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Professor Simon Ward

Professor Simon Ward

Director, Medicines Discovery Institute

School of Medicine

Email
wards10@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6984
Campuses
Room 0.24, Main Building
Welsh speaking
Users
Available for postgraduate supervision

Overview

Professor Simon Ward is the Sêr Cymru Professor in Translational Drug Discovery and Director of the Medicines Discovery Institute at Cardiff University. The goal of the Institute, which represents a major investment in drug discovery science, is to translate new understanding of disease mechanisms from Cardiff, Wales and internationally into novel therapeutic approaches for patients in need of improved treatment options.

Professor Ward has led multidisciplinary project teams & medicinal chemistry groups from initiation of drug discovery projects through to clinical studies, bringing multiple molecules into clinical development for a wide range of diseases. He has considerable experience of successful in- and out-licencing, due diligence, patent litigation and commercial deal making.

Biography

Professor Ward has an MA in Natural Sciences and PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from Cambridge University, UK. He has a wide ranging experience of drug discovery in both major pharmaceutical companies, biotech & academia (GlaxoSmithKline, BioCrea GmbH, Knoll Pharmaceuticals, Vernalis, Chiroscience, University of Sussex, Cardiff University) and specialist experience of discovering and developing drugs for patients with neurological and psychiatric illness and against cancers.   In 2010, after a research career in industry, Professor Ward joined the University of Sussex to initiate a translational drug discovery group, which successfully grew into a centre with over 60 staff and students by raising over £35M for a portfolio of neuroscience and oncology targets.

Professor Ward has the following recent and current external roles:

Simon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chartered Chemist and Chartered Scientist (FRSC CChem CSci).

Publications

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Professor Ward is Principal Investigator on the following live grant awards:

  • LIMK1 inhibitors - A novel, disease-modifying approach for the treatment of fragile X syndrome (Medical Research Council £2.5M)
  • Transforming the treatment of schizophrenia: Design and development of AMPA receptor modulators with a much improved safety profile as novel drugs for treating the cognitive dysfunction associated with schizophrenia and other CNS disorders (Wellcome Trust £4M)
  • Oncology drug discover portfolio (Wellcome Trust £600k)

Professor Ward is co-Investigator on the following live grant awards:

  • MICA - Valium without the sedation: Anxioselective GABAA receptor modulators for the treatment of anxiety disorders (Medical Research Council £3M)
  • Alpha-GABAa receptor modulators for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with Huntington's disease (Wellcome Trust £2M)
  • Proof-of-Concept for a5-GABAAR PAMs in the treatment of psychosis (Wellcome Trust £500k)
  • Developing small molecules as a neurosteroid replacement strategy for treating postpartum psychosis' (Wellcome Trust £500k)
  • Allosteric modulators of extrasynaptic GABAA receptors for the treatment of postpartum depression (MRC – DPFS £650k)
  • Inhibitors of serine racemase as novel therapeutic for treatment-resistant depression (Medical Research Council £18k)
  • Prodrugs of Protein Targeting Chimeras (PROTACs) With Improved Oral Bioavailability (MRC – CIC £60k)
  • Inhibition of acid ceramidase to treat multiple lysosomal storage disorders   (Harrington UK Rare Disease  £100k)
  • MSH3: a disease modifying approach to Huntington's disease (LoQus23 Therapeutics Ltd £500k)
  • Transforming Cardiff Translation (Wellcome Trust £320k)