04 Nov 2011 – Press Release: Sir Nigel Rudd to lead company behind MRSA cure

Sir Nigel RuddSir
Nigel Rudd today announced his latest role as Chairman of antimicrobial
drug development company Destiny Pharma. The head of BAA and former
chief of Boots will lead a newly enhanced Board including Dr David Roblin,
former Senior Vice President and Head of Research at Pfizer’s European
R&D operation.

Founded in 1997 Sussex-based Destiny Pharma has developed a pipeline
of drugs designed to avoid the microbial resistance problems associated
with traditional antibiotics. Its lead drug, codenamed XF-73, kills
antibiotic resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (SA)[1] like MRSA
without engendering bacterial resistance. Under the leadership of CEO
Dr Bill Love successful human trials in the UK[2] recently prompted
the U.S. Government’s National Institute for Allergies and Infections
Diseases (NIAID) to fund clinical evaluations in the USA[3].

The strengthening of the Board of Directors is a sign that Destiny
Pharma is preparing for the final stages of developing and commercialising
XF-73, its lead product for the prevention of post-surgical Staphylococcal
infection; the world’s most common cause of hospital bacterial infection.
The company estimates XF-73 could save the NHS £7billion over
ten years by preventing infections.

With a reputation as a dealmaker Sir Nigel Rudd is an internationally
renowned business director. His past and present Chairman roles include
£2billion high tech company Invensys, Boots the chemist, car dealer
Pendragon and airport operator BAA as well as Deputy Chairman of Barclays.
In 2007 Sir Nigel steered Boots through a dramatic takeover, making
it the first FTSE 100 company to go private, at a price that exceeded
City expectations. He was knighted in 1996 for services to the manufacturing

Sir Nigel’s involvement with Destiny Pharma goes back to 2005 when
he first invested in the company. His son, venture capitalist Edward
Rudd is also an investor. On taking the role the man known as “Britain’s
busiest Chairman” commented: “I am confident that I can bring
my long experience of developing and managing successful companies to
the Board of Destiny. The pipeline of anti-microbial agents for the
treatment of strains of MRSA will not only form a solid financial base
for the company but also has the potential to protect millions of lives


[1]. A peer reviewed in vitro passage study conducted in 2008 showed
XF-73 was effective against five of the most difficult to treat strains
of MRSA even after 55 repeat exposures.
[2]. Destiny Pharma reported successful Phase I clinical trial results
for XF-73 at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and
Chemotherapy ICAAC) in Boston in September 2010.
[3]. XF-73 was selected for Phase I clinical evaluation by NIAID in
August 2011. The study, which will be funded by NIAID, is expected to
start in early 2012.

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