Highlights

Associate Professor Mark Smythe is a medicinal chemist. His expertise lies in transforming interesting molecules into high-value medicines.

His methodology for translating academic discoveries into commercially viable companies has achieved great success. He founded biotech company Protagonist Therapeutics in 2001, which is now a publicly listed company with several compounds in human clinical trials and several others sold to pharmaceutical partners. He and his team worked for 15 years to develop an approach to replace injectable drugs with pills. They took high potency, highly selective peptides that are traditionally broken down quickly by the body, and made them stronger. So, diseases that used to require ‘big-molecule’ injections we can now treat with a ‘constrained peptide’ pill. This has several advantages to the patients and addresses unmet medical needs of various diseases

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