Exonate was founded by the team that discovered the generation of beneficial anti-angiogenic forms of VEGF. Professor David Bates, Professor Steven Harper and Dr Lucy Donaldson have joined up with Dr Catherine Beech, a successful serial entrepreneur in biomedicine, to lead a university spin-out company with clear scientific, clinical and industry leadership, bringing together an expert advisory board, and business development team. Exonate has teamed up with Professor Jonathan Morris at UNSW to further develop its lead candidates.
Dr Catherine Beech MB ChB OBE
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.
Professor David Bates
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.
Professor Steven J Harper
Steve has extensive expertise in medical applications of VEGF inhibitors, and jointly discovered anti-angiogenic VEGF165b.
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.
Dr Lucy Donaldson
Lucy is an expert in the mechanisms of nociception (pain), and holds the position Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham. She is a qualified non-practicing dentist, with degrees in Neuroscience and Pharmacology. Dr Donaldson’s body of work has made a substantial contribution in the field of sensory physiology, including understanding the mechanisms of sensory signaling, and altered sensation in disease. Her research group was instrumental in the discovery that VEGF isoforms can suppress pain, including in animal models of disease.