Rob Pinnock, Director, Academic Scientific Liaison, Merck & Co
Jonathan Kearsey, Co-founder and Managing Director, Leads To Development
Keith Blundy, CEO, Cancer Research Technology
Simon Kerry, CEO, Karus Therapeutics
Steve Poile, CEO, Wildwood Ventures
Hazel Jones, Senior Scientist, MedImmune.
Dr Hazel Jones
Senior Scientist, Oncology MedImmune
Dr Hazel Jones has 15 years experience of oncology drug development, currently focusing on developing biologics at MedImmune (previously Cambridge Antibody Technology and now the global biologics business for AstraZeneca).
Prior to this she investigated small molecule inhibitors for multidrug resistance at Xenova using xenograft models; and used PK data to demonstrate activity of a novel photosensitiser for photodynamic therapy, identifying a vascular and direct tumour effect in a syngeneic tumour model.
Hazel's main area of expertise is developing tumour models; using them to provide robust pharmacology packages (with evidence of efficacy, mechanism of action and patient identification) to drive projects towards the clinic. The research interests in Cambridge are now focussed on projects that address the relationship between the tumour and the host; focusing on the failings of the adaptive immune response and consequent immunosuppression. This requires syngeneic tumour models (characterised for immune cell infiltration) and further complex models, such as orthotopic and genetically engineered mouse models. Overall she has in-depth knowledge of oncology models (both tumour and pharmacodynamic models) and their application to the drug discovery process in small biotech and now big pharma. These support a wide range of activities from target identification, candidate nomination through to translational research.
Co-founder and Managing Director of Leads To Development (L2D).
Jonathan is highly experienced in the design and execution of translational research within the biopharmaceutical sector, with a particular focus on oncology; having taken a number of therapeutics from research into clinical development. Prior to launching L2D he held Director of Research positions in two international biotechnology companies (ExonHit Therapeutics and Diatos), which has provided him with a strong scientific and business insight into the “developability” of therapeutics, together with experience in business development, intellectual property management and due diligence.
Leads To Development Profile
Leads To Development (L2D) provides early stage drug development expertise to the biopharmaceutical industry and academia. As a multi-disciplinary team we offer consultancy and operational project management services covering all aspects of development programmes. This includes:
• Project review, gap analysis and strategic planning.
• Management, monitoring and coordination of all development activities.
• Writing of the regulatory dossiers for clinical trial applications.
• Scientific and business strategic support.
• Securing early stage financing.
We are committed to advancing lead therapeutic agents into clinical trials in the most optimal and cost effective manner so that investment risk is minimised and the likelihood of product success is maximised.
Keith Blundy PhD, MBA
Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Research Technology
Keith joined CRT in 1998, became COO in 2004 and was appointed CEO in 2007. Since then he has overseen the expansion of the CRT Discovery Labs to 85 staff and subsequent initiation of risk sharing discovery alliances with AstraZeneca and Cephalon, the establishment of CRT Inc in Boston (USA) as a business development arm of CRT and the further globalisation of CRT’s cancer IP development and commercialisation through becoming a partner of Cancer Therapeutics Pty in Melbourne, Australia.
After completing a PhD at the John Innes Institute and a post doctoral Fulbright scholarship in the US on the regulation of plant gene expression, he spent 10 years managing and commercialising agricultural biotechnology programmes before transitioning to healthcare through business development.
Keith has a BSc and PhD in genetics and an MBA from the London Business School. He was formerly a director of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Chroma Therapeutics Ltd and currently is on the board of Cytosystems Ltd and Cancer Therapeutics Pty.
CEO, Karus Therapeutics
Simon is a business professional with almost twenty years experience creating and developing innovative life-science businesses. Before joining Karus as the company's first CEO in 2006, he was Director of Business Development at Ablynx, where he was responsible for securing research, development and licensing agreements with major pharmaceutical companies including Wyeth and Novartis.
Prior to Ablynx, Simon was Director of Business Development at Active Biotech, where he spun-out the molecular evolution company, Isogenica Ltd, later joining the spin-out as Vice President of Business Development.
Simon has held other key commercial appointments at Actinova, where he was responsible for International Business Development , and Actigen, where he was General Manager. Simon has also occupied senior commercial roles at the Health Protection Agency and within the Jasmin group. Simon has a life-science PhD and an executive MBA.
Rob Pinnock, BSc, PhD
Director, Scientific Liaison. United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal and Spain
Rob joined Merck's licensing team in Sept 2007 and is responsible for the UK, Ireland, Portugal & Spain.
Before joining Merck Rob worked in Cambridge University on neuronal injury prosthetics and also cofounded a small company. He spent time in Biotech between 2004-6, advancing programs in CV, metabolic disease & pain from concept to clinic. Previously he held senior positions in Parke Davis, Cambridge, UK, until their acquisition by Pfizer. In 2001 he moved to Pfizer in the USA as senior director for CNS Molecular Science. Collaborations were critical to the success of projects he was involved in at these organizations.
Before he joined the pharmaceutical industry Rob trained in Southampton & spent seven years as a research fellow at the MRC and University of Cambridge. He is also an associate investigator in the Cambridge University Centre for Brain Repair.
CEO Wildwood Ventures
Steve Poile is the founder and chief executive officer of Wildwood Ventures Ltd., the publisher of CurrentPartnering, the online provider of best practice, business information and intelligence for dealmakers, and Current Agreements, premium subscription database providing comprehensive business information and intelligence with access to thousands of contract documents, giving coverage of all deals and alliances across the life sciences sector. Steve has over 20 years experience in the life sciences sector having previously founded Pharmalicensing and co-founded Bridgehead International. Prior to an his entrepreneurial career, Steve was a business development manager at both Reckitt Pharmaceuticals and development scientist at GlaxoSmithKline.