Our Board

Meet Our Board

At Anaveon, our work is directed by a board of leading experts who share our passion for cutting-edge science and our dedication to finding solutions and developing life-saving treatments.

Martin MURPHY

Chairman and Non-Executive Director

Martin is Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Investment Management Ltd. He co-founded Syncona with the Wellcome Trust in 2012. Since then, Martin has been closely involved in the foundation and development of seven Syncona companies: Achilles Therapeutics, Autolus, OMass Therapeutics, Quell Therapeutics, Anaveon and Azeria Therapeutics. He was previously Chairman of former Syncona company Blue Earth Diagnostics, and before that, he was a partner at venture capital company MVM Life Science Partners LLP, leading their European operations. Martin has also held roles with 3i Group plc and McKinsey & Company. He has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge.

Allison JEYNES-ELLIS

Non-Executive Director

Allison is Chief Executive Officer at Avillion LLP, a London-based drug development company focused on the co-development and financing of late-stage pharmaceuticals. A trained clinician with more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the pharmaceutical industry, she is now responsible for identifying high-potential opportunities to fund programs to approval. Previously, she led development at Wyeth, BMS, and Novartis and has secured numerous US and EU drug approvals. Allison also serves as a Non-Executive Director of Agenus Inc.

Andreas KATOPODIS

Executive Director and CEO

Andreas was a Director in the Autoimmunity, Transplantation & Inflammation group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. In this position, he was involved in many aspects of early to late drug development for immune-mediated diseases, taking several modalities to clinical trial and late stage development. He also supported multiple deals with startups. Prior to this, he worked at the Central Research Laboratories at Ciba Geigy, doing research on immune cell trafficking. Andreas studied Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and started his career as a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Alice RENARD

Board Observer

Alice is a Partner at Syncona Investment Management Ltd. Before joining Syncona, Alice was an Investment Banking Analyst within Barclays’ Healthcare Corporate Finance and M&A team, where she worked on transactions involving pharmaceutical and other healthcare companies. Prior to that, she worked briefly at AbbVie and Janssen. Alice holds a PhD in Pharmacy from Lille 2 University and a Master’s in International Health Policy & Health Economics from the London School of Economics.

Dominic SCHMIDT

Non-Executive Director

Dominic is a Partner at Syncona Investment Management Ltd. As a Director, he is closely involved with the Syncona companies Anaveon and Gyroscope, and he serves as an observer on the Board of Freeline. Prior to joining Syncona, Dominic worked in the life science practice of strategy consultancy L.E.K. Consulting. He received his PhD from the Department of Oncology at the University of Cambridge, where he was a Cancer Research UK scholar, and he holds a German Diplom Degree in Biochemistry. Dominic’s research has been honored with national and international prizes and published in Cell, Nature and Science.

Florian MUELLERSHAUSEN

Non-Executive Director

Florian is a Managing Director at the Novartis Venture Fund in Basel, Switzerland. Previously, he worked as a Scientific Manager for the R&D Committee of the Novartis Board of Directors, and before that, he held various scientific and drug discovery roles at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, including as Laboratory Head in target discovery and in early clinical research as Translational Medicine Expert, Autoimmunity. Florian received his MSc degree in Biochemistry from Free University Berlin and his PhD with great distinction in Biochemistry from Ruhr University Bochum, and he completed his postdoctoral training at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.

Anja KOENIG

Board Observer

Anja is the Global Head of the Novartis Venture Fund (NVF) in Basel, Switzerland, overseeing global investment activities. Previously, she was a Managing Director at NVF investing in Europe, the UK and Asia Pacific. Prior to joining NVF, she was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and Company in New York, where she worked with healthcare companies in the US, Europe and emerging markets. Anja holds a PhD in physics from Cornell University. She is active in the Swiss startup ecosystem and is a member of the board of the University of Zurich Life Sciences Fund.

Meet Our Scientific Advisory Board

Jane K. OSBOURN OBE

Jane is Chair of cell therapy company Mogrify and CSO of Alchemab Therapeutics. She was an early employee of Cambridge Antibody Technology, which became MedImmune, where she contributed to the development of phage display technology and to the discovery of eight marketed drugs. Jane was Chair of the Board of Directors of the UK BioIndustry Association from 2015-2019, she is a Director of Babraham Bioscience Technologies and Cambridge Enterprise, and she is a member of the Francis Crick Institute’s Translation Advisory Group. In 2019, she was awarded an OBE for services to drug discovery and development and the Scrip Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to the pharma industry.

Wolf H. FRIDMAN

Wolf H. Fridman is Professor Emeritus of Immunology at the University of Paris in France. He received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Paris. After 10 years in the laboratory headed by Jean Dausset, he created his own laboratory at the Cancer Research Institute in Villejuif in 1976, then moved to Institut Curie in 1983 and Hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou in 2000. In 2007, he created and directed the Cordeliers Research Centre. Wolf H. research interests have been focused around the role of the immune system in controlling human tumors and the biological functions of receptors for IgG antibodies, both through basic and translational approaches.

Robert HAWKINS

Robert is CEO of spinout company Immetacyte Ltd and Honorary Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Manchester / The Christie Hospital. After medical school at Trinity College Cambridge and University College London, he undertook a PhD in Antibody Engineering with Sir Gregory Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. As Professor of Medical Oncology from 1998-2019, he developed a clinical and preclinical research program in immuno-oncology at the University of Manchester. He has been the coordinator of several major European Union consortia in adoptive cell therapy and has published widely in scientific and clinical journals.