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Anavo Therapeutics strengthens management team

The company appoints industry veteran Shaun McNulty as Chief Scientific Officer and welcomes R&D expert Anna Quattropani as Senior Vice President of Chemistry & Non-Clinical Development

Leiden, The Netherlands – September 21, 2023 Anavo Therapeutics, a global leader in unlocking the full therapeutic potential of phosphatase biology, announced the appointment of Shaun McNulty, DPhil, as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and the appointment of Anna Quattropani, PhD, as Senior Vice President of Chemistry and Non-Clinical Development. Dr. McNulty will oversee the implementation of Anavo’s strategy from discovery into clinical development and, together with Dr. Quattropani and Anavo’s management team, the continued design of Anavo’s first- and best-in-class phosphatase-targeting allosteric modulators.

“We are fortunate to welcome Anna and Shaun to the Anavo team at this stage of our company’s growth,” said Birgit Zech, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Anavo Therapeutics. “Anna and Shaun’s industry knowledge and R&D experience will support Anavo’s progress in creating a proprietary portfolio of therapeutic programs and establishing a robust platform for phosphatase targeting across multiple indications.”

Shaun McNulty, DPhil, has more than 30 years of experience in the biopharma industry, with a focus on designing and developing therapeutics in oncology. He has served as Chief Scientific Officer at companies utilizing novel approaches in biology and chemistry, including Biosceptre, Inflection Biosciences and Awakn Life Sciences. He has led scientific R&D teams for companies such as Charles River, GSK, Pfizer and Syntaxin. Through his many roles, Dr. McNulty has supported the clinical development of Neurontin and Lyrica, obtained regulatory clearance for 5 drug candidates to enter the clinic, and identified and refined over 50 candidates for pre-clinical development. Dr. McNulty holds a DPhil in Biochemistry and Cell Biology and a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of York in the UK and performed post-doctoral research at the University of Cambridge on kinase-mediated neuronal cell signaling.

“Anavo’s IGNITE platform uniquely enables the rapid identification and development of therapeutics targeting phosphatases, initially thought to be undruggable targets,” said Dr. McNulty. “I am excited to join the Anavo team as we continue to accelerate our proprietary portfolio of programs targeting disease-relevant phosphatases toward clinical development and to build out our next-generation approach for phosphatase targeting.”

Anna Quattropani, PhD, joins Anavo with over 20 years of experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. She has a successful track record designing multiple clinical candidates and driving them from discovery through clinical development. Dr. Quattropani has been working in diverse therapeutic areas, including neurodegenerative, inflammatory, autoimmune, and cardiovascular diseases, as well as women’s health. She has held senior leadership roles at Asceneuron and Draupnir and R&D roles at Serono and Merck KGaA. Dr. Quattropani is the inventor of several clinical molecules such as the O-GlcNAcase inhibitors ASN90 and ASN51 for neurodegenerative diseases and the oxytocin receptor antagonist Nolasiban. She obtained her PhD and MS in organic synthesis and organometallic chemistry at University of Geneva, Switzerland followed by postdoctoral training at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Quattropani is the inventor of 49 patents and the author of 21 peer-reviewed publications.

“I am very proud to join Anavo’s outstanding team and help accelerate the discovery and development of phosphatase-targeting allosteric modulators to provide potential alternative therapeutic solutions for patients,” said Dr. Quattropani.

Anavo’s former CSO Gerhard Müller, PhD, joins the Scientific Advisory Board to continue contributing to the board’s drug discovery and development.

About Anavo Therapeutics

Anavo Therapeutics is the first company to systematically drug phosphatases, a rich target space previously considered undruggable for decades. We have attracted world-leading scientific expertise in phosphatase-driven disease biology and drug discovery to unlock the full potential of phosphatase-targeted allosteric modulators. In oncology, Anavo is developing multiple first-in-class therapeutic programs and will build on partnerships around its platform to establish a rich pipeline across several indications. Anavo is backed by blue-chip investors M Ventures, INKEF Capital, Taiho Ventures, MRL Ventures Fund, and Bioqube Ventures. For more information, please visit:


Anavo Therapeutics Dr. Birgit Zech Chief Executive Officer +49 179 5340884

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