Cyclenium was founded by management and research staff from Tranzyme Pharma, one of the pioneers in the generation and use of small molecule macrocycles for drug discovery. Tranzyme was the first to prepare large screening libraries (50,000+) of synthetic macrocyclic compounds, which were then used to identify and optimize multiple lead candidates that progressed to late stage clinical trials. Subsequent to Tranzyme’s merger with Ocera Therapeutics (Nasdaq: OCRX) and the closure of its Canadian R & D site, the founders decided to capitalize on their vast experience and profound knowledge base in macrocyclic chemistry, as well as exceptional track record of successful lead and clinical candidate generation by creating a proprietary next generation technology that addresses the deficiencies of earlier efforts in this rapidly growing field.
- March 2017: Research agreement on multiple targets formed with the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto)
- April 2016: Broad drug discovery collaboration initiated with the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ)
- June 2015: Multiple research agreements announced with McGill University (Montreal)
- May 2015: First drug discovery collaboration established with a major pharma partner, Astellas Pharma (Japan)
- May 2015: Collaborative antiviral drug discovery agreement with Haplogen GmbH (Austria)
- February 2015: Drug discovery collaboration on infectious disease targets with Fundación MEDINA (Spain)
- January 2015: Grant (NSERC-ARD) awarded for research with TransBIOTech (Quebec)
- January 2015: Research agreement with IRICoR (U. Montreal) in cancer and immunological disorders
- December 2014: NSERC-CRD grant awarded for collaborative research on a pain target with Prof. Y. Dory (U. Sherbrooke)
- May 2014: Initial revenue-generating contract with major pharma
- April 2014: Collaboration and co-development agreement for oncology and antivirals with Southern Research Institute (USA)
- February 2014: Began formal operations in the NeoMed Institute, Montreal
- January 2014: Conception of Cyclenium CMRT Technology
- December 2013: Incorporated in Quebec, Canada
Helmut Thomas, Ph.D., DABT, President & Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Thomas was Senior Vice President, Research & Preclinical Development at Tranzyme Pharma for over seven years prior to co-founding Cyclenium Pharma. He is a highly accomplished biochemist and toxicologist with an extensive and productive career in drug discovery and development. He began his career with CIBA-GEIGY in Basel, Switzerland in 1990 and became the Head of Toxicology and Preclinical Safety at CIBA-GEIGY Pharmaceuticals UK in 1994.
Following the merger with Sandoz in 1997, Dr. Thomas spent the next eight years with Novartis Pharma, where he held several top-level management positions in Europe and the U.S., culminating in his appointment as Executive Director, Global Project Manager and Leader of the PRIDE (Proof of Research In Development) Team Oncology in East Hanover, NJ.
While at Novartis, he directed the preclinical development of more than 25 drug candidates, including such important marketed drugs as Diovan® for hypertension and Gleevec® for chronic myeloid leukemia.
He joined Tranzyme from LymphoSign Inc., where he served as Vice President, Research and Development.
Dr. Thomas received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and organic chemistry from the University of Hannover, Germany. He is an author of over 130 scientific articles, book chapters and abstracts as well as a co-inventor on numerous patents.
Mark L. Peterson, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary
Prior to co-founding Cyclenium Pharma, Dr. Peterson was Vice President, IP & Operations at Tranzyme Pharma, where he led the chemistry R & D efforts during the technology development stage of the company and the initiation of its GPCR-based drug discovery programs. He later focused on building and maintaining an extensive portfolio of over 120 patents and applications protecting Tranzyme's pioneering technology and pharmaceutical product candidates.
Previously with Monsanto and Advanced ChemTech, he has worked in a variety of research areas including structure-based design, solid phase organic chemistry, combinatorial libraries, synthetic automation, heterocycles, unnatural amino acids, peptides and peptidomimetics.
Dr Peterson received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Washington State University and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Minnesota, Department of Medicinal Chemistry. He is author or co-author of over 85 publications and abstracted presentations plus three book chapters, as well as co-inventor on over 25 patents.