• LUNAC Therapeutics

LUNAC Therapeutics Appoints Julian Howell as Chief Executive Officer


Leeds, UK, 29 September 2021: LUNAC Therapeutics (LUNAC), a UK based drug discovery company focused on the development of advanced life-saving anticoagulants, is pleased to announce the appointment of Julian Howell as Chief Executive Officer. With more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical development, Julian will deliver scientific and commercial leadership as LUNAC advances the development of its novel anticoagulant programmes.

Prior to joining LUNAC, Julian held several senior leadership positions in biopharmaceutical development, most recently as Chief Medical Officer at ReNeuron where he managed and provided direction for the company’s work in developing stem cell therapies targeting areas of significant unmet need. Previously, he had served as Group Medical Director at Shield Therapeutics, leading products through all stages of clinical development to EU and US approval. As Head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at ProStakan his teams contributed to the licencing of multiple new products. Julian also held clinical development positions at Roche and Smithkline Beecham.


Throughout his career, Julian has been involved in multiple new medicines approvals in the US and EU and has led development teams across a range of therapy areas. Julian qualified as a surgeon in London, working in the UK’s NHS before completing an MBA at Cranfield University. He is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.


Julian Howell, CEO of LUNAC Therapeutics, said:

I am delighted to be taking up the role of CEO at LUNAC, and helping to lead our team into the next stage of its drug discovery journey. The medical challenge of preventing and treating thrombosis is substantial, but LUNAC’s technology has the potential to provide a significant shift in benefit and risk in treatment available to patients. It is very exciting to be working with the team on a novel solution to the problem of thrombosis and I firmly believe we will be able to bring new and improved treatment opportunities to patients and clinicians.”

Dr. Mervyn Turner, Chair of LUNAC Therapeutics, said:

We are very pleased to welcome Julian to the LUNAC executive team at a critical point in our development. His strong track record in pharmaceutical development and deep experience of clinical and commercial leadership in the sector will help unlock the potential of our technology as we drive our programmes forward in the clinic, seek to provide an answer to the significant unmet need of thrombosis patients, and continue to grow as a business.”

About LUNAC Therapeutics

LUNAC Therapeutics is a spin out from the University of Leeds pursuing the discovery of next generation oral anticoagulant therapies with a reduced risk of causing bleeding compared to current treatments. LUNAC’s primary focus is on the inhibition of activated Factor XII (FXIIa), a clotting factor enzyme which plays a role in pathological clot formation (thrombosis), but not in the stemming of bleeding (haemostasis).

The business is founded on IP generated by Professor Helen Philippou (Professor of Translational Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Leeds) and Dr Richard Foster (Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Leeds), built on a decade of academic research into FXIIa in association with some of the world’s leading supporters of scientific and medical research, including the Wellcome Trust, British Heart Foundation and the UK’s Medical Research Council. Investors include Epidarex Capital and Mercia Asset Management PLC. LUNAC was the 2020 Start Up of the Year winner at the BioNow awards and 2021 Start Up of the Year award winner at the 2021 MediLink North of England Healthcare awards.


For more information, please go to www.lunactherapeutics.com. Follow LUNAC on Twitter @LUNACtx1.