About Griffin Discoveries BV
Griffin Discoveries is a privately-owned drug discovery company which focuses on the development of small molecule drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors. It is a research-based drug discovery company that spun out of the medicinal chemistry group of VU University Amsterdam in 2009. The academic group in Amsterdam has a strong track record in GPCR medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology. The access to more than 30-years of experience in the field of histamine related research allows Griffin Discoveries to efficiently develop new compounds that target the newest members of the histamine and chemokine receptor family. Griffin Discoveries is currently located in the faculty of Sciences of VU University.

Management and founders

  1. Rogier Smits, PharmD, PhD
    Dr Rogier Smits studied pharmacy at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Purdue University (West-Lafayette, USA) and obtained his pharmacists degree in 2004. He received his PhD from the Medicinal Chemistry group at VU University. His work focused on the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel histamine H4 receptor ligands. He is one of the co-founders of Griffin Discoveries.
  2. Rob Leurs, PhD
    Professor Rob Leurs studied pharmacochemistry at VU University Amsterdam and graduated in 1987. He obtained his PhD from the same university in 1991. As a postdoctoral fellow (1992-1993) at INSERM (Unite de Neurobiologie and Pharmacologie, Paris) he was involved in the cloning genes encoding histaminergic and serotonergic receptors. In 2000 he was appointed full professor of medicinal chemistry at VU University Amsterdam. Professor Leurs has been involved in research on G-protein coupled receptors for over 15 years and has obtained ample experience in industrial applications of GPCR oriented research through contract work, strategic alliances and consulting.
  3. Iwan de Esch, PhD
    Professor Iwan de Esch studied organic chemistry at the University of Nijmegen and received his PhD degree from the department of medicinal chemistry, VU University Amsterdam in 1998. In 1998 he joined the Drug Design Group in the Pharmacology Department of the University of Cambridge, UK. This group formed the basis of the successful TeknoMed drug design collaboration with Rhône-Poulenc Rorer. Dr de Esch is a co-founder of De Novo Pharmaceuticals, a company that spun out of the University of Cambridge in 2000. He returned to academia in 2003 to become assistant professor of the medicinal chemistry Group at VU University Amsterdam where he was appointed as full professor in 2013.