VP, Biochemistry and Biophysics
Susanne Saalau joined LifeMine in 2018, initially as Senior Director, Biochemistry and Biophysics. In this role she has built a powerful team having breadth and depth in characterizing biochemical and biophysical mechanism-of-action for all targets being prosecuted by the company.
Sue brings 29 years of experience in drug discovery science, ranging from target elucidation to biochemical and fragment-based screening to pre-clinical development across multiple therapeutic areas, including antivirals, cardiovascular disease and oncology.
Sue came to LifeMine following a successful deployment as Senior Director at Astex Pharmaceuticals, where she made seminal contributions to the fragment-based discovery of the first FDA approved FGFR kinase inhibitor for the treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer, Balversa™, in collaboration with NICR and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Sue also contributed substantially to the early discovery efforts that ultimately furnished capivasertib, an AKT inhibitor that collaborator AstraZeneca currently has in Phase II and III clinical trials for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. She played a key role in securing a Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Grant for work on the hepatitis C NS3 full length protein, which resulted in the discovery of a novel allosteric mechanism of viral regulation and the invention of highly differentiated pre-clinical direct acting antiviral candidate molecules for the treatment of hepatitis C infection. Prior to Astex, Sue held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer Global R&D and Glaxo Wellcome, where she began her career.
Sue graduated with merit from the US Naval Academy with a BSc in Chemistry. She worked under C. Robert Matthews in the Department of Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University, where she studied the protein folding problem.