Women in Biotech Networking Evening - March

What does it take to build a good Board?

Join us for an evening of networking and learning, a chance to meet fellow women within the sector and learn from different experiences.

Women from across the sector are invited to enjoy a great evening of networking, drinks and gripping discussion. you will hear how to build a successful board, what makes a good NED, what it is like to be a NED and what the CEO wants from their board members.


17.45 – 18.15:  Registration and networking

18.15 – 18:20:  Welcome from BIA and Bird & Bird

18:20 – 18:30:  Sarah Shackleton, Abingworth

18:30 – 18:45:  Ursula Ney, NED Proteome Sciences

18.45 – 19.00:  Denise Scots-Knight, Mereo Biopharma 

19.00 – 19:15:  Q&A with all speakers

19.15 – 20.00:  Drinks, canapes and further networking



Sally Shorthose


Bird & Bird

Sally has wealth of experience working with businesses at the cutting edge of research and technology and whose intellectual property is of prime importance.
Sally is one of our leading intellectual property (IP) partners. She provides a full range of intellectual property commercial advice and support to her clients, including licensing, partnering and exploitation agreements, research, development and marketing collaborations. She also frequently advises clients on regulatory and ‘freedom to operate’ matters, and manages significant due diligence matters. As a transactional intellectual property lawyer, she provides advice in relation to the protection and exploitation of a full range of IP rights, both in stand alone transactions and as part of an acquisition, divestment or investment activity.
Sally speaks on a variety of IP and regulatory life sciences topics at conferences and contributes to many leading publications; she is also the editor of the The Guide to EU Pharmaceutical Regulatory Law (published by Kluwer Law International), which is written entirely by the team at Bird & Bird with contributions from many offices. Sally is also leading the Bird & Bird Brexit Steering Committee; she gives regular talks and has published several articles on the implications of Brexit for the life sciences and medical devices industries.

Dr Ursula Ney

Non-Executive Director

Proteome Sciences plc

Dr Ursula Ney has more than 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry including 20 years’ experience of leadership roles in the biotech sector with responsibilities for operations in the UK and the US covering drug development, licensing and partnering. Ursula has extensive experience of working on public and private Boards, both in an executive and non-executive capacity. She was an executive Director of Celltech plc and Antisoma plc and CEO of Genkyotex and is currently a non-executive director at Proteome Sciences plc and a Trustee of the University of Plymouth. Her early career was spent at Sandoz (Switzerland) then Roche (UK).

Ursula has a BSc with Hons in Pharmacology from Chelsea College, University of London, a PhD from the Royal Free Hospital Medical School and an MBA from Middlesex University Business School. She recently obtained an MA in Modern History at King’s College, London.

Sarah Shackleton

Partner, Marketing & Talent


Sarah Shackelton, Partner, Marketing & Talent, at Abingworth has more than 20 years of experience working with life sciences companies to build their boards and senior leadership teams. Recently, she chaired the Nominations Committee of Wilson Therapeutics and helped recruit the senior executives and board directors for Nouscom, Verona Pharma and Virion Biotherapeutics. Sarah also markets Abingworth to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, expanding its network of key industry executives and entrepreneurs.

Sarah joined Abingworth after managing senior level searches for healthcare and private equity clients, as well as venture capital firms and their portfolio companies, at global executive search firms. Previously, she worked with the pharmaceutical industry as a US trade negotiator and consultant and with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in a marketing capacity. She has a BA in International Relations from Pomona College, California, and an MA in Public Affairs from Princeton University.

Denise Scots-Knight

CEO and Co-Founder

Mereo Biopharma (MPH)

Denise is the CEO and a board member of Mereo Biopharma (MPH), a company focussed on rare diseases which she co-founded in 2015. Mereo is listed on the AIM market of the LSE and recently announced a merger with Oncomed Pharmaceuticals a US NASADQ listed biotech. Denise will be CEO of the combined company. Prior to Mereo, she was Managing Director and Head of the Life Science investment team at Nomura and the Managing Partner following the MBO from Nomura in 2010. Prior to this Denise was an Investment Manager at Rothschild Asset Management following a period in R&D management at Amersham and Fisons and as a senior executive at Scientific Generics. She has served on the board of many European and US private and public companies. Denise has a PhD and BSc (Hons) from Birmingham University and was a Fulbright scholar at UC Berkeley


Bird & Bird LLP
12 New Fetter Lane




BIA Members: £45 (plus £9 VAT)
Non members: £60 (plus £12 VAT)


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