Sunil is a serial entrepreneur having begun a 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 co-founded O2h Ventures which involves seeding drug discovery, academic in-licensing and biotechnology incubation. Sunil has a degree in Biochemistry and an MBA from Cambridge University.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dave has extensive expertise in angiogenesis and the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing. He received his PhD in Physiology from the University of London in 1992 and has been working on VEGF regulation of physiological function since 1994. In 2001 he established the Microvascular Research Laboratories within the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol, and in the same year he discovered the anti-angiogenic class of VEGF splice variants. Dave was appointed Professor of Microvascular Biology and Medicine in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in Bristol in 2007, the year he identified how VEGF splicing was regulated. He now investigates the therapeutic potential of VEGF-splice variants and their control in eye disease, cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, lung and kidney disease.
He is the lead inventor of the patents on regulation of splicing and therapeutic use of this mechanism. In 2013 he was appointed Professor of Oncology and Chair of Division of Preclinical Oncology at the University of Nottingham.
Chief Executive Officer
Catherine has over 25 years of biotech and pharmaceutical industry experience, 12 of which were within the pharma industry leading drug development programmes in hypertension, heart failure, Parkinson’s Disease and HIV. Since 1999 she has worked extensively to commercialise novel technologies in the life sciences.
Catherine joined the scientific founders to establish Exonate and is leading the company’s commercial and corporate development.
Catherine has a degree in medicine from Birmingham University and in 2008 was awarded the OBE for services to technology and innovation.
His initial research training in molecular pathology took place in Leicester University on immune-mediated kidney disease. Since 1996, he has been a consultant nephrologist and transplant physician at the Richard Bright Renal Unit in Bristol, and jointly runs the Microvascular Research Laboratories in Bristol part-time.
His research interests revolve around how renal tissue phenotypes change in association with the mRNA repertoire, and how controlling these repertoire changes, that appear common to a particular paradigm (e.g. angiogenesis, hyper-permeability) may translate to clinical therapies in multiple disease states. He is the co-inventor of the patent on regulation of splicing and its therapeutic use, as well as on 6 other patents including that describing anti-angiogenic VEGF165b as a therapeutic.
Chris Torrance, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, PhoreMost Ltd
Dr Chris Torrance is a cancer researcher and entrepreneur. In 2007 he founded Horizon Discovery to translate advances in human genome editing into a range of research tools and services to accelerate the discovery of new and improved ‘Personalized Medicines’, including the identification of novel drug targets for pharmaceutical development. By 2014 Dr Torrance and his colleagues had built Horizon into the fastest growing Biotech company in the UK. In the same year, the company listed on the London Stock Exchange with over 100 commercial and scientific staff and significant deal-flow with the pharmaceutical Industry, for which Horizon received the Queens Award for International Trade in 2012.
Previously, Dr Torrance was Head of Oncology and Biology at the UK Biotechnology company Vernalis PLC (LSE: VER), where he was responsible for progressing several novel kinase oncology programs.
Dr Torrance has a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Technology from Sheffield Polytechnic; a PhD in Biochemistry from East Carolina University (U.S.A) and completed Post-Doctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Bert Vogelstein at the Johns Hopkins University (U.S.A), where he pioneered the use of ‘X-MAN’ isogenic disease models in high-throughput screening and drug discovery.
In 2014, Dr Torrance and Dr Venkitaraman (Cambridge University) founded PhoreMost Ltd to develop a new technology platform solution to the next big issue in delivering Personalized Medicine, which is developing a toolbox of therapies big enough and affordable enough to impact the diverse array of key targets in cancer and other complex diseases, most of which are intractable to current drug discovery technologies.
Biotechnology Investment Manager, Uniseed
John is the Biotechnology Investment Manager at Uniseed, a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland, Sydney, New South Wales, and the CSIRO, with investment capital provided by the five partner research organisations. He brings 20 years’ industry experience as a Biotechnology Manager with a focus on the strategic design and implementation of drug development programs. John’s previous roles have included Pharmaceutical Development Manager at BioDiem Ltd, where he was responsible for managing the preclinical, clinical and regulatory aspects of BioDiem’s drug development programs, and Preclinical Development Manager at Amrad Corporation Ltd where he was responsible for the management of preclinical drug development projects. His experience extends from drug discovery, to the phase I-II clinical phases of drug development. John has a PhD in Neuroscience and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug Evaluation and Pharmaceutical Science, both from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.