Below you will see the biographies for the candidates for this year's BIA Board election - to vote in the election click here.
Zuzanna Brzosko is the CEO and co-founder of Sixfold Bioscience. Sixfold is a venture backed, preclinical-stage, AI-driven biotechnology company that develops next-generation delivery systems for Cell & Gene therapeutics. Sixfold is currently focused on oncology indications.
Prior to her role at Sixfold, Dr Brzosko worked in EU Pharma and Biotech Equity Research at Goldman Sachs. Dr Brzosko completed her postdoctoral and PhD training in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at Cambridge University, and her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Oxford University. During her time in Cambridge she held various leadership roles such as President of the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs, Innovation Representative at The Milner Therapeutics Institute & Consortium, and committee positions in Oxbridge Biotechnology Roundtable, Cambridge University Women in Leadership, and Oxford Women in Business.
Her research has been published in top academic journals and resulted in multiple patent applications. Dr Brzosko has been recognised in Europe’s Forbes 30 under 30 for Healthcare & Science (2018), The Maserati & The Sunday Times Top 100 British Entrepreneurs (2019), as a Rising Star in 50 Movers and Shakers of BioBusiness in the UK (2018), and Aviva’s Women of the Future (Top 5 in Science and Healthcare, 2017). She is very engaged in outreach activities frequently giving talks to students on entrepreneurship and science/tech innovation, joining large research projects in an advisory capacity, e.g. Newcastle University’s Portabolomics project and sitting on the Global Leadership Panel for Fight Cancer Global. Sixfold represents an excellent example of a fast-growing UK SME.
Given Sixfold’s involvement in two spaces important to the BIA, the Cell & Gene therapy space and AI in Healthcare, as well as her knowledge of the funding environment and her experience working at the intersection of academia and industry, Zuzanna is well positioned to positively contribute to the BIA’s board.
With more than 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Gillian is a proven pharmaceutical leader who has led the development, approval and commercialisation of multiple new medicines within the biotech and ‘big pharma’ environments; delivering multimillion-dollar revenues.
Currently responsible for more than 900 UK employees as the UK Research and Development Site Head, Gillian is accountable for the development and implementation of UCB’s new medicine’s strategy; supporting the company’s scientific leaders in discovering and developing new therapies to treat predominantly neurological and immunological diseases as well as ensuring UCB’s commitment to the Life Science community.
Gillian was previously Head of Early Project Development at UCB; responsible for heading early phase projects and accountable for the company’s next generation business and scientific strategy, including the pre-clinical, clinical and regulatory strategy and operational execution.
Previously Gillian has held positions with GSK including a number of global roles for its respiratory business encompassing early phase projects and established brands leading to successful approvals in the EU, US and Japan.
Gillian has also been a Company Director for biotech RespiVert, focussing on its anti-inflammatory drug development using a virtual development model. Responsible for asset development and business development activities, Gillian oversaw the company’s acquisition by Janssen.
Throughout her career Gillian has valued the importance of collaboration in the life sciences ecosystem for maximum patient benefit and has held positions with the BIA, ABPI and Kings College London to foster this partnership working. This, coupled with Gillian’s proven experience and expertise in developing and delivering innovative medicines within small biotech and multinational companies, would make her an asset on the BIA Board.
Conor has worked globally in Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs in life sciences since 2000. He has led business strategy and marketing for GE Life Sciences since 2016, having previously been Chief Communications Officer and Head of Public Affairs. In this capacity he first worked with the BIA in the then emerging cell and gene therapy industry in the UK.
Joining GE in 2003, he led GE Healthcare’s media relations in Europe, with global responsibility for Life Sciences and Medical Diagnostics.
In 2014, Conor was invited to become a director and trustee of CaSE, the UK Campaign for Science and Engineering. In this role, he supports public and civic understanding of, and engagement in, science, medicine and bio-technology. Conor is a passionate believer in the role of good, clear communications and transparent engagement in supporting better, more effective evidence-based decision-making by all stakeholders in the field. He brings a strong global perspective to the boards on which he serves, helping teams see issues from a multitude of points of view and communicate accordingly. He also served three years on the board of directors of regional business association Buckinghamshire Business First.
Biotechnology will shape and change the world in the 21st century. The BIA plays a crucial role in this. Conor is looking to bring his experience in global science communcations, media relations, policy development and marketing to the BIA board, and most importantly, its members and the remarkable work they do.
He is particularly interested in helping smaller organisations in developing their stories for, and navigating the complexities of, building partnerships and relationships with larger, global businesses. With first-hand experience of supporting start-ups such as BIA member Clustermarket, he is aware how hard it is for small companies to maintain their profile among leadership at larger organisations.
Alan leads the MSD international regulatory organization across Europe, Middle East and Africa, Canada, Latin America and Asia Pacific, including responsibilities for China and Japan – one of the industry’s largest global geographic footprints. As well as being part of the global regulatory leadership team, Alan is also a member of MSD’s international cross-divisional leadership team.
Prior to joining MSD in 2015, Alan was the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Safety at Amgen, where he worked for 10 years. Previously Alan has held leadership positions in global regulatory affairs at several other multi-national companies, including Celltech, Baxter, BMS and J&J.
Alan is the current Chair of the EFPIA Regulatory Strategy Committee, and the EFPIA Brexit Taskforce. He is also an active member of the Mayor of London’s expert advisory panel on Brexit. Alan was recently Chair of the BIA’s Regulatory Affairs Advisory Committee, from 2009 – 2018.
Alan is an experienced industry leader with a depth and breadth of knowledge of regulatory affairs and clinical safety. Importantly, he is well positioned strategically on relevant (afore mentioned) forums and brings direct experience of how to navigate the complexities of the Brexit context, as well as the new trading partnerships with the EU and the wider world. Alan is a seasoned media spokesperson, who can be called upon to support BIA and its strategic goals. Alan is committed to bringing a thoughtful perspective and representing the interests of the wider industry. He understands the value of alignment and collective engagement through the BIA in shaping the external environment. Alan would be fully supported in fulfilling the requirements of a Board role by MSD colleagues.
Mike is a biopharmaceutical industry leader with a passion for translating new science into novel medicines, and for managing groups of people to deliver them.
He is currently co-founder and CEO of Microbiotica, a Sanger Institute microbiome spinout. The company achieved rapid success, signing a $534m collaboration with Genentech in its first 18 months, and a year later is a thriving group of 40 with a pipeline of microbiome therapeutics and biomarkers.
Since his first industry role in Wellcome Biotech and later in GlaxoWellcome, he led efforts in novel vaccines, antivirals, novel targets from the genome, gene therapy, ion channels, GPCRs and antibodies. Subsequently, in GSK he held global VP roles over 10 years, building major new trans-national divisions which helped shape the company’s platforms and pipelines across therapeutic areas and modalities. In his last GSK role he led an international group of 300 engaged in Genomics/Platform Biology for target and biomarker discovery across therapy areas. Mike left GSK in 2009 to build Crescendo Biologics, where he was the founding CEO/CSO over 6 years, developing the Humabody fragment platform and a pipeline in oncology and inflammation.
Since 2015, he has served as a Non-Exec Director of LifeArc, the leading biomedical charity. Previously he was Translator in Residence at Imperial College, and Venture Partner to UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund.
His academic work included research in influenza virology (MRC) and in yeast biotechnology (Leicester). He holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, a PhD in Molecular Virology from Imperial College, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.
Mike greatly enjoys helping and mentoring others and feels he has very broad experience, across biotech, pharma, venture capital, academia and charities, that he would like to use more widely to help the UK biotech sector thrive.
Nerida is looking to bring her broad industry experience, knowledge and skills honed from 20+ years across science, business, strategy, biotech and large pharma to the BIA Board.
She is Vice President, New Ventures & Transactions, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, where she leads a senior team that is seeking and partnering with early-stage, transformational innovation in EMEA across pharma, medical devices and consumer for the world’s largest healthcare company. Her most recent collaboration is J&J’s engagement in the £200m Whole Genome Sequencing project for the 500,000 UK Biobank volunteers.
Prior to J&J, Nerida had been successful in BD&L and Executive management in the UK biotech sector for 15 years. Nerida has experience in both private and public listed R&D biotech companies in the UK (RiboTargets & Vernalis), commercial operations in the US, and additionally in collaborations across Europe, North America and China. Previously, as a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group in London, Nerida focused on strategies for pharma, hospitals and health insurers. Her academic qualifications include studying Science/Law at Sydney University, gaining a 1st in Biochemistry, before earning a PhD at University of Cambridge.
Nerida is passionate about the opportunities available to the UK Biotech sector (despite headwinds) with world-leading science, strong investment in early-stage research from VC, charity and government sources, and a progressive regulatory body. The wealth of cradle-to-grave health data in the UK, and an active life sciences strategy to utilise this for better patient wellness and healthcare outcomes, is a unique and fantastic opportunity to grow the sector further. Nerida’s other key area for focus is to create the optimum ecosystem to nurture and translate early stage biotechs into the major players of tomorrow, headquartered in the UK and listed on our stock exchanges. This is one of the most significant challenges and potential opportunities.
In 2013, bucking a pattern of UK Science going to the USA for funding, Sunil acted quickly to lead an academic spin-out from the USA with promising data in brain cancer and proceeded to run, externally fund and locate that company, Opal Oncology, in the UK. It provided direct hands-on experience of making scientific decisions and managing the operations of a therapeutics company. Through the leadership at Opal Oncology, Sunil has been an active member of the BIA.
Sunil Shah is a serial entrepreneur having begun his career in the Life Sciences team at PA Consulting group followed by co-founding two companies in the information technology and life sciences sector. The second of these companies, Oxygen Healthcare Ltd was acquired by Piramal Enterprises Ltd (BSE: PEL). Sunil has a degree in Biochemistry and an MBA from Cambridge University. Although, through the BIA Sunil is known for leading Opal Oncology, he is better known in biotech circles for being one of two co-founders behind the o2h Group.
Sunil is also the CEO of the o2h Group. The o2h Group has developed an engine for seeding a pipeline of early stage life science assets through research collaborations, in-licensing, spin-outs & investments. The DNA of o2h is centred around the nurturing of its people, values and culture, it reflects this in the way we work with each other, as well as our collaborators and partners.
Sunil has been a keen supporter of the BIA over many years, actively participating in many events. He has been championing with others, early stage investments into British therapeutics. He has an extensive network in the UK, Europe, India, Japan and the USA as well as understanding factors that are important to the growth of the Biotech sector, having been part of the Boston biotech ecosystem for 15 years.
Chris is the COO and executive team member of GW, a UK-based global biopharmaceutical company that is the world leader in cannabinoid science and medicines. Founded 1998 and originally AIM listed, GW moved to the NASDAQ in 2013, giving Chris extensive exposure to UK and US-based investors and corporate bank analysts.
In 2005 GW’s complex botanical medicine, Nabiximols (Sativex), became the world’s first plant-derived cannabis-based product to secure regulatory approval anywhere in the world. In 2018, GW’s orphan, highly purified cannabidiol medicine became the first plant-derived, cannabis-based medicine to receive FDA approval, with an EMA approval due in the follow the coming weeks.
Since joining the company in 2012 as a UK Plc Board Director, Chris has played a key role in the overall development of the company. Specifically, he has overseen the rapid expansion of GW outside of the US moving from ~100 to more than 900 employees today, investing over £344 million in R&D and £82 million in manufacturing infrastructure over the last 5 years, and collaborating with 22 Clinical Research Organisations and 84 Academic Research Organisations.
His role encompasses a diverse range of functions, from botanical research and growing to manufacturing, supply chain and the establishment of the commercial organisation outside of the US. Such work has taken place within a dynamic, fast-paced legal and political environment surrounding cannabis, requiring Chris to engage at the highest levels of government across Europe and the UK, and with the national media on a regular basis.
Prior to joining GW, Chris was at UCB Pharmaceuticals from 2006 to 2012. Most recently, he was the VP of Global Marketing Operations where he was responsible for worldwide marketing activities on a portfolio of UCB products generating over €2.0 billion in annual sales. Chris previously spent 18 years at GlaxoSmithKline in senior commercial roles.
Paul has been a member of the BIA for many years, supporting various functions and has a specific interest in the science, partnerships, politics and finance elements underpinning the UK’s exceptional growth in the space.
Paul leads business development, client interface and organic growth programmes in TranScrip, which is an eminent drug development team working with over 200 biotechs and pharma, globally. He has over 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including working in clinical R&D, business development, senior level executive recruitment and marketing. His knowledge of team-based resolution of often complex problems, is based on ‘hands-on’ experience within three large mainstream pharma groups, two CROs, three consultancies and a biotech, plus being a core member of the TranScrip senior management group dealing with a multiplicity of issues in biotech clients. He is known to many within the sector, across Europe and the US.
Working with many UK biotechs in the last 11 years at TranScrip has provided insight into the issues facing these emerging companies; knowledge gaps, the regulatory and financial constraints and how various resourcing and development planning support models can aid companies proactively, or in times of stress, which he believes could be more comprehensively addressed at a UK-wide level. Paul’s focus, if elected to the BIA board, would be to promote and support infrastructure for new biotechs and the development of greater international partnership.
Sarah Hanson is Co-head of Life Sciences & Healthcare at international law firm CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang. She leads over 100 lawyers that, like her, are engaged and motivated to do the best for the clients and sector in which we operate.
Sarah has practised for over 20 years with a focus on leading life sciences transactions both in the UK and internationally – she has an understanding of what is important to BIA members having represented a broad range of clients from spin outs from universities to large multinationals. She is ranked as a legal practitioner in various legal directories including in Chambers that said clients say: "She never misses a thing" and "could not be more responsive."
Laws and regulations, both domestically and internationally, provide the framework in which the sector operates – understanding this framework is crucial to the work the BIA does. Sarah has a deep knowledge of legal matters, as she advises clients on how best to achieve their objectives where commercial, regulatory, data privacy, competition, procurement, IP, product liability and corporate issues are being considered.
Sarah is also active in policy making and thought leadership – e.g. she is already a member of the ABHI Digital Policy Group and regular writes on matters such as the Industrial Strategy and Brexit. These are key issues that Sarah is not only following but also seeking ways in which to contribute to the debate. As Brexit unfolds, the next few years are likely to be especially important from a legal perspective.
Sarah will help the BIA to be on the front foot, both to protect the industry and also to exploit opportunities to use the law to differentiate UK biotech. In line with the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy this will include a consideration of a range of legally related issues around, inter alia, investment incentives, clinical trial capabilities, data/digital and employment of foreign talent.
While Dan’s professional role is to invest in healthcare companies on a global basis, at a personal level he is passionate about helping the UK life sciences sector to flourish. He has been a member of the BIA Board for the last three years and currently chairs the Audit Committee.
His entire career has been spent in the life sciences industry, starting in the lab before transitioning into the finance sector. Dan read biochemistry at Oxford and received his Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1995, where he worked in the laboratory of Professor Sir John Gurdon. He then moved to California to work in the cell signalling department at DNAX Research Institute, a subsidiary of Schering Plough Corporation.
In 1998, Dan moved to New York to work for ING Barings Furman Selz, a boutique investment bank, as a research analyst covering the biotechnology sector. In 2000, he joined Morgan Stanley and moved back to London to build a team covering the European biotechnology sector that expanded over time to include medical technology and healthcare services. In 2007, he joined Polar Capital, a specialist asset management company, to set up the healthcare unit with my colleague, Gareth Powell.
Over the last 15 years, he has been involved in a number of the BIA’s initiatives to promote the UK life sciences industry to politicians or other generalist investors. He is also enthusiastic about the BIA’s efforts to cultivate the next generation of talent and have participated in the BIA/Crick PULSE programme for up and coming entrepreneurs.
Moreover, Dan supports the BIA’s goal of building the third global cluster in biosciences and believes that his extensive knowledge of the life sciences investment sector, on both sides of the Atlantic, give him a unique insight into the financing challenges faced in achieving this goal.