11:30 uur 16-06-2023

Adrestia Co-Founder Professor Steve Jackson Named Knight Bachelor for Services to Innovation and Research

  • Honour recognizes Prof. Jackson’s contributions to biological research, including foundational work in DNA damage repair and the invention of synthetic lethality drugs
  • Adrestia science founded on Prof. Jackson’s translation of synthetic lethality approaches into a synthetic rescue platform to create new drugs for genetic diseases
  • Prof. Jackson also notable for scientific entrepreneurship in founding Mission Therapeutics, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals and Adrestia Therapeutics

CAMBRIDGE, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Adrestia Therapeutics, a leader in synthetic rescue therapies for genetic diseases, today announced its co-founder, Professor Steve Jackson FRS FMedSci, has been named a Knight Bachelor in the 2023 Birthday Honours List, which announces the bestowing of various awards and designations on the King’s Birthday in the United Kingdom. Professor Jackson is a noted scientist-entrepreneur and holds several academic positions in addition to being the Chief Scientific Officer of Adrestia. The Knights Bachelor are appointed by the British sovereign and have existed as an order since the Middle Ages.

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Professor Steve Jackson FRS FMedSci (Photo: Business Wire)

Professor Steve Jackson FRS FMedSci (Photo: Business Wire)

“It is humbling to join a group with such a long history,” said Professor Jackson. “I see this as a recognition of the important contributions the biological research community make to medicine and our understanding of life, and I thank the many collaborators and members of my teams who have supported my research over the years.”

“Our team congratulates Steve on this wonderful recognition of his pioneering work in foundational aspects of biology that play important roles in many diseases,” said Rob Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Adrestia. “He is an inspiring leader and we are incredibly fortunate to have his expertise and guidance inform Adrestia’s scientific strategy and the development of our platform for developing new therapies for genetically defined diseases.”

Professor Jackson’s work has provided key insights into cellular processes that respond to DNA damage; processes fundamental to life and whose defects cause various diseases, particularly cancer.

Latterly, one part of his research agenda has been the development of new drug discovery techniques for genetic diseases in an area called synthetic rescue. As many directly causative gene mutations are not amenable to being targeted by drugs, synthetic rescue can involve screening the entire genome to identify compelling drug targets in a much wider network of related genes. The aim is to correct the effects of the causative mutations and ‘rescue’ health. Professor Jackson used a related approach, synthetic lethality, to co-originate a new class of drugs for cancer and subsequently translated his experience into synthetic rescue tools and technologies focused on finding new treatments for genetic diseases. He co-founded Adrestia to progress this work for patients.

Professor Jackson is the University of Cambridge Professor of Biology and Senior Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, he carried out four years’ post-doctoral training at UC Berkeley in the United States. He founded and served as CSO for the companies Mission Therapeutics and KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, the latter of which developed the blockbuster anti-cancer drug olaparib, the first of a new family of drugs called PARP inhibitors. KuDOS was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2005. Professor Jackson is a fellow of the Royal Society and the Academy of Medical Sciences UK, and he has received multiple national and international awards for his research leadership.

As a Knight Bachelor, Professor Jackson may use the prefix “Sir” and will formally be presented with this honour in the coming months.

About Adrestia

Adrestia is a leader in synthetic rescue therapies for genetically defined diseases. As many directly causative gene mutations are not druggable, synthetic rescue identifies drug targets in a much wider network of functionally connected genes. The aim is to correct the effects of the causative mutations and ‘rescue’ health. Adrestia is creating a synthetic rescue ‘Atlas’ of the human genome and advancing a portfolio of first-in-class oligonucleotide or oral small molecule therapies, initially for neurologic, neuromuscular and cardiomyopathic diseases. Adrestia’s platform and in-house programs are complemented by a target discovery alliance with GSK and a Huntington’s disease collaboration with noted researchers including Dr Sarah Tabrizi at University College London.

Adrestia was co-founded by Professor Steve Jackson and the deep technology investment fund Ahren Innovation Capital, which co-led Adrestia’s Series A financing along with GSK. Jackson co-originated the first synthetic lethality drug, olaparib, which was the first drug approved to treat cancers caused by inherited mutations. For further information, visit: www.adrestia.com.


Robert Johnson


Tom Donovan

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