mardirossian, Terray’s Head of Computational and Data Science and Craig Schulz, Terray’s Head of Automation. The combined expertise of the executive team will advance Terray’s mission to deliver premium chemical data at unrivaled scale, unlocking the potential of AI-driven small molecule drug discovery.

“We are thrilled to welcome Fez and Adam to the team as we start this new chapter in the Terray story,” said Chief Executive Officer Jacob Berlin, PhD. “They each bring over 20 years of drug discovery and development experience to our interdisciplinary team of highly skilled computational scientists, biologists, chemists and engineers. With the addition of Adam’s medicinal chemistry expertise and his rich knowledge of small molecule drug discovery and R&D and Fez’s keen insights and business acumen for deals and partnerships, grounded in his medicinal chemistry background, we have the right mix of skills and perspectives on the leadership team that will help us bridge the gap between drug discovery and treatment.”

“I’m very excited to join the Terray team at this momentous stage,” said Dr. Ujjainwalla, “Having focused on cutting-edge biomedical technologies and strategic partnerships at Merck, I was immediately drawn to Terray’s sophisticated platform approach to developing quality chemical data at scale. Datasets like these, combined with the speed and power of machine learning, have the opportunity to open so many doors to research, collaborations, and transformative therapies.”

“I was energized to learn that Terray’s chemistry engine addresses the underlying limitation of high quality, diverse chemical starting points, and subscale data that has been a significant challenge in drug discovery for as long as I’ve worked in the field,” said Dr. Hughes. “This astute understanding of the dual need for modern computation and high-quality scale data is what will help us to build stronger models and design better molecules. I’m thrilled to join the team at this critical turning point so we can revolutionize the drug discovery process and have an impact on the future of medicine.”

Dr. Ujjainwalla joins Terray from Merck, where he was most recently Director of Business Development and Licensing, having transitioned into Business Development after nearly two decades as a Medicinal Chemist. In 26 years of experience in small molecule drug discovery, he has led programs from inception to early clinical development, including the discovery of the first-in-class small molecule MC4R agonist, MK-0493, for the treatment of obesity. His licensing deals and strategic partnerships established numerous deals across a range of deal-types.

Prior to joining Terray, Dr. Hughes was Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Theravance Biopharma. Over his 21-year career, Dr. Hughes directed new discoveries and nominations of 11 clinical candidates across a wide range of biological targets and therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs, including the discovery of a first-in-class dual pharmacology bronchodilator, Batefenterol, for the treatment of COPD, which completed Phase 2b studies. 

Drs. Ujjainwalla and Hughes join the following on the executive leadership team with Dr. Jacob Berlin, CEO, and Eli Berlin, Chief Financial and Operating Officer;

Dr. Vanessa Taylor, Head of Biology & Preclinical Development. Dr. Taylor joined Terray from Rigel Pharmaceuticals, where she led preclinical programs and was involved in taking seven drug candidates into clinical studies focused on inflammatory and rare diseases, and partnering of additional programs.

Dr. Narbe Mardirossian, Head of Computational and Data Sciences. A thought leader in quantum mechanics, machine learning, computational chemistry and closed-loop drug discovery, Dr. Mardirossian joined Terray from Amgen, where he supported computational small molecule drug discovery, including the development of advanced quantum mechanics and machine learning methods, as well as cloud-based solutions to support high-throughput, data-driven workflows.

Dr. Craig Schulz, Head of Automation. Dr. Schulz most recently was a Principal Scientist at Amgen responsible for designing, testing, and implementing automation solutions across Amgen’s discovery organization. He has invented numerous novel technologies that encompass enhancements to both small and large molecule synthesis, purification, and screening.

About Terray Therapeutics

Terray Therapeutics is an emerging biotechnology company led by pioneers and long-time leaders in AI, medicinal chemistry, biology and preclinical development, automation, and nanotechnology to propel drug discovery into the information age. Terray’s proprietary integrated computational and experimental platforms generate massively scaled, powerfully agnostic chemical data that are purpose-built to power computational learning and reveal new interactions. This foundation is building an iterative, flexible chemistry engine that aims to deliver more precise therapies to patients faster than ever before. Visit terraytx.com to learn more.

Media Contact:

Darby Pearson
dpearson@vergescientific.com

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