Science Advisory Board

Dr Davidson trained in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and, following post-doctoral work at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Oxford, took an academic post in Cardiff where his research group focused on the synthesis of biologically important natural products. He joined British Biotech as Head of Medicinal Chemistry and went on to set-up and run Chemical Development, Formulation and Bioanalysis. After 12 years at British Biotech he joined Chroma Therapeutics as a founding Executive and was responsible for Chemical and Pre-clinical Development. Alan has had extensive experience of taking compounds through pre-clinical development and into the clinic and played a major role in developing the ESM technology at Chroma Therapeutics.

Professor de Gruijl heads the Immunotherapy and Immune-monitoring Lab at the VUmc Cancer Center in Amsterdam, where she has been appointed Professor of Translational Tumour Immunology and holds a Fenna Diemer Lindeboom Chair. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of tumour immunology and more than 160 publications to her name. Her research ranges from preclinical topics to immune-monitoring of Phase I-III clinical trials. Her main line of research is the in vivo targeting and modulation of dendritic cells (DC) through genetic targeting and local cytokine or TLR-L administration. Further topics of research include tumour-mediated immune suppression, control of DC differentiation, the effects of cytostatic drugs on DC development and functionality, and the immune potentiation of tumour-draining lymph nodes and the tumour microenvironment. Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Royal Dutch Cancer Society (KWF) and she is a recipient of a competitive research award of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. She has managed and supervised the research that has led to the allogeneic DC vaccination platform of the VUmc spin-off company DCPrime BV, of which she is scientific advisor. She is a member of the Grant Review committee of the US-based Melanoma Research Alliance, a member of the scientific council of the Dutch Cancer Society, and currently chairs the Dutch Tumour Immunology Working Party.

Mike Owen has had a varied career in biotech, the pharmaceutical industry and academia. He is Chairman the Board of Ossianix Inc and serves as a director of Zealand Pharma, BlinK Biomedical SAS, Avacta Group plc, ReNeuron plc and GammaDelta Therapeutics. He is an advisor to Abingworth LLP and sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the CRT Pioneer Fund LP, HS Lifesciences. He is also Chairman of Avacta’s and ReNeuron’s SABs. Dr Owen was formally Senior Vice President for Biopharmaceuticals Research at GlaxoSmithKline where he was responsible for the discovery and development of antibody drugs through to clinical proof of concept. He was also a Founder and first Chief Scientific Officer of Kymab Ltd, an antibody based biotech company, and for many years held a research position at the Cancer Research UK. He was elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

Dr Stanway is Chief Scientific Officer of Cancer Research Technology Ltd. As CSO, Dr Stanway is responsible for the external scientific profile of CRT as well as the strategic analysis and development of the CRT project portfolio. Included in this role is responsibility for leading the new alliance team. Before moving to this role, he led the drug discovery and biotherapeutic discovery activity of CRT. Prior to the formation of CRT in 2002, he was Director of Project Development for Imperial Cancer Research Technology, a role which focused on the identification and development of projects with therapeutic potential. From his time in the private sector, he has 5 years’ experience in drug discovery gained whilst working for Xenova and Prolifix where he held the positions of Head of Assay Development and Head of Biology, respectively. In the academic part of Dr Stanway’s career he held several postdoctoral positions at Oxford University and also was an independent research fellow. He has a PhD from Imperial College and a BSc from Nottingham University.