Professor Richard G Knowles profile:

A highly experienced and successful Drug Discovery Pharmacologist and Biochemist, and former CEO of start-up Arachos Pharma and Director of Biology for GlaxoSmithKline, who has a demonstrated ability and track record in evaluating and progressing multiple drug discovery opportunities from target discovery to clinical studies, and as an enthusiastic and empowering leader of multiple teams.  

Now an independent scientific consultant, he worked for GlaxoSmithKline, Glaxo Wellcome and The Wellcome Foundation for 26 years, specialising in respiratory and inflammation drug discovery for the last 12 years; highly effective at working with collaborators across and outside GSK.  Extensive network of contacts in multiple pharmaceutical companies and academia.  Author of >100 papers and multiple patents.  Member of the Scientific Board of the U-BIOPRED severe asthma consortium and leader of the Analysome project within this, seeking novel biomarkers.

An assessor for Innovate UK's BioMedical Catalyst and Advanced Imaging for Stratified Medicine funds as well as being a successful applicant on behalf of Arachos Pharma.  Has consulted for multiple pharma companies, big and small, as well as for venture capital companies assessing investment opportunities and universities with translational research.


In Director of Biology roles in the respiratory therapy area at GlaxoSmithKline:

·         provided scientific guidance and biology support for three full development teams within Respiratory(Breo/ Relvar, Fiboflapon and Nucala/ mepolizumab), one an antibody therapeutic:

    • scientific input to guide strategic options, design and conduct clinical studies
    • guiding collaborations, providing supporting reports and publications

·         held wide ranging responsibilities in the discovery of biomarkers and the understanding of asthma phenotypes, including leading a discovery programme for biomarkers of sputum cell-defined asthma phenotypes, guiding the development of novel medicines for asthma

·         led the “Work-package 6” of the IMI-funded UBIOPRED consortium project on severe asthma, seeking appropriate laboratory model systems for severe asthma;  participates also in the scientific board of UBIOPRED, helping to providing scientific guidance and rigour to this

·         took leading role as senior biologist for the Refractory Respiratory Inflammation Discovery Performance Unit carrying out biological research to discover and develop new medicines for respiratory diseases, especially asthma & COPD

·         through leadership of teams of respiratory biologists in this and previous roles

o    played a key role in identifying, characterising biologically and progressing many pre-candidates and candidates which either have entered or are about to enter clinical development, including ones for iNOS, PDE4; kinases IKK2, ITK, PI3K, SYK; ion channels TRPV1, ICRAC; receptors CCR3, CCR4, TRL7, H1H3, VLA4 and novel GR agonists

o    provided a major link between biology and clinical scientists, especially in the identification and development of biomarkers for candidate medicines

o    set up novel model systems such as chronic asthma and rhinitis animal models and human tissue- and cell- based assays and provided preclinical MRI expertise and technology for drug discovery

·         reviewed new targets for respiratory drug discovery as part of the Target Review Board

·     took the lead biologist role in in-licensing the Amira FLAP inhibitors into GSK and in progressing this project into full Medicine Development (Phase IIb)

Profile outside GlaxoSmithKline:

A highly respected pharmacologist/ biochemist in the broad scientific community:

·         Visiting Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Hertfordshire

·         Substantial publications record, including some highly-cited reviews; H factor 42 (Google Scholar)

·         Organiser of the Cross-company respiratory models symposia held in 2009 and 2012

 ·      Formerly CEO and CSO for small pharmaceutical biotechs, and Translator in Residence for Imperial College Faculty on Medicine

·        Known world-wide within the NO research community for work on the roles of NO in biology, including work with Prof Salvador Moncada FRS while at Wellcome

·       Collaborations with key opinion leaders e.g.  Prof Peter Sterk, Univ of Amsterdam, Prof Rey Panettieri, University of Pennsylvania; Prof Gene Bleeker, Wake Forest, and Prof David Singh of the University of Manchester

·         UBIOPRED severe asthma project Analysome work-package leader and Scientific Board member

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