Listed biotechnology firm e-therapeutics has appointed Ali Mortazavi as Chief Executive Officer. 

Mortazavi, the former long-time CEO of Silence Therapeutics and a former professional chess player, joined the Newcastle University spin-out as Executive Chairman in February. 

e-therapeutics, now headquartered in Oxfordshire, said he will retain that position.  

The company has expanded into RNA interference as a therapeutic modality to pursue drug discovery outcomes. 

Professor Trevor Jones CBE, one of two Non-Executive Directors, said Mortazavi had “re-energised the company”. 

“Importantly, [he has] played a significant role in restructuring the portfolio; including the establishment of a research programme on RNAi… a key area for important new therapies for a number of major diseases,” added Jones. 

We are delighted that in addition to his role as Chairman he has accepted our invitation to lead the team as Chief Executive Officer.” 

In May, e-therapeutics established a scientific advisory board with the initial appointment of Paul Burke as chair. 

It then raised £11.6m growth funding to expand its platform capabilities, asset pipeline, team and relocate its head office in Oxford and open a new London base. 

Mortazavi said: “Rarely does an opportunity arise to lead a company in an entirely new and burgeoning sector.  

I believe that e-therapeutics has established a key position among the small vanguard of companies across the globe applying computational biology to drug discovery.  

Our ambition is to take advantage of our momentum to become a major force at this intersection of technology and life sciences.”