Chairman of TauRx Pharmaceuticals
Professor Claude M Wischik holds the Chair in Mental Health at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and is Chairman of TauRx Pharmaceuticals.
Claude Wischik was born in France, grew up in Australia and studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Adelaide, before studying medicine at Flinders University of South Australia, where he graduated with First Class Honours.
After finishing medical school in 1980, he travelled to Cambridge UK with a Commonwealth Scholarship to undertake a PhD under the direction of the late Professor Sir Martin Roth and Professor Sir Aaron Klug.
Wischik’s research at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge led to the discovery of the structure of the Paired Helical Filament (PHF) of which the Alzheimer tangle is composed, and Tau protein as its main constituent. Wischik led the Cambridge Bank Laboratory where the team discovered the first pharmaceutically viable Tau Aggregation Inhibitor (TAI) as a potential treatment for AD. In their clinico-pathological studies, the team demonstrated biochemically the close relationship between Tau aggregation and progression of clinical dementia well before the appearance of overt tangle pathology, as well as showing that the amyloid pathology had poor correlation with dementia, particularly at the early stages. The team went on to develop in vitro and transgenic animal models of Tau aggregation pathology as a comprehensive drug discovery platform for development of novel TAI’s and diagnostic imaging ligands.
In 2002, Wischik co-founded TauRx Pharmaceuticals with the late Dr. K. M. Seng as a Singapore-incorporated company with the aim of discovering novel approaches to the treatment and diagnosis of AD based on the Wischik team’s research. The company’s clinical and research operations are based in Scotland. TauRx undertook the first successful clinical trial of a TAI in AD, and demonstrated 90% reduction in the rate of clinical progression in mild/moderate AD over 12 months in 321 subjects. TauRx now has clearance to initiate its global Phase 3 program in AD and FTD.