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ValiRx appoints preclinical project manager to drive development of triple breast cancer treatment

15 Dec 2022


ValiRx PLC, a life science company focused on early-stage cancer therapeutics and women's health, has appointed a project manager to lead the preclinical development of its in-licensed triple negative breast cancer treatment, CLX001.

Zai Ahmad has over 20 years’ experience in oncology, neuroscience, and drug development and joins the ValiRx team from Oxford Biomedica, where she was principal scientist and product research and development team lead. Zai has previously held roles at Covance, AstraZeneca, The Institute of Cancer Research, the University of Leeds, the University of Oxford, and John Radcliff Hospital, Oxford.

With a Neuroscience MPhil from the University of Leeds, Zai has extensive experience across in vivo, ex vivo, in vitro, molecular biology and immunohistochemistry, in addition to authoring several peer reviewed manuscripts focused on oncology.

Preclinical project manager

At ValiRx, Zai will be responsible for leading the development of CLX001, a peptide developed by King's College London for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer, with potential for expansion into ovarian cancer and other solid tumour cancers.

Of Zai’s appointment, Dr Suzy Dilly, ValiRx CEO, says:

“Having recently confirmed the progress of our first in-licensing project, we were looking for a project manager that would help drive it through preclinical development and provide oversight of our evaluation project portfolio. Zai’s proven track record of managing preclinical projects and therapeutic drug development, as well as her wide variety of in vivo and in vitro skills make her the perfect fit for the role.

“CLX001 has now commenced a full preclinical development programme, with work managed by ValiRx subsidiary, Cytolytix. We’re looking forward to further progressing the project under the expert guidance of Zai.”

Zai Ahmad adds:

“I have always been passionate about drug development and relish the idea of taking research from academic labs and developing it into therapies that make it all the way into the patient. The ValiRx team is incredibly open to the science, as well as to exploring other therapeutic areas and how they may interact. I am looking forward to leading the management of the CLX001 project, as well as providing input on other scientific developments within the company.”

ValiRx recently bolstered its drug discovery and therapeutic expertise with the appointment of Dr Cathy Tralau-Stewart as Interim Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Stella Panu as non-executive director (NED).

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Zai Ahmad headshot