SAN DIEGO, California, January 5, 2023 – Blacksmith Medicines, Inc. (Blacksmith), a leading biopharma dedicated to discovering and developing medicines targeting metalloenzymes, today announced additions to its science advisory team to help advance its emerging precision oncology programs focused on novel synthetic lethality targets involved in the DNA Damage Response.

Additions to Blacksmith’s oncology scientific advisors include:

  • Neil Gibson, Ph.D. Experienced cancer drug developer. Former head of Pfizer Oncology and developer of four FDA-approved cancer drugs
  • Jeff Hager, Ph.D. Synthetic lethal & DNA Damage Response expert. Executive-in-Residence at Boxer Capital, co-founder of IDEAYA Biosciences, and advisor to numerous oncology-focused companies
  • Chris Lord, D.Phil Prominent cancer genetics researcher and expert in synthetic lethality. Professor of Cancer Genomics, Institute of Cancer Research, UK, Head, CRUK Gene Function Laboratory and part of the team that identified the BRCA/PARP synthetic lethal relationship
  • Mark Whittaker, D.Phil Metalloenzyme drug discovery expert. Former Evotec Head of Oncology and Director of Chemistry at British Biotech

“We are honored to work with such an outstanding group of biotechnology leaders on our oncology scientific advisors board, who share our passion to develop novel medicines against undrugged metalloenzyme targets with next-generation chemistries,” said Zachary Zimmerman, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Blacksmith.  “These well-recognized advisors have expertise in key scientific areas that will be invaluable as we advance our platform and programs, including oncology drug development, synthetic lethality, DNA damage repair, cancer genetics and metalloenzyme discovery.  We look forward to their contributions as we grow Blacksmith and expand on our capabilities in precision oncology.”

About Blacksmith Medicines

At Blacksmith Medicines, we are developing medicines targeting metal-dependent enzymes.  Over 30% of known enzymes are metalloenzymes, covering all major enzyme classes: oxidoreductases, transferases, hydrolases, lyases, isomerases, and ligases.  Metal ions, including magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese and copper, are the essential ingredient in these metalloenzymes.  We recognized a large unmet need for new chemical matter and innovative approaches to drug this important class of enzymes.  Our purpose-built platform for metalloenzyme-targeted medicines combines, for the first time in industry, a focused library of metal-binding pharmacophores with proprietary computational modeling approaches to rapidly and rationally design small molecule inhibitors that interact with key metal ions in the enzyme’s active site.  Our comprehensive knowledge of the metal environment and key active site interactions enables Blacksmith to rapidly build potent and selective inhibitors in a stepwise and predictable manner.

For further information, please visit the company’s website at and follow us on LinkedIn.

Blacksmith Media Contact:

Amy Conrad
Juniper Point