OXFORD, UK – July 9, 2024

Pathios Therapeutics Limited (“Pathios”), a biotech company focused on the development of first-in-class therapies for cancer, today announced the appointment of experienced biotechnology industry executive, Paul G. Higham, as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He brings over 20 years of C-level executive biotechnology company experience to Pathios, as the company prepares to enter clinical development with its first-in-class GPR65 antagonist. In conjunction with Mr. Higham’s appointment, Pathios’ founding CEO, Stuart Hughes, Ph.D., will transition to the role of Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), where he will continue to focus his efforts and deep scientific expertise on the company’s first-of-its-kind GPR65 inhibition approach to cancer immunotherapy. This will include playing a key role on the team advancing PTT-4256, the company’s lead internally discovered, oral, highly potent, and selective small molecule inhibitor of GPR65, into human clinical trials in advanced solid cancers by the end of 2024.

“Following several years of excellent leadership under Stuart, Pathios is preparing to take a critical step forward and enter the clinic with its lead immuno-oncology program. As we transition from a company with preclinical assets to a full-fledged clinical-stage biotech, we will benefit greatly from Paul’s deep operational and strategic expertise. We are thrilled to welcome Paul to the Pathios team and look forward to the successes he will drive, including ongoing fundraising efforts focused on completing our Series B round,” said Tom McCarthy Ph.D., co-founder and Executive Chair of Pathios. “Importantly, Stuart will now be able to focus the full force of his scientific acumen on helping shepherd the company’s unique therapeutic approach through development to unlock significant value for patients and shareholders alike.”

Paul most recently served as chief executive officer of Valo Therapeutics, an immuno-oncology company developing tumour antigen-coated oncolytic viruses. In this role, he led the company from pre-clinical stage into clinical development. Prior to his tenure with Valo Therapeutics, Paul held the position of CEO at two other immuno-oncology focused companies, Glycotope, and Immatics Biotechnologies. Earlier in his career, he built a strong foundation of strategic and operational expertise in roles that included commercial development at Ark Therapeutics Group, where he established the company’s adenovirus gene-based medicine production facilities in Finland, Vice President, commercial development at GSK, and General Manager of Bayer Pharmaceuticals for Sweden and Denmark.

With an exciting first-in-class therapeutic candidate poised for advancement into first-in-human clinical studies and support from a top-tier investor syndicate of Bristol Myers Squibb, Canaan and Brandon Capital, Pathios is exceptionally well positioned for success. I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring my experience and energy to what is already an exceptional leadership team and help advance the exciting GPR65 antagonist approach at Pathios into much-needed additional therapeutic approaches for patients battling cancer,” said Mr. Higham.

“This is an exciting time for Pathios as we work diligently toward the initiation of clinical trials for PTT-4256. These studies will allow us to begin to test our scientific hypothesis around the therapeutic potential of inhibiting the immunosuppressive activity of GPR65 in patients with cancer, marking a key step forward for the development of this novel approach to immunotherapy,” said Dr. Hughes. “I am looking forward to working alongside Paul to advance this science and support him in executing the strategic and operational initiatives that will best position Pathios for long-term success.

Pathios is pursuing a novel immuno-oncology approach to the treatment of cancer focused on counteracting the immunosuppressive polarization of immune cells, including tumour associated macrophages (TAMs), that is triggered by an acidic tumour microenvironment (TME). It does so by attacking a ubiquitous cancer immune evasion pathway through the targeting of GPR65, an acid sensing G protein-coupled receptor that has been shown to foster immunosuppressive polarization of immune cells. GPR65 is exclusively expressed on immune cells and is associated with driving the immunosuppressive immune cell phenotype in the TME that prevents immune-mediated killing of cancer cells.

Pathios’ internal human genetic analysis demonstrates that reductions in GPR65 function are associated with significantly improved survival across a range of solid tumour types, positioning it as a unique immuno-oncology target for therapeutic intervention. Preclinical data for PTT-4256 have demonstrated that the compound possesses excellent drug-like properties and impressive monotherapy anti-tumour activity.

In addition to cancer, there are strong genetic associations between GPR65 activity and a variety of other immunologically mediated diseases, offering Pathios the opportunity to expand its research and development into other high-value therapeutic areas with significant unmet need.

About Pathios Therapeutics

Pathios is a drug discovery and development company focused on translating innovative science into new medicines. Pathios was founded by a team of experienced biotech and pharmaceutical industry professionals, entrepreneurs, and clinicians. The company is focused on developing small molecule inhibitors of the pH-sensing G protein-coupled receptor GPR65 to counteract the GPR65 mediated immunosuppressive polarization of immune cells, including tumour associated macrophages, that is triggered by an acidic tumour microenvironment present in most cancers. To date, Pathios has raised a total of US$58M including support from the leading venture capital firms, Canaan and Brandon Capital, as well as a strategic investment from Bristol Myers Squibb. Pathios is headquartered at the Innovation Centre on Milton Park, a key science precinct south of Oxford, UK, where together with Grey Wolf Therapeutics and ThirtyFiveBio it is part of the unique M:M Bio drug discovery and development ecosystem.


Pathios Therapeutics

Tom McCarthy, Executive Chair

+44 1235 644 960


Paul Higham, CEO

+44 1235 644 960


Vida Strategic Partners (on behalf of Pathios Therapeutics)

Tim Brons

+1 646 319 8981