Biographical Information

Dr Richard H. Furneaux is the Carbohydrate Chemistry Technology Platform Manager at Industrial Research Limited, Lower Hutt. His world-renowned team of 30 scientists is focused on the discovery and commercialisation of “Glycotherapeutics”, drugs and dietary supplements based upon knowledge of the role of carbohydrate molecules in biological processes. Their most spectacular recent success has been the design and synthesis of the “Immucillins”, exquisitely potent transition state inhibitors of nucleoside processing enzymes, developed in collaboration with Professor Vern Schramm at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The first candidates, licensed to US biotech company BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc, are showing promise in human clinical trials for the treatment of T-cell cancers and have potential for treating auto-immune diseases such as psoriasis. Dr Furneaux has also championed the investment by Industrial Research into process development chemistry and manufacture under cGMP of small molecule, synthetic drug candidates. This expertise is playing a critical role in the burgeoning biotech sector in Australasia.