Chris De Savi

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Industry Trends   Novel Therapeutics  

As Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery at Kymera Therapeutics, Chris is responsible for medicinal and computational chemistry, lead discovery (biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology), pre-clinical development (DMPK and Toxicology) and proteomics. His team contributes to all drug discovery phases at Kymera from project inception through to clinical candidate discovery and beyond. Prior to joining Kymera, Chris was head of chemistry at Blueprint Medicines, a precision medicine company specialized in kinase drug discovery and development. Chris has deep experience in leading discovery research groups and project teams in both global pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He has directly contributed to the invention of 9 clinical candidate drugs for oncology and inflammation disease – most recently BLU-945, a EGFR T790M/C797S triple mutant inhibitor for the treatment of lung cancer, AZD4573, a selective CDK9 inhibitor for the treatment of haematological malignancies and AZD9496, an oral, selective estrogen receptor degrader for the treatment of ER+ breast cancer. He co-discovered Barasertib (AZD1152), a selective Inhibitor of Aurora B kinase for the treatment of AML. He is an author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and patents in the fields of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery and a PhD qualified chemist who has previously held academic positions at Queens’ College Cambridge and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

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Transformational EGFR Drug Discovery

Transformational EGFR Drug Discovery

Lung cancer accounted for 18% of deaths caused by cancer in 2020, making it the leading cause of cancer mortality globally.

Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for the majority of these cases (80−85%), and mutations in the kinase domain of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are oncogenic drivers in a subset of this disease, adenocarcinoma.

Tissue Selective E3 Ligase-based Degraders

Tissue Selective E3 Ligase-based Degraders

The efficacy and selectivity of protein degrader drugs depend on their affinity to the target protein but also on the type of E3 ubiquitin ligase (E3) that is recruited to trigger proteasomal degradation. The arsenal of E3s that can be hijacked for targeted protein degradation (TPD) is still largely unexplored. Only about 2% of the more than 600 E3 ligases have been utilized to date. Exploiting additional E3 ligases that are selectively expressed in specific tissues or cell types, can broaden the applicability of TPD as a therapeutic modality.

Anticipated Drug Approvals 2022

Anticipated Drug Approvals 2022

Drug Discovery crystal ball gazing for the year ahead. And the hottest prospects are discussed below.

We already have 5 CDER (FDA) approvals this year which are tantalizing new treatments for patients -

  1. Daridorexant (Quviviq), a selective dual antagonist of the orexin receptors OX1 and OX2 used for the treatment of insomnia. Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  2. Abrocitinib (Cibinqo), a new JAK1 kinase inhibitor used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. Pfizer
  3. Tebentafusp (Kimmtrak), a bispecific gp100 peptide-HLA-directed CD3 T cell engager used to treat uveal melanoma (eye cancer). Immunocore
  4. Faricimab (Vabysmo), a bispecific mAb, a VEGF, and Ang-2 inhibitor used for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Genentech
  5. Sutimlimab (Enjaymo), a mAb that is used to treat adults with cold agglutinin disease (CAD). Sanofi


Are We Keeping Up With Antimicrobial Resistance?

Are We Keeping Up With Antimicrobial Resistance?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a major threat to human health.

There were an estimated 4.95M deaths associated with bacterial AMR in 2019, including 1.27M deaths attributable to bacterial AMR.

Lower respiratory infections accounted for more than 1.5M deaths associated with resistance in 2019, making it the most burdensome infectious syndrome. The six leading pathogens for deaths associated with bacterial antimicrobial resistance are Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Breakthrough Medicines 2021

Breakthrough Medicines 2021

It has been a momentous year of innovation for drug discovery while the world is still facing the deadliest pandemic in its history. Below is highlighted some of the most impactful breakthrough medicines. These approved or emerging treatments will have a profound positive and meaningful impact on human lives.

Some of these medicines such as the COVID-19 vaccines and new oral anti-virals have been discovered at an unprecedented pace. The vaccines from both Pfizer BioNTech SE and Moderna also represent novel technologies to treat disease using messenger RNA (mRNA) to teach our cells how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response inside our bodies. A gargantuan global effort. Amazing innovation.