Event Name

From Punk-Rock to Proteins; building a successful Biotech Company

Start Date 17th Mar 2015
End Date

A Science and Society 2015 lecture by Dr Harren Jhoti, President & CEO, Astex Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge)

Dr Harren Jhoti co-founded Astex in 1999 and was Chief Scientific Officer until 2007 when he was appointed Chief Executive. During its development, Astex successfully raised more than £50 million from US and European venture capitalists and established multiple alliances with major pharmaceutical companies such as Novartis, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline.

As part of these alliances, Astex applied its proprietary Fragment-Based Drug Discovery technology to generate novel drug candidates for patients with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. In 2013 Astex was acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals for $886 million, one of the largest transactions in UK Biotechnology, and now operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Otsuka.

In 2007 Dr Jhoti was named by the Royal Society of Chemistry as ‘Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year’ and was awarded the Prous Institute-Overton and Meyer Award for New Technologies in Drug Discovery by the European Federation for Medicinal Chemistry in 2012.

But before being a successful chemist and business man, Dr Jhoti had interrupted his studies to start a rock band. During the talk, he will tell about his determination to succeed after his failed attempt at becoming a rock star.

Tickets for the event can be obtained from


Location Leggate Theatre, Liverpool University
United Kingdom
URL https://www.liv.ac.uk/events/science-and-society/from-punk-rock-to-proteins.php

Category Lectures
Topics Biological macromolecules | General