Sygnature Discovery goes for global industry recognition with Chief Scientific Officer hire

Sygnature Discovery has announced a major new hire to its leadership team, with the appointment of Dr David Witty as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) to ensure its integrated drug discovery capabilities remain at the cutting edge of the industry. 

David will be responsible for ensuring Sygnature Discovery remains globally recognised for the quality of its scientific operations and is able to attract the top scientific talent in the industry.   

David is an industry veteran, who started his working life in a medicinal chemistry lab as an 18-year-old school leaver, before going on to work for some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world.  

In his 30-year-plus career, he has led numerous integrated discovery and development programmes across a wide range of therapeutic areas including neuroscience, metabolic diseases, oncology, and anti-infectives. He has also worked on some twenty candidate molecules, including vixotrigine and intepirdine. 

David has held many senior leadership roles in the pharmaceutical and drug discovery space, including Director of Chemistry and Head of Operations at Convergence Pharmaceuticals, Co-Editor of Progress in Medicinal Chemistry, and Director and Co-Founder of pharmaceutical consultancy firm Witnet.   

He joins the team at Sygnature Discovery from Eliem Therapeutics, where he served as Vice President of Chemistry and Intellectual Property and led the research, development, and scale-up of various neuroscience projects. During his time with Eliem Therapeutics, David worked alongside Sygnature Discovery’s scientists as part of a four-year partnership arrangement, which saw them collaborate on several projects, including the exciting discovery of a best in class Kv7.2/3 activator.    

Commenting on his new role as Chief Scientific Officer David said: “Before joining Sygnature I was looking for a role where I could use my experience of working with global drug discovery partners. I wanted to work with a team that had both scientific excellence and customer focus at its heart, and to be able to influence the development of those capabilities. 

“In my previous role I learned that the Sygnature team were both enthusiastic and talented, and appreciated there was a drive for continuous improvement of scientific capabilities and customer experience. It is the perfect fit and I hope to use my experience of commissioning and running programmes to ensure Sygnature is always seen as the first choice to run discovery research programmes.” 

CEO at Sygnature Discovery Dr Simon Hirst added: “David is a great addition to the leadership team and brings a wealth of scientific knowledge and industry experience as Chief Scientific Officer. This is essential to the future success and growth of our business.” 


About Sygnature Discovery 

Sygnature Discovery is a world-leading integrated drug discovery contract research organisation based in the UK and Canada with headquarters in Nottingham (UK). Additional sites are located in Alderley Park, Macclesfield and Glasgow (UK), as well as in Montreal and Quebec City (Canada). Its team of over 1,000 employees, which includes 900 scientists, partners with global pharma, biotech, and NFP organisations. Since 2004, Sygnature Discovery has delivered over 40 novel pre-clinical and 25 clinical compounds, with its scientists named on over 170 patents. Therapeutic areas of expertise include oncology, inflammation and immunology, neuroscience, metabolic diseases, infectious diseases, fibrotic diseases and more. For further information, visit

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