Research and Development
A member of the management team, Richard has particular responsibility for initiation and coordination of the company’s research programmes and will also manage biochemical research. Professor Richard Knox was the leader of the Molecular Pharmacology team in the CRC Centre for Cancer Therapeutics at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London. He is a world expert on the mechanisms of prodrug activation particularly by nitroreductase enzymes. Richard discovered the mechanism of action of the prodrug CB 1954 (tretazicar), invented the gene therapy applications of this and related prodrug and discovered the latent nitroreductase activity of the human enzyme NQO2. These applications are currently in clinical trial.
Prior to this he pioneered the measurement of platinum-induced damage on the DNA of cancer patients and the use of molecular biological techniques to probe DNA repair mechanisms and was the first to use such methods with clinically used alkylating and platinating agents. He was part of the programme at the ICR that developed Carboplatin, which was awarded the Queens Award for Technological Achievement. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Greenwich and has extensive collaborations within the scientific community. Richard has published almost 100 full publications including books and is a named inventor on over a dozen patents.