Founder and Managing Director
Univ. Prof. Dr. Krishnaraj Rajalingam is one of the highly recognized experts in the field of molecular signaling pathways. As head of the Department of Cell Biology (CBU) at the University Medical Center Mainz, he has numerous research successes to his credit. In addition to his leadership role at CBU, he is a member of the Research Center for Immunotherapy (FZI) and the University Center for Tumor Diseases (UCT) at the University Medical Center Mainz. His research into cell signaling pathways provide the foundation for developing novel therapeutics.
Lab Team Leader
Dr. Hajime Yurugi is the research lab team leader. Trained as a molecular cell biologist addressing pertinent questions in tumor biology and immunology, Hajime brings his rich experience in wet lab biology to KHR Biotec and aims to build a strong team to perform cutting-edge research with clear and explicit biomedical implications.
Head of ADME and Toxicology
Manfred joined KHR Biotec in 2021 as an expert consultant in drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics and toxicology (ADME/PK/TOX) to guide optimization of drug-like properties in early stages of drug discovery as well as to support non-clinical (IND-enabling safety pharmacology & toxicology) and clinical bioanalytics and PKPD.
Manfred has >25 years of international experience in his field and is board-certified toxicologist (USA) since 2004. Between 2006 and 2012 he held positions as Head of DMPK & Toxicology at Addex Therapeutics and Head of early ADME at Merck Serono (Geneva, Switzerland). Prior to this, he worked for 10 years in the United States at Forest Laboratories (New York City) and at Tularik (now Amgen; San Francisco) following a toxicology postdoc at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1996 he received his PhD in Analytical Chemistry and Toxicology from the University of Ulm, Germany.
Early Drug Development Lead
Dr. Alastair Donald joined KHR in February 2023 to direct the expansion of KHR’s drug discovery pipeline.
Alastair has more than twenty years’ experience in pharmaceutical research and development and has contributed to the identification of a number of drug candidates that have entered into human clinical trials. Alastair obtained a 1st Class Honours degree in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Glasgow and subsequently a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge. He followed this with postdoctoral training with Cancer Research UK at the Centre for Cancer Therapeutics in London, UK where he contributed to the early discovery efforts towards capivasertib.
Prior to joining KHR, Alastair was VP of Chemistry at Proxygen GmbH. As a member of the leadership team he contributed to oncology and drug discovery strategy, as well as project leadership on early stage projects in the targeted protein degradation field.
Michael Rowley was educated in Cambridge with an MA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in organic chemistry with Ian Fleming. He then moved to Harvard for a postdoctoral fellowship with Yoshito Kishi in the field of total synthesis.
He started his drug discovery career with MSD (known as Merck in the USA) at the Neuroscience Research Centre in the UK where he worked on G-protein coupled receptor and ion channel targets for the treatment of stroke, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. His last role with MSD in the UK was leading the discovery effort for a novel pain target.
Mike then moved within MSD to the Istituto di Ricerche di Biologia Molecolare (IRBM) in Rome, Italy where he headed the Medicinal Chemistry and DMPK departments. He built these to a total size of around 80 PhD and MSc scientists, recruiting across Europe. The team firstly worked on antivirals, discovering Isentress™ (raltegravir) the first in class HIV Integrase inhibitor and grazoprevir, an HCV protease inhibitor which is a component of Zepatier™. Latterly the worked focussed more on oncology, particularly epigenetics, developmental pathways and DNA repair. It was from this work that Zejula™ (niraparib), a PARP inhibitor used for the treatment of ovarian cancer, arose.
With the closure of IRBM, Mike moved to head the Medicinal Chemistry department for AstraZeneca in Gothenburg, Sweden, with a team of up to 150 chemists working in cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
His last role in a major Pharma company was back with MSD in a global role responsible for Medicinal Chemistry scientific strategy across the Merck/MSD sites. He was based in Luzern Switzerland, but worked with all the Merck Discovery sites globally. In this role he was also the Medicinal Chemistry representative on DDRC, the Merck governance body responsible for projects from inception to candidate nomination.
On his return to the UK Mike took on a role with Pharmaron, a major Chinese CRO, to set up a small molecule Drug Discovery team in the UK. He built an outstanding team, started several projects with collaborators, and oversaw the design of state-of-the-art labs.
He became an independent consultant in Medicinal Chemistry in early 2019 and works with charities, Universities, CRO’s, Biotechs and law firms in very diverse roles including due diligence, expert advice on patents, project strategy reviews and detailed medicinal chemistry leadership on specific projects.
Mike has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journal, more than 40 patent applications, and has been an invited speaker at international conferences. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, has been awarded the ACS Heroes of Chemistry Award and in 2017 was inducted into the ACS Medicinal Chemistry Division Hall of Fame.
Dr. Debbie Chang Strachan is the program manager at KHR Biotec. Trained in cancer biology and pharmacology, Debbie brings experience in early drug discovery, translational research and precision medicine and has worked at several biotech startups, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
We are further supported and advised by a seasoned team of interdisciplinary experts who serve as advisors and consultants. More updates will be announced soon.