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.
Professor Mike Owen
Mike Owen has worked in biomedical research, and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for over 40 years. He currently serves as a director on four boards. He is the Chairman of Ossianix Inc, a privately held biotechnology company, and is also on the boards of Zealand Pharma A/S, ReNeuron plc and Sareum Holdings plc.
Dr Owen is also an advisor to several Venture Capital LPs and is Chairman of Avacta plc’s SABs. Prior to board services, Dr Owen co-founded and served as the first CSO of Kymab Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company, recently acquired by Sanofi. Prior to co-founding Kymab, Dr Owen worked for GSK where he was SVP and Head of Research for Biopharmaceuticals R&D. Prior to joining the Pharma industry, Dr Owen was a Principal Scientist at the ICRF London laboratories (now CR-UK) where he was noted for his work on lymphocyte development and on the molecular basis of diversity in the adaptive immune system.
Dr Owen received a BA degree from Oxford University in 1973 and a PhD from Cambridge University in 1976. He was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
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.
Scott Clarke brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. He currently is the CEO of Ambagon Therapeutics, and serves on the board of Trishula Therapeutics, where he had been CEO. Prior to his role at Trishula, Scott was CEO of Tizona Therapeutics. Under his leadership, Tizona’s two lead programs advanced into the clinic, and the company built out its preclinical portfolio, culminating in the spinout of Tizona’s lead program into Trishula and Gilead’s acquisition of rights to the rest of Tizona’s pipeline for $300 million up front and $1.25 billion in milestones.
Prior to Tizona, Scott was the Global Head of Oncology Partnering and Head of Asia and Emerging Markets Partnering at Roche. In this role, he oversaw licensing, clinical collaborations, and acquisitions in oncology, and he was also responsible for sourcing opportunities across all indications from Asia.
Earlier in his career, Scott held multiple roles at BioMarin, including the Senior Vice President of Product Development, responsible for advancing its portfolio of clinical and late preclinical product candidates through approval. Before that, Scott was Vice President of Business Development and Scientific Licensing, overseeing all preclinical and early clinical licensing, and M&A.
Scott earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a MSc in Biotechnology at Northwestern University, and an MBA from London Business School.
Professor David Venables
Professor David Venables has three decades of experience as a serial biotech entrepreneur having taken companies from creation through to acquisition or IPO, and taken products from development through to commercial launch. He is currently Founding CEO of Laverock Therapeutics, Board member of Axol Bioscience, and mentor to a number of start-ups.
David has held CEO or Senior Executive roles in AskBio, Synpromics, Nightstar, Anatara Lifesciences, Ark Therapeutics, Valneva; he is Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University, and holds a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering from the University of Surrey.