Bharat Thakrar is a multi-business entrepreneur with over 35 years’ experience founding and leading companies across several industries. In 1985, he founded HT Drinks Ltd. which today is one of the top wholesalers and distributors of beverages globally. He is also Founder Partner at B&S Capital Ltd., a large-scale finance and commercial real estate business, and a Director and Chairman at Spread Co. Ltd, a financial brokerage firm with presence in UK, India, Spain and UAE. He is the founder and Director of Convergys Capital Ltd., a privately held venture capital firm focused on investing in biotech start-ups. Mr Thakrar is an accountant by profession.
Chief Executive Officer
Professor Amit Nathwani
Professor Amit Nathwani is the founder of NovalGen and serves as the Company’s CEO and is a member of the Board of Directors. Professor Nathwani is a renowned serial innovator and entrepreneur. He has an international reputation for his work in cancer research, immunology, and gene therapy and has been the recipient of a number of awards, including Outstanding Achievement Award in 2016 from ESGCT and American Society of Hematology and the Ham-Wasserman Lecture award in 2019. He is well known for his dedication to translational medicine and his commonly cited pioneering work in gene therapy where he was the first to show successful correction of bleeding diathesis in patients with severe hemophilia B.
He is the Founder and was the CSO (until end 2020) and now serves as a Board member of Freeline. Over the last 20 years Professor Nathwani has coordinated numerous Phase II and III trials in the treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and is an author of more than 200 publications. He is the Principal Investigator on several early phase studies and an author of several patents. He continues to serve as the Director of the Katharine Dormandy Hemophilia Centre at the Royal Free Hospital and as a Senior NIHR Investigator. Additionally, he has also been a Professor of Hematology at University College London since November 2011. Professor Nathwani graduated with MBChB from the University of Aberdeen in 1984 and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physician as well as the Royal College of Pathologist since June 1995. He holds a PhD in Molecular Biology.
Chief Operating Officer
Nilesh Modi is a seasoned strategy and operations executive with over 20 years’ leadership experience working for top strategic research and advisory firms and spearheading the growth of start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. He led transformation and growth initiatives for globally leading companies, such as Apple, HSBC, Microsoft, FedEx, and HP among others.
Most recently, as part of the senior leadership team, he drove eBay’s mobile enterprise strategy, operations, and marketing to expand eBay’s share and optimise its multi-platform infrastructure which was instrumental in the company’s mobile business growth from $8BN to $20BN. He received a B.S. in Business Management from Webster University in St. Louis and an M.A. in Research & Marketing with honours from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.
Dr Richard Fagan
Dr Richard Fagan is a cell and molecular biologist by training, gaining his PhD at McGill University, Canada. This was followed by a post doctorate at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, and then the National Institute for Medical Research. He left to join AstraZeneca as a team leader in the Department of Target Discovery, then worked for SanofiAventis as a Senior Team leader. In 2001, he left SanofiAventis and joined Impharmatica as Associate Director Target Discovery and worked very closely with the business development team. In 2006 Dr Fagan joined UCLB as Assistant Director BioPharm, becoming Director in 2007. In his role as Director Biopharm at UCLB he has set up many spinout companies, notably, Autolus in 2014, Freeline in 2015 (in which he served as an Non-executive Director), Orchard in 2015, Quell Therapeutics in 2019 and set up the Apollo Therapeutics initiative with colleagues at Imperial Innovations and Cambridge Enterprise in 2016.
Dr Simon Goldman
Dr Simon Goldman is an Investment Director of the UCL Technology Fund, which is dedicated to investing in intellectual property commercialisation opportunities arising from UCL’s world-class research base, focusing in particular on the physical and life sciences. He has over a decade of experience investing in life sciences companies. After almost eight years at Goldman Sachs JBWere, Dr Goldman completed a neuroscience PhD and postdoc in Cambridge and subsequently worked for several years in the UK biotech start-up sector. He brings deep and diverse skills to management of life-science investing for the UCL Technology Fund. He is a director of Glialign and PanAngium Therapeutics.
Samit Hathi is Co-Founder and Partner of Convergys Capital Ltd., a private venture capital firm focused on investing in biotech start-ups. Mr Hathi graduated with a BSc degree with honors in Pharmacy from Kings College in 1989. Shortly after, he purchased his first pharmacy retail outlet and expanded it into 22 units that were eventually sold to a large high street chain. He then founded, and currently is CEO and Partner of, B&S Healthcare which is UK’s largest pharmaceutical supplier with close to 5,000 pharmacies as customers, over 1,000 staff globally, and annual revenues in excess of £250M. Mr Hathi has an MBA from London Business School.
As Freeline’s CFO and Head of Corporate Development, in just over two years at Freeline, Brian Silver raised over $300 million in capital, via a crossover financing as well as in one of the largest ever Nasdaq IPOs for a UK-based clinical-stage biotech company. Before joining Freeline, he was Partner and Head of Biotechnology in the healthcare practice at Perella Weinberg Partners, a leading independent global advisory firm. Prior to that, Mr Silver was a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley’s healthcare investment banking group and a corporate associate at Sullivan & Cromwell.
Mr Silver has worked with a range of large and emerging pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients during his 25-year Wall Street career. His investment banking and corporate law advisory experience includes dozens of M&A and financing transactions across all capital markets, including IPOs, follow-ons, high yield and investment grade debt, and royalty financings. His M&A experience includes sell side and buy side transactions and leveraged buyouts, as well as reverse mergers and corporate restructurings.
Mr Silver received a BA with honors from Harvard College and a JD with honors from the University of Chicago Law School.