Gareth Ayre, Ph.D. is Head of the Due Diligence Centre of Excellence who works across the Novartis enterprise to enable best practice in performing partnering due diligence. Gareth believes it is critical to support high quality, fair balance and efficient due diligence by setting the right mindset and providing the right tools, processes, and training to the subject matter experts. Gareth has worked at Novartis, leading many due diligences, as well as in clinical development, project management, and medical affairs. Gareth has a Ph.D. from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Robert has been 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry exclusively focusing on Business Development and Alliance Management roles, especially in the fields of Ophthalmology and Gastroenterology. His expertise comprises of a variety of licensing and acquisition deals ranging from early to late stage, from “scouting to market” and from strategic to operational in hands-on to process-oriented organizational environments.
Prior to joining in 2013 Santen, a publicly traded global company headquartered in Japan, where Robert is heading the Business Development function for the EMEA region, he has been with Tillotts Pharma and worked for several Biotech companies in the incubator region near Munich, Germany. Robert is a microbiologist receiving his degree at the Technical University of Munich and his Ph.D. degree at the Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen.
Marco Cerato is currently Head of Business Development and Licensing at Helsinn and previously served as Head of Licensing for late stage assets since January 2016. During this past two years, Helsinn was able to strike 2 in-licensing deals for onco-therapeutics and one co-promotion for an additional one. Mr. Cerato has significant commercial, development and strategic leadership expertise from an 11-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, with a specific focus on Cancer supportive care and oncology. In his tenure at Helsinn he oversaw more than 50 out-licensing deals covering more than 190 countries around the world for five different assets in Cancer supportive care and Oncology. Most recently he was at Aptalis where he served in several roles of increasing responsibility starting from the Analytical Development lab and ending as BD Manager of the of the Pharmaceutical technology division. During his tenure at Aptalis, on top of managing BD activities for certain territories, he designed management tools in collaboration with top management to restructure the BD team. Mr. Cerato was part of the leadership team during the integration and merger of Eurand and Axcan operated by TPG in 2011. Marco Cerato holds a Master Course in Marketing and Business Administration at the SDA Bocconi School of Management and a Master’s Degree of Science in Biotechnologies at the Università di Milano Bicocca.
Nick is based in the UK to lead our interactions with the academic & medical institutions of the Global Medicines Excellence Cluster (GMEC) in the Pfizer Rare Disease Consortium and the broader Research Unit relationships with all UK institutions.
Nick has a wide breadth of experience across the preclinical and clinical phase of drug development and in a variety of therapeutic areas including allergy, respiratory, inflammation and rare disease. Nick has over 20 years pharmaceutical and 5 years academic experience and obtained his PhD in Anatomical Neuropharmacology at the University of Oxford in 1997 following his Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacology.
Chris Davie is a pharmaceutical executive leader with over 30 years’ R&D experience, specialising in Project & Portfolio Management and Due Diligence governance. Chris is the Executive Director, Due Diligence, at Mundipharma and over the last 6 years has developed and implemented strategies and plans for the appropriate diligence assessment of potential in-licensing opportunities. He is recognised as the company Due Diligence expert and focal point of contact for ensuring robustness and consistency across all reviews within the EU, LatAm, Asia Pac and MEA geographies. During his career, Chris has been successful in managerial and operational leadership roles across all phases of the drug development continuum, and prior to joining Mundipharma has held senior leadership positions at GSK, Covance, Cancer Research UK and Transgene.
Austin Doyle is a Director in GSK’s Pharma R&D Science & Technology Licensing group. For more than 10 of his 20 years at GSK he has had accountability for due diligence activities from running the CMC due diligence activities for biopharmaceutical in-license opportunities to more recently leading the technical due diligence for both in- and out-licensing of Cell & Gene Therapy based programs. During this time he has worked on a wide variety of deals covering early to late phase programs and associated technologies including those with Adaptimmune, Amgen, Apeiron, Five Prime, Immunocore, Immutep, Janssen, MorphoSys, Seattle Genetics and TIGET/Telethon. Austin previously led CMC teams responsible for the process development and clinical supply of several early and mid-phase monoclonal antibodies working with a variety of partners and CMOs.
John holds a BSc and a Ph.D. in physiology, both from the University of London. After a postdoctorate position at the London Hospital Medical School, John joined the CNS team at May & Baker (then a division of Rhone Poulenc) in 1985. In 1988 he co-founded a startup CRO (Campbell Charles Associates), moving on in 1992 to be Clinical Research Director at Bios and then again in 1996 to join IBAH (later Omnicare Clinical Research, now Theorem) where he held a number of positions, including Vice President of International Business Development and Regional General Manager for Northern Europe.
John joined PAREXEL in 2001 to head a customer business unit and moved to HQ in Boston early in 2002 to run the global sales organization for the Clinical Research Services division. He joined AstraZeneca in 2004 to head Global Clinical Outsourcing and then joined the newly formed Business Development team at AstraZeneca in January 2007. He has held a number of roles as the Business Development team has evolved and is currently the Head of Business Operations for BD, a role which encompasses most of the back-office functions for BD in addition to leading the due diligence team. John is also responsible for coordinating divestment activity at AstraZeneca and is one of the divestment transaction leads, most recently completing the divestment of US rights for Entocort to Perrigo and ex-US rights to Tillotts Pharma.
Dr Finan is a partner with Epidarex Capital, an early stage, life science venture fund investing in the US and Europe. Dr Finan has over twenty years of drug discovery experience and prior to joining Epidarex, he was Global Head of the Respiratory Disease Area and Site Head for the Novartis Institute of BioMedical Research in the United Kingdom. In this role, Dr Finan had strategic and operational oversight for the respiratory portfolio from target discovery through to proof-of-concept trials in the clinic. He is a former Executive Director of the Novartis Developmental and Molecular Pathways Platform based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this capacity, he led target discovery, validation and early drug discovery programs across a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, autoimmunity and inflammation. Dr Finan holds a BSc and PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Leeds.
Steven Gurney — Principal Associate. Chartered (UK), European and Registered (AU, NZ) Patent Attorney.
Steven specialises in small molecule pharmaceutical patents with experience gained working both in-house and in private practice. He takes a collaborative approach, understanding his clients’ commercial drivers to deliver relevant, pragmatic and actionable advice. Steven works with pharmaceutical companies, universities and start-ups in the fields of small molecule medicines, general chemistry and medical devices. Steven provides strategic advice to his clients, advising on freedom to operate (FTO), due diligence, advice, opposition, and litigation. He is also experienced in drafting pharmaceutical patent applications and also manages the resultant patent portfolios including global prosecution.
Will James is an intellectual property lawyer who advises clients on IP issues in a wide range of technical industries. His particular expertise is in advising on patent issues (including SPCs) in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, where he has advised on IP issues in a number of core technologies including antibody engineering systems (transgenic mice and antibody phage display), DNA arrays and sequencing technology, reverse genetics, stem cells and erythropoietin litigation. Will advises clients on commercial issues and IP licensing as well as due diligence, freedom to operate and IP strategy. He has been involved in a number of multi-jurisdictional commercial matters including complex worldwide securitisations of future patent royalty streams.
Will is listed as an ‘IP Star’ by Managing Intellectual Property and in Legal 500. He is also listed as an expert by Who’s Who Legal for patents and for life sciences.
Will was also included in the LMG Life Sciences Guide as a ‘Life Sciences Star’.
Carl Jessop has been a Due Diligence Director for AstraZeneca for nearly nine years, participating in many successful deals including the Pearl acquisition as well as the original BMS deal for the diabetes products, OnglyzaTM, FarxigaTM and NaloxegolTM from Nektar. More recently he worked on the acquisition of the Almirall respiratory products and the Innate Pharma oncology deal. Carl has a BSC (Hons) from the University of Bath and had previously worked for a number of life science and pharmaceutical companies in R&D and as a GLP auditor/manager for 17 years prior to joining AZ. He joined the Global Compliance Management Group at AZ in 2004 before moving on to Business Development two years later. Carl is a Fellow of the Research Quality Association and a member of the Pharmaceutical licensing group.
Tim Luker leads Lilly’s external innovation process within Global Corporate Business Development. In this role, Tim interacts with numerous external VC funds targeting transformational early-stage research and also supports due diligence and search and evaluation initiatives. He also chairs the internal Lilly venture fund deal flow triage team which ensures the most exciting science is prioritised. Tim is an experienced drug hunter with 19 years’ experience and is an author on >60 disclosures. Prior to Lilly he co-founded a successful biotech (Polleo Pharma, acquired 2016) and performed senior roles at Shire and AstraZeneca, where he led multiple drug discovery projects through to candidate molecules as well as providing input into early development projects and managing scientific teams. Many of these projects reached human efficacy studies. Tim has a PhD in chemistry (University of Southampton), carried out post-doctoral research (Universiteit Van Amsterdam) and is a Prince2 qualified project manager.
Dr. Mike Myers has spent 30 years in the industry contributing to the discovery and development of new drugs. He has led drug discovery teams in the pursuit of innovative treatments for cancer, CNS, infectious and cardiovascular diseases. Across these areas of significant need, Dr. Myers has contributed as an inventor on more than 35 patents. Dr. Myers has also led efforts in evaluating new lead generation technologies, predictive ADMET and computational chemistry approaches, and led a significant effort at Lilly to optimize lead generation processes in early drug discovery. Nearly 12 years ago, Dr. Myers moved from his drug discovery role to Senior Director of Project Management and he was engaged in project and portfolio management. Currently, Mike’s main responsibilities within the External Innovation team at Eli Lilly & Company includes leading scientific due diligence activities in support of in-license/acquisition, out-license and strategic partnering activities.
A biochemist by training, and following a short stint at a management consultancy, Roland has been working in the pharma business since the year 2000, focusing on commercial and business development/licensing roles. This included the management of alliances with distribution partners worldwide, which is always a very valuable experience as it means not only negotiating a contract but also living with its consequences, i. e. feeling the reality of such a cooperation. Since 2012 Roland is with Vifor Pharma, a speciality drugs company with headquarters in Switzerland and world leader in the treatment of anaemia with intravenous iron products.
Maurice Zultak MD has close to 30 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry; for the last 8 years, he has been in charge of Search and Evaluation within Business Development at Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd., now a Janssen pharmaceutical company of Johnson & Johnson. During this period, he had an active role on the Board of the Swiss Health Licensing Group , an inclusive association of Business Development & Licensing professionals, dedicated to building relationships and facilitating business interactions between its members, as well as to sharing best practices and knowledge.
After earning his MD degree and specializing in Dermatology, he continued to practice his specialty and to teach medical students at the University Hospital of Besançon (France), before joining the pharmaceutical industry. He started his career at F. Hoffmann-La Roche, and worked with Quintiles (presently IQVIA) , Basilea Pharmaceutica and eventually Actelion. His roles have encompassed Clinical Research, Medical Affairs and Business Development.