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Medicinal Chemistry and CMC

Mike Higginbottom has over 30 years of Drug Discovery and Development experience in a number of companies ranging from big Pharma to small Biotechs (Parke Davis/Pfizer/ Cambridge Biotechnology/ Biovitrum/ Proximagen/ Upsher Smith/ BenevolentAI). During this time Mike has contributed to over 35 patents covering the invention of new chemical entities, over 20 publications in peer reviewed journals and 5 drug discovery programmes taken into into clinical development. Mike graduated from York University in 1986 where he studied chemistry and started his career as a synthetic medicinal chemist at the Parke Davis Neuroscience Research Centre in Cambridge working on early stage discovery programmes. Mike helped apply the novel "peptoid" strategy to a number of CNS peptide targets and was a key advocate for the early utilisation of parallel chemistry and automated purification for discovery projects and in-house library synthesis.  When Pfizer acquired and subsequently closed the site Mike relished a new challenge and became a founding member of Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd. Mike has remained at the company through its subsequent acquisitions by Biovitrum (2005), Proximagen (2009) and Upsher Smith (2012), having to be flexible and open to new ways of working and finding solutions to aid integration of teams across distant sites. Mike has been Head of Chemistry for the past eleven years up to its acquisition by BenevolentAI in early 2018. During this period he successfully developed a productive and highly motivated team of 15 chemists working on programmes spanning early discovery through to Phase 2. He has also gained experience of managing cross function discovery projects, pro-actively managing a variety of CROs, developing in-house compound collections including a fragment library and lab design and the implementation of upgrades. Since 2009 Mike has also been involved with the management of a number of API campaigns on a scale from 5 kg up to 100 kg, leading the solid state characterisation and salt screening studies and preparing documents to support regulatory filing and due diligence.

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