Founder and former CEO, Dr Chris Torrance, appointed to Chair
Cambridge, UK, 01 March 2022: PhoreMost Ltd., the UK-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to ‘Drugging the Undruggable®’ disease targets, today announced the promotion of Dr Neil Torbett to Chief Executive Officer, with immediate effect. Dr Torbett was previously the Company’s Chief Operating Officer. Founder and former CEO, Dr Chris Torrance will become Chair of the Board.
Dr Torbett joined PhoreMost as Chief Business Officer in January 2017 and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2020, holding responsibility for all operational, scientific and commercial activities. During this period, the Company has made significant progress across its internal first-in-class drug discovery programmes, focussing on Oncology and Targeted Protein Degradation, along with its portfolio of high-value research collaborations. In addition, the Company completed an oversubscribed £33M Series B investment round, one of the largest private fund-raises within UK life sciences in 2021. This year, PhoreMost relocated its headquarters and laboratory space to a new state-of-the-art facility in South Cambridge in order to accommodate the Company’s accelerated expansion and ongoing recruitment efforts.
Neil has over 16 years of research and management experience in the biotechnology industry. Prior to PhoreMost, Neil co-founded Activiomics Ltd, a proteomics spin-out from Bart’s Cancer Institute, where he served as Chief Operating Officer until its acquisition by Retroscreen Virology (now hVIVO) in 2014. He has also worked at Piramed Pharma, where he was involved in the management of a successful cancer research collaboration with Genentech. Neil completed his PhD at the Protein Phosphorylation laboratory at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, with postdoctoral training at the University of California San Francisco Cancer Centre.
As Chair of PhoreMost’s Board, Dr Torrance will continue to focus on strategic initiatives for PhoreMost, working closely with Dr Torbett and the leadership team to drive expansion of its next-generation SITESEEKER® target discovery platform and guide the development of the Company’s drug discovery programmes.
Dr Neil Torbett, CEO, PhoreMost said: “It is a privilege to be granted the opportunity to support the amazing team at PhoreMost as their CEO. I am very excited about the opportunities we have in 2022 to advance our pipeline of novel Oncology and Degrader-based therapeutics. I would also like to thank Chris for his inspirational leadership, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in pursuit of PhoreMost’s mission to open up new druggable space.”
Dr Chris Torrance, Chair of PhoreMost, commented: “Neil’s invaluable expertise and guidance as COO has been key to PhoreMost’s great progress over the last few years. He is a huge asset to the Company and as CEO, I know that he will continue to shape PhoreMost as a fully integrated target identification and drug discovery company – I look forward to a continued working relationship with Neil in my role as Chair. My sincere thanks also go to outgoing Chair, Catherine Beech for her pivotal role in positioning PhoreMost at the forefront of new wave of companies “Drugging the Undruggable®.”
Dr Catherine Beech OBE, PhoreMost board member and outgoing Chair, added: “We would like to thank Chris for his leadership of PhoreMost since he founded the Company in 2014, establishing an exceptional team that is both science-driven and entrepreneurial in nature. With his guidance, PhoreMost has achieved impressive milestones across its internal drug discovery programmes and portfolio of high-value research collaborations. We look forward to working with both Chris and Neil in their new roles, to drive the next phase of the Company’s growth and continued success.”