keynote speakers


day 1 - 13th November

Sir Richard Sykes

Chairman, NHS Trust

Sir Richard Sykes is currently Chairman of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Chairman of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Chairman of the UK Stem Cell Foundation, Chairman of Omnicyte, NetScientific plc and PDS Biotechnology Corporation. He was appointed Chancellor of Brunel University in 2013.
He has over 30 years’ experience within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries field, serving as Chief Executive and Chairman of GlaxoWellcome from 1995 to 2000 and then as Chairman of GlaxoSmithkline until 2002.
Sir Richard received a Knighthood in the 1994 New Year’s Honours list for services to the pharmaceutical industry.



Sir Andrew Dillon joined the NHS in 1975 and has held a number of senior management positions, including General Manager of the Royal Free Hospital and Chief Executive of St George's Healthcare NHS Trust. He joined the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as its founding Chief Executive in 1999.

JANE Griffiths

Global Head, Actelion

Johnson & Johnson appointed Jane Griffiths as the Global Head of Actelion upon closing of the transaction. Jane Griffiths, PhD has served as the Company Group Chairman, Janssen EMEA, since January 2011. Prior to leading Janssen EMEA, she was responsible for the EMEA Market Access unit. She has also served as International Vice President for Janssen-Cilag Northern Europe; Vice President, EMEA Biopharmaceuticals; and Managing Director, Ortho Biotech UK & Ireland.


Managing Partner, TVM Capital Life Science

Dr. Birner is responsible for TVM Capital Life Science’s overall investment strategy and fund operations in North America and Europe. Dr. Birner joined TVM Capital in 2000 as an investment manager. He currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of Noxxon Pharma N.V., SpePharm Holdings BV, leon nanodrugs GmbH, Argos Therapeutics and AL-S Pharma AG. He is also a member of the board of directors of Proteon Therapeutics Inc. and Acer Therapeutics Inc. Dr. Birner previously served on the board of directors of Horizon Pharma, Inc., Bioxell SA, Evotec AG, Probiodrug AG and Jerini AG. Prior to his current tenure, he was Head of Business Development Europe and Director of Marketing for Germany at Zeneca Agrochemicals. Dr. Birner joined Zeneca from McKinsey & Company’s European Health Care and Pharmaceutical practice. As a management consultant he gained extensive experience in R&D management, marketing and sales, and joint venture structuring and business development.

day 2 - 14th november



Garry Kimovich Kasparov is a Russian (since 1991) and Croatian (since 2014) chess grandmaster, former world chess champion, writer, and political activist. From 1986 until his retirement in 2005, Kasparov was ranked world No. 1 for 225 out of 228 months. His peak rating of 2851, achieved in 1999, was the highest recorded until being surpassed by Magnus Carlsen in 2013. Kasparov also holds records for consecutive professional tournament victories (15) and Chess Oscars (11).



John Chevers is PHG Foundation’s Head of Business Development. His aim is to secure the sustainability of the organisation through building relationships and income streams. He is responsible for understanding the market environment occupied by the organisation and for shaping PHG’s products and services to generate new revenue.

Before joining PHG Foundation, John worked at Eastern Academic Health Science Network, where he was Director for External Relations. Prior to that, he was Chief Business Development Officer at GÉANT, where he established the business development team, led a number of EC initiatives and worked on international data infrastructures for many of the world’s biggest scientific projects. He has also held research and development roles at Marconi and Bookham Technology.

John is a physicist by training and completed his PhD in Fluorescence Spectroscopy at the University of Strathclyde.


Managing Partner, Wellington Partners

With over 20 investments in start-up companies, Rainer is one of Europe’s most experienced venture capitalists in Life Sciences. Joining Wellington Partners in 1997, he became a Partner in December 2000. His nineteen years of investment activity have involved financing of some of the most successful European biotech, medtech, diagnostics and healthcare IT companies.In the late 1990s he co-managed Wellington’s investment in Swiss biotech player Actelion, today a listed company with a market cap of more than fifteen billion euros. He was also responsible for the investments in Grandis (acquired by Novartis), NoemaLife (Borsa Italiana:NOE), Wavelight (acquired by Alcon), Oxford Immunotec (NASDAQ: OXFD), Genticel (NYSE Euronext: GTCL), Definiens (acquired by Medimmune), immatics as well as mtm laboratories (acquired by Roche).


Managing Director Healthcare Investment Banking, Jefferies

Dr. Gil Bar-Nahum is a Managing Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Jefferies and focuses on the Life Sciences universe in Europe, Israel and Asia. Dr. Bar-Nahum has over 15 years of investment banking experience and was most recently an Executive Director in UBS Investment Bank's Global Healthcare Group since 2002. Prior to that, Dr. Bar-Nahum worked as a Life Sciences Research Analyst for UBS where he served as an Associate Director covering companies in the Biotechnology and Tools space. Dr. Bar-Nahum has executed and advised on over 100 transactions across the globe in the life sciences space, with particular expertise in Biotechnology. Dr. Bar-Nahum received his PhD in Basic Medical Sciences with a focus in Biochemistry from the Sackler Institute at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Bar-Nahum also received an MS from New York University’s School of Medicine in cell and molecular biology and a BS from the University of Illinois in microbiology.


CSO, Structural Genomics Consortium

Chas is Professor of Translational Medicine in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine and Associate Member of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford. He is also a Visiting Professor in Neuroscience and Mental Health at Imperial College, London. Prior to coming back to Oxford, Chas was Vice President and Head of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline. He was involved in the identification of more than 40 clinical candidates for many gastro-intestinal, inflammatory and neuro-psychiatric diseases. More than 20 of these molecules progressed into patient studies and more than five of these delivered successful “Proof of Concept” data and hence progressed into late stage development. He was involved in the launch and development of the first treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Alosetron) and was the first to show that neurokinin NK1 antagonists are anti-emetic in preclinical and clinical studies.

Francesco De Rubertis

Partner, Medicxi

Prior to co-founding Medicxi , Francesco was with Index Ventures for 18 years, having joined the firm in 1997 to launch its life sciences practice. While at Index life sciences, he spearheaded the creation and adoption of the asset-centric investment strategy and led the growth of the firm. At Medicxi he also oversees the firm’s operations.

Francesco’s investments include CellZome (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline), Egalet (NASDAQ: EGLT), GenMab (Copenhagen: GEN.CO), GenSight Biologics (Euronext: SIGHT), Micromet (acquired by Amgen), Minerva Neurosciences (NASDAQ: NERV), Molecular Partners (Swiss: MOLN.SW), PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott), Parallele Biosciences (acquired by Affymetrix, NASDAQ: AFFX), Profibrix (acquired by The Medicines Company), Versartis (NASDAQ: VSAR) and several others. 



Nick was previously Director of the NE Thames Regional Genetics Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, with responsibility for the strategic and operational management of a genetics service that provides DNA diagnostic testing to a population of approximately 4.5M people. Nick is an honorary Reader at the UCL Institute of Child Health, and has over 25 years of research experience in human molecular genetics. He was awarded a personal chair in Medical Genetics at Cardiff University in 2005 and is a founding CEO of London Genetics Ltd and Programme Director at Oxagen Ltd.



Duncan is the Head of Exploratory Development for UCB.This group is responsible for the early testing of novel therapies in humans in collaboration with the New Medicines Therapeutic area colleagues.

He is the ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) Stratified Medicines Lead and a member of multiple MRC panels. He has a visiting Professorship at the Wolfson Personalized Medicine Unit at Liverpool University. He joined UCB in September 2011, prior to that he was the head of Translational Science at AstraZeneca and before that the European Head of Translational Molecular Medicine at Pfizer.