Oxstem Team

Scientific team

Professor Steve Davies Waynflete Professor of Chemistry

Professor Steve Davies obtained his BA in 1973 from the University of Oxford and his D.Phil. in 1975. He subsequently held an ICI Postdoctoral Fellowship (1975-1977) and a NATO Fellowship (1977-1978) before joining the CNRS at Gif-sur-Yvette as Attaché de Recherche. In 1980 he returned to Oxford to take up a University Lectureship in Chemistry. In 1996, he became Professor of Chemistry (Oxford) and in 2006, the Waynflete Professor of Chemistry (Oxford).

Whilst remaining an active academic, Davies founded Oxford Asymmetry Ltd (an asymmetric synthesis company) in 1991 as sole investor.  He also founded Oxford Diversity Ltd (a combinatorial chemistry company). These two companies were merged to form Oxford Asymmetry International Plc in 1999 which was sold to Evotec in 2000 for £316m. In 2003 he founded VASTox (Value Added Screening Technology Oxford), a zebrafish screening company. It floated on AIM in 2004 and changed its name to Summit plc in 2007. Summit raised £23m in a follow-on offering in 2014 in order to conduct  phase 2 studies of a utrophin modulator, discovered in Davies’ lab, in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and an in-licensed small molecule for the treatment of Clostridium difficile. In addition, Davies is founder and editor-in-chief for Tetrahedron: Asymmetry.

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Professor Dame Kay Davies Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy

Professor Dame Kay Davies obtained her BA in 1973 and D.Phil. in 1976 from the University of Oxford. Kay is Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy and Associate Head, Medical Sciences Division, University of Oxford, and Honorary Director of the MRC Functional Genomics Unit. Her research interests cover the molecular analysis of neuromuscular and neurological disease, particularly Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. She has an active interest in the ethical implications of genetics research and the public understanding of science. She has considerable experience of biotechnology companies as a conduit for translating the results of experimental science into new therapeutics and diagnostics. She is a founding editor of 'Human Molecular Genetics' and a founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Kay is also a Fellow of the Royal Society (2003) and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization. Kay joined the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust in January 2008 and became Deputy Chair in 2013.

Kay is a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) since 2008, Commander of the British Empire (CBE) since 1996 and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci) since 1998.

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Professor Angela J. Russell Professor in Medicinal Chemistry

Professor Angela J. Russell gained her M.Chem. degree from the University of Oxford in 2000 and her D.Phil. in Organic Chemistry in 2004 under the joint supervision of Steve Davies and Tim Perera from Yamanouchi plc (now Astellas Pharma Inc.). In March 2006 she became a Departmental Research Lecturer in Organic Chemistry and in July 2007 was awarded a prestigious Research Councils’ UK Fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry jointly between the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology in Oxford. In 2012 she was appointed as University Lecturer, and in 2014 became an Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. Angela’s research interests broadly encompass the development of small molecules to control developmental processes. Angela has realised several successful multidisciplinary research collaborations, including identifying small molecules to upregulate utrophin for the treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, developing novel inhibitors and activators of developmental signaling pathways and new anti-cancer agents. Since 2005 Angela has initiated a number of collaborative programmes involving the discovery and development of small molecules to manipulate stem cell fate. Angela’s work has resulted in >60 publications and patent filings to date. 

In addition, Angela has founded two University spin out companies: MuOx Ltd in 2012, which was acquired by Summit plc in 2013, and OxStem Ltd in 2014.

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Executive team

Dr Michael Stein Chairman and CEO

Dr Michael Stein, Chairman and CEO is a successful healthcare entrepreneur with a background in medical science. In 2001, he co-founded the Map of Medicine Ltd (“the Map”) with University College London. The Map was nationally licensed across NHS England in 2005 and is primarily used by commissioners for planning healthcare services across the continuum of care. The Map was acquired by Hearst Business Media (HBM) in 2008 and Michael transitioned as executive vice-president (healthcare innovation) to HBM until 2011.

Since 2011, Michael has assisted two start-up businesses, serving as the founding CEO and executive chairman for both Doctor Care Anywhere (www.doctorcareanywhere.com) and Trillion Fund (www.trillionfund.com).  Michael graduated as a medical doctor and biochemist from the University of Cape Town (1988) and from the University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar) with a doctorate in physiological sciences (Immunology). He subsequently was appointed as a Junior Research Fellow in Medicine at Trinity College, Oxford (1992-95).  

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Raymond Spencer CFO

Raymond Spencer, CFO has over 30 years’ experience as a senior financial officer in biotech. For 12 years he was the CFO of LSE listed Antisoma plc. Whilst at Antisoma he was instrumental in completing the IPO in 1998, several fund-raising rounds that totalled over £100 million, the acquisition of two private US biotech companies and the closing of three licensing deals with big pharma with total upfront licence fees exceeding £100m.

Raymond was CFO for AIM listed Summit plc for 5 years to July 2014 having completed a restructuring of the company, raised over £20m in equity financing and the acquisition of the Oxford University spin-out MuOx Ltd. Raymond is currently part-time founder, Director and CFO of MGB-Biopharma Ltd, which has raised over £6m from angel investors, Scottish Enterprise and won a Biomedical Catalyst award from Innovate UK to progress drugs for treatment of anti-microbial resistance. He has also established his own consultancy company, Bio-CFO Ltd providing services to biotech and cleantech companies. Raymond qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1979.

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Dr Amy Varney VP Operations

Dr. Amy Varney obtained her M.Biochem. degree (Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry) from the University of Oxford, during which time she majored in chemical pharmacology, cancer biology and clinical and applied immunology. She carried out her doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Oxford under the joint supervision of Professors Angela Russell and Chris Schofield (Organic Chemistry) and Dr. Paul Brennan (Target Discovery Institute/Structural Genomics Consortium). Amy’s research was focused on assay design and drug discovery/development within the epigenetic field of methyl marker modifications. Through the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences Industrial Centre for Doctoral Training (SABS-CDT) Amy was part of entrepreneurial and commercial programs, including in association with Oxford’s Saïd Business School, which led to her joining the OxStem team.

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Board of Directors

Dr Brad Perkins Board of Directors

Dr Brad Perkins is the Chief Medical Officer of Human Longevity Inc (HLI). Brad is a visionary physician, scientist, and executive who leads all clinical and therapeutic operations at HLI.

Brad was previously Executive Vice President for Strategy and Innovation, and Chief Transformation Officer at Vanguard Health Systems. He began his career at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after completing his residency training and chief residency in internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. He led the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch at the CDC where he investigated global bacterial disease epidemics. In 2001 Dr Perkins led the investigations into the anthrax attacks in the United States, the largest and highest profile investigation ever conducted by CDC. In 2005 he was appointed CDC’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, a position in which he managed a $11.2 billion budget, and 15,000 employees with offices in more than 50 countries. Working closely with the CDC Director, he built a $2 billion state-of-the-art emergency response capability and positioned the improvement of population health as a focus of the healthcare reform movement within the White House administration at that time.

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Dr Carolyn Porter Board of Directors

Dr Carolyn Porter is Deputy Head of Technology Transfer at Oxford University Innovation (OUI) with a focus on the Pharma and Biotech sectors.

She joined OUI as a Technology Transfer Team Leader in March 2009.  Since joining, Carolyn has led the formation of 12 spin-out companies collectively raising in excess of £45m in seed round funding. Carolyn currently sits on the board of several spin-out companies from Oxford. She has also concluded several significant licencing deals while at OUI.  Prior to OUI, Carolyn worked at Ernst & Young firstly as Life Sciences Knowledge Manager and then in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group where she assisted Companies with fund raising, acquisitions and Company sales. She later joined Chiron Vaccines as a Business Development Director focusing on vaccines in 3 areas and following Novartis’ acquisition of Chiron held the position of Head of Search and Evaluation for Europe region in Novartis’ Vaccines Business Development team.

Carolyn obtained a first class honours degree in Pharmacology from University College Dublin, a PhD in Immunology from Trinity College Dublin, and an MBA from Warwick Business School.  Following her PhD she held a post-doctoral position in the Department of Biochemistry at Oxford University in the fields of cell signalling and Immunology before joining Ernst & Young.

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Dr Mahkam Zanganeh Board of Directors

Dr Mahkam Zanganeh has more than 15 years of management, corporate, clinical, and business experience in the pharmaceutical, medical device and technology industries.

Most recently, Dr Zanganeh was COO at Pharmacyclics Inc. Under her leadership, the company was able to achieve four FDA labels, with three Breakthrough Therapy Designations, in 14 months; a feat which has never been accomplished by any company before. Dr Zanganeh drove the multimillion dollar collaboration and license deal for ibrutinib with Janssen Biotech Inc in 2011 and the subsequent merger of the company in 2015 with Abbvie Inc.; the second largest biopharma merger ever in the industry ($21bn).

Dr Zanganeh currently sits on the Boards of GenoScience, Inc. (Marseille, France), Medable (Palo Alto , CA) and Institute Hospitalo-Universitaire -IHU (Strasbourg, France).

Dr Zanganeh was awarded her D.D.S. from the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France and an MBA from Schiller International University, France. Dr Zanganeh earned the Fierce Biotech " 2013 Top women in biotech"  and Entrepreneur of the year 2013 from E&Y company.  

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Professor Steve Davies Waynflete Professor of Chemistry

Professor Steve Davies obtained his BA in 1973 from the University of Oxford and his D.Phil. in 1975. He subsequently held an ICI Postdoctoral Fellowship (1975-1977) and a NATO Fellowship (1977-1978) before joining the CNRS at Gif-sur-Yvette as Attaché de Recherche. In 1980 he returned to Oxford to take up a University Lectureship in Chemistry. In 1996, he became Professor of Chemistry (Oxford) and in 2006, the Waynflete Professor of Chemistry (Oxford).

Whilst remaining an active academic, Davies founded Oxford Asymmetry Ltd (an asymmetric synthesis company) in 1991 as sole investor.  He also founded Oxford Diversity Ltd (a combinatorial chemistry company). These two companies were merged to form Oxford Asymmetry International Plc in 1999 which was sold to Evotec in 2000 for £316m. In 2003 he founded VASTox (Value Added Screening Technology Oxford), a zebrafish screening company. It floated on AIM in 2004 and changed its name to Summit plc in 2007. Summit raised £23m in a follow-on offering in 2014 in order to conduct  phase 2 studies of a utrophin modulator, discovered in Davies’ lab, in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and an in-licensed small molecule for the treatment of Clostridium difficile. In addition, Davies is founder and editor-in-chief for Tetrahedron: Asymmetry.

Read Full Biography

Dr Michael Stein Chairman and CEO

Dr Michael Stein, Chairman and CEO is a successful healthcare entrepreneur with a background in medical science. In 2001, he co-founded the Map of Medicine Ltd (“the Map”) with University College London. The Map was nationally licensed across NHS England in 2005 and is primarily used by commissioners for planning healthcare services across the continuum of care. The Map was acquired by Hearst Business Media (HBM) in 2008 and Michael transitioned as executive vice-president (healthcare innovation) to HBM until 2011.

Since 2011, Michael has assisted two start-up businesses, serving as the founding CEO and executive chairman for both Doctor Care Anywhere (www.doctorcareanywhere.com) and Trillion Fund (www.trillionfund.com).  Michael graduated as a medical doctor and biochemist from the University of Cape Town (1988) and from the University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholar) with a doctorate in physiological sciences (Immunology). He subsequently was appointed as a Junior Research Fellow in Medicine at Trinity College, Oxford (1992-95).  

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Raymond Spencer CFO

Raymond Spencer, CFO has over 30 years’ experience as a senior financial officer in biotech. For 12 years he was the CFO of LSE listed Antisoma plc. Whilst at Antisoma he was instrumental in completing the IPO in 1998, several fund-raising rounds that totalled over £100 million, the acquisition of two private US biotech companies and the closing of three licensing deals with big pharma with total upfront licence fees exceeding £100m.

Raymond was CFO for AIM listed Summit plc for 5 years to July 2014 having completed a restructuring of the company, raised over £20m in equity financing and the acquisition of the Oxford University spin-out MuOx Ltd. Raymond is currently part-time founder, Director and CFO of MGB-Biopharma Ltd, which has raised over £6m from angel investors, Scottish Enterprise and won a Biomedical Catalyst award from Innovate UK to progress drugs for treatment of anti-microbial resistance. He has also established his own consultancy company, Bio-CFO Ltd providing services to biotech and cleantech companies. Raymond qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1979.

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