The team has broad ranging expertise in research, drug discovery, drug development, commercialisation and financing.
Chronos has extensive knowledge of yeast and nematode genetics, epigenetics and cell biology as well as cellular ageing mechanisms and screening techniques. The team has delivered numerous pre‐clinical disease models and has decades of experience in drug development, regulatory approval, pricing and commercialisation.
Board of Directors
Christian Hoyer Millar MA, Hons (Oxon)
Christian read Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Lincoln College, Oxford. His career started at the Boston Consulting Group where he worked both in Europe and the USA. He then moved to the UK Holding Company of the German/Dutch Conglomerate, Hoogovens, as a director of a number of the subsidiaries in the UK, winning the Queen’s award for exports.
He then became a Vice President of Fox Pitt Kelton, where he worked on the mergers and acquisitions of US Regional Banks until the company went public at which point he was headhunted to run a venture capital firm in conjunction with Ensign Trust plc. owned by the Merchant Navy Pension Fund.
Since then Christian has worked in venture capital including as a founder of an Ofex listed company and a founding shareholder in an AIM listed company. He is additionally CEO of Oxford Biodynamics Limited, an Oxford University spin-out diagnostic company and Sibelius Limited, the sister company of Chronos, developing natural products. He has extensive commercial experience in the USA and Asia.
Dr. Huw Jones PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Huw holds a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Birmingham, UK and has over twenty-five years experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. He has built several start-up companies and delivered development plans in a wide range of therapy areas. He has supervised over fifteen product launches in Europe and has completed numerous product and company acquisitions and divestments.
As a founding partner of Daffodil Consulting LLP, Huw has advised many biotech companies on US and EU development, pricing and re-imbursement and commercialisation. He was a director of Ardana plc. and was previously President, Europe for CV Therapeutics Inc., a NASDAQ-quoted pharmaceutical company that was acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc. for in excess of US$1bn. Other appointments include Chairman, Ashbourne Pharmaceuticals, Senior Vice President, Northern Europe, for Elan Pharmaceuticals, building European operations from a start-up into a 600 person division, and UK marketing director for SmithKlineBeecham Pharmaceuticals, now part of GlaxoSmithKline plc.
Dr. Michael Moore PhD, DSc, FRCpath
Michael Moore began his career at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research and Manchester University, where he was Reader in Experimental Oncology and Immunology and sometime Editor-in Chief of the British Journal of Cancer.
He entered the UK biotechnology industry in 1989, subsequently becoming a director of Xenova Group, which went public on NASDAQ (1994) and LSE (1996). He facilitated the divestment of the Group’s drug discovery division, assisted in the consolidation of Xenova as an oncology-focused business and played a major role in the acquisition and integration of the biologics company Cantab Pharmaceuticals (2000) in the capacity of Chief Scientific Officer.
In 2002, Dr Moore became Chief Executive Officer of Piramed Limited, a private UK-based biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors of PI 3-kinases. Piramed is credited with bringing this new class of drug to clinical trial on behalf of Cancer Research UK, the Institute of Cancer Research and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Piramed entered into collaboration with Genentech in 2005 with a headline valuation of $230 million and was subsequently acquired by Roche in 2008.
Dr Moore practises as a biopharmaceutical consultant and business angel with a portfolio of non-executive directorships, including Chairman of Trillium Therapeutics Inc., a private Toronto-based biologics company, Myotec, a speciality pharma company spun out of Imperial College London and Charité University, Berlin and Oxford BioTherapeutics, a cancer antibody therapy-based company. He is also a Professor Associate in the Department of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics in the Brunel Institute.
Martin Diggle MA (Oxon)
Martin is a founder of Vulpes Investment Management, a Cayman Fund Manager which currently manages five funds including the Vulpes Life Sciences Fund, Chronos Therapeutics’ largest shareholder. An investment professional with over 29 years’ experience in investment banking and fund management, Martin has extensive, first-hand knowledge of the global financial markets.
Martin has been an investor in life sciences and biotechnology since 1999 and has developed a passionate interest in the sector having worked closely with several companies as a stakeholder over the past decade.
Tony started his career in the City as a trader for Louis Dreyfus in 1974, before becoming a director at Woodhouse Drake and Carey, and finally at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he was Senior Vice President and Director of Commodities Trading. During this period he was for a time Deputy Chairman of the London Commodity Exchange.
With the support of the J.Rothschild group, Kilda Investments Limited was set up in 1991 by Tony to operate in East Europe. He has owned and managed the company since then and undertaken corporate finance advisory/ investment mandates in a number of sectors in Europe, the UK and North America.
From 1999-2004, Tony was one of the founders of a fast growth start up Healthcare company – BHE Ltd. In partnership with the NHS, BHE developed new hospital retail facilities, and separately won a number of high value exclusive long term infrastructure LIFT projects with individual NHS Trusts. BHE was then successfully divested to a larger quoted competitor.
Tony joined the Board of Circle Holdings PLC in 2012. Circle is a leading quoted Healthcare company in the UK, operating a number of modern private hospitals and NHS facilities with an annual turnover of £190 M and ca 2000 employees. It is the first private sector company in the UK to win a tender to run a major NHS general hospital and to show dramatically improved clinical and financial outcomes. Tony has also been a director of Local World Ltd since 2012, one of the UK’s largest regional newspaper groups with annual turnover of £230M and a significant print and online presence spread across 115 titles and 100 websites.
Alexandre Akoulitchev MA, Hons (Oxon), PhD, FRSM
Sasha read mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In 1989 he was selected by the George Soros Foundation to study for a year at the University of Oxford along with 20 other top Soviet graduate students. In 1994 he obtained his PhD in cell biology from University College London (with his research based at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund). Sasha spent six years at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, NJ, USA as a research assistant funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Upon his return to England in 2001, he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship and established a research laboratory at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, with the focus on biochemistry of transcriptional mechanisms, non-coding regulatory RNAs and early epigenetic events. Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council supported this research and its results were widely publicized.
Before moving full-time to Oxford BioDynamics as a Company Director in 2007, Sasha was a University Academic Fellow (Research Council UK) and a Senior Research Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.
Professor Jane Mellor PhD University of Oxford
Jane read bacteriology and virology at the University of Manchester and got her PhD from the University of Reading (with her research based at the Institute for Animal Health). She started her career as a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Oxford. She then moved on to become a research fellow at Wolfson and Exeter Colleges, Oxford University. In 1989, she became a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in basic biomedical sciences. Her teaching career started in 1991 and to date she has tutored and supervised more than 20 graduate students gaining their doctorates. Jane has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and in 2008 was made a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford.
Mark Donaldson BA, FCCA
Mark read Accounting and Finance before qualifying as a Chartered Certified Accountant in 2004. He started his career in practice working with companies of all sizes, gaining experience in both funding and strategic matters. Mark left Grant Thornton UK in 2009 and founded Mint Consult Ltd which has advised pharmaceutical, biotechnology, manufacturing and tech companies in the capacity as CFO. Mark has provided consultancy to companies on corporate transactions, with experience of equity fundraising, grant funding and IPO.
Dr. Kevin Thompson
Kevin graduated from the University of Sussex with a BSc in Biology and a DPhil in Developmental Neurobiology. Kevin has nearly 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, ranging from drug discovery teams at Knoll Pharmaceuticals and the University of Nottingham, through contract research organisations providing Hit-to-Lead screening services for Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Amgen, to biotech businesses developing technologies and reagents for the pharmaceutical industry. He has a therapeutic background in CNS, metabolic, oncology and cardiovascular diseases. Central to his career has been a focus on Quality Assurance, demonstrated by his leading role in achieving ISO9001:2000 accreditation for screening services at BioFocus.
Dr. Nigel Crockett PhD
International Business Development Director
Nigel has more than 20 years of commercial experience in the pharma-biotech sector, spanning Europe, the US and Asia. He is a founding partner of Tukan Partners and was formerly VP Business Development at Astex Therapeutics and Commercial Director at Cantab Pharmaceuticals. Nigel obtained his PhD from Cambridge University and a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Manchester.
Clinical Development Director
Tanya graduated with a dual honours degree in physiology and pharmacology and has over 20 years clinical research experience in pharmaceutical/biotech companies and CROs having worked with Amgen, Elan Pharmaceuticals, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Hospira, Sophiris Bio Corp, Almac Discovery, Dermira, Origin and Constella Group. Tanya has worked in a number of disease areas including: oncology, haematology, gastroenterology, neurology and urology with biotech therapies in complex, hospital-based settings. She has extensive experience of either managing or overseeing European or international programmes.
Dr. Helen Kuhlman PhD
VP Corporate Development
Helen holds a PhD in Cell Physiology and Pharmacology from the University of Leicester. An experienced Biotech professional with a number of years experience in preclinical development she has worked mainly with young companies including; Domantis Ltd, Cambridge Antibody Technology Ltd, Cymbus Biotechnology and SemBioSys Genetics Inc (Calgary, Canada).
On returning to the UK Helen moved into the public sector developing programmes to support innovation in technology intensive SMEs and building knowledge exchange capacity in research institutions at the South West Regional Development Agency. Most recently Helen has been working with the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board where, amongst other programmes, she was responsible for creating and delivering the £180m Biomedical Catalyst funding programme.
Dr. David Eckland PhD, FRCP
Chief Medical Officer
David is a highly experienced pharmaceutical and biotechnology physician. After extensive experience in hospital practice and academic medicine, he worked with GlaxoSmithKline and Takeda as well as small pharmaceuticals companies, successfully developing small molecules as well as biotechnology products. David obtained degrees in Biochemistry and Medicine from the University of London, after which he specialised in Endocrinology, Diabetes and General (Internal) Medicine. He has a PhD in Neuroendocrinology, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London.
Professor Merit Cudkowicz M.D. MSc. Harvard Medical School; Director, Mass. Gen. ALS Clinic.
ALS Clinical Consultant
Dr. Merit Cudkowicz is the Julianne Dorn Professor of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Cudkowicz completed medical training at the Health Science and Technology program of Harvard Medical School, and she was a resident in Neurology at Mass General. She obtained a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Cudkowicz’s research and clinical activities are dedicated to the study and treatment of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, in particular amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Cudkowicz serves on the Medical Advisory Board for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Massachusetts Chapter of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. Dr. Cudkowicz directs the Mass General ALS Program and the Neurological Clinical Research Institute (NCRI) (formerly the NCTU). She is one of the founders and co-directors of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS), a group of 109 clinical sites in the United States and Canada dedicated to performing collaborative academic led clinical trials in ALS. In conjunction with the NEALS consortium, she planned and completed seven multi-centre clinical trials in ALS and is currently leading three new trials in ALS. In 2009 Professor Cudkowicz received the American Academy of Neurology Sheila Essay ALS award.
Professor Leonard P. Guarente PhD (Harvard), Novartis Professor, MIT
Dr. Guarente is the Novartis Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Guarente’s lab identified SIR2 as the key gene regulating lifespan in yeast and C. elegans – an extra copy of SIR2 significantly increases the lifespan of both organisms. Notably, his lab first discovered the novel biochemical activity of the SIR2 gene product – NAD-dependent deacetylase. This activity suggested that Sir2 might be involved in linking diet to the regulation of ageing, addressing the longstanding question of how calorie restriction (CR) might slow ageing.
Dr. Guarente’s lab also studies the mammalian orthologue of SIR2 – SIRT1. Dr. Guarente’s findings show that extension of healthy lifespan by CR is not a passive event, but results from the activation of SIRT1, which then impacts on cellular and organismal processes to deliver the benefits. Dr. Guarente received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. at Harvard, under the supervision of Jon Beckwith. He trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard with Mark Ptashne and has been on the faculty of MIT since 1981. His book Ageless Quest (Cold Spring Harbor Press, 2003) describes the pathway of discovery of SIR2 as a key regulator of lifespan in response to diet.
Professor Richard Eastell MD, FRCP, FRCPI, FRCPEdin, FRCPath, FMedSci
Osteoporosis Clinical Consultant
Richard received a clinical fellowship from the Medical Research Council to study osteoporosis at the University of Edinburgh in 1978 and furthered his clinical research training by working at the Mayo Clinic developing a number of new approaches for studying osteoporosis. After training in endocrinology and diabetes at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow and the Mayo Clinic he joined the Department of Human Metabolism and Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield in 1989 as a Senior Research Fellow. Richard set up a metabolic bone service at the Northern General Hospital where he is an Honorary NHS Consultant. Richard became Professor of Bone Metabolism in 1995 and received funding from the Arthritis Research Campaign to use biochemical tests of bone turnover to better understand the way in which older men and women develop osteoporosis and propensity to fracture. Richard is currently Director of the Mellanby Centre based at the University of Sheffield and became a NIHR Senior Investigator in 2009. Richard has published over 320 research papers: key papers describing new treatments for osteoporosis, such as tibolone, zoledronic acid, denosumab and lasofoxifene as well as addressing issues about safety of medications and providing diagnosis guidelines.
Professor Graham Russell PhD, DM, FRCP, FRCPath, FRS
Osteoporosis Clinical Consultant
Graham graduated with First Class Honours in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge in 1962 and subsequently gained his PhD on pyrophosphate metabolism from the MRC Mineral Metabolism Unit at the University of Leeds. In 1965, he joined Dr Herbert Fleisch’s Medical Research Institute in Davos, Switzerland, and their collaborative work led to the discovery of the biological effects of bisphosphonates. He then moved to Oxford University, where he continued research based at the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Working with Roger Smith, this led to the first successful clinical applications of bisphosphonates in Paget’s disease of bone. Concurrently, he completed his medical degree with distinction in 1971. He held the Medical Research Fellowship at St Peter’s College from 1972-76. He was awarded his DM at Oxford in 1976, and also gained Membership and then the Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Pathology. Graham is now Professor of Musculoskeletal Pharmacology and continues his research within the Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (now NDORMS), and also in the Mellanby Centre for Bone Research at Sheffield University. Graham has published extensively in the field of osteoporosis and has been Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Association for Paget’s Disease (UK), and of several Research Committees including the Medical Research Council, Research into Ageing, and Arthritis Research UK (formerly ARC). Graham was one of the founding members of the National Osteoporosis Society.