BELS Founding Members

BELS gratefully acknowledges the generous contributions of our early Founding Members

These life science leaders generously supported BELS in recent years to help us re-launch BELS globally. Their contributions helped extend the UK’s heritage of scientific excellence in the spirit of collaboration, innovation and kinship.

Mark Bamforth, President & CEO, Brammer BioPharmaceuticals, Massachusetts

Dr Dominic P Behan, President & CEO, Beacon Discovery, Boston, Massachusetts

Dr Simon Blake, Sr Director, Scientific Licensing, Immunology, Janssen Research & Development, Berwyn, Pennsylvania

Dr Timothy P Clackson, President & EVP of R&D – Akrevia Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Nicola Downes, Chief Financial Officer, PneumRx (a BTG group company), San Francisco, California

Dr David R Ebsworth, PhD, Chairman, Verona Pharma, Opterion AG and Actimed Therapeutics, Switzerland

Dr Christopher H Evans, PhD, DSc, Professor & Director of Rehabilitation Medicine Research Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Dr Clive A Meanwell, Chief Executive Officer, The Medicines Company, Parsippany, New Jersey

Dr Stephen Naylor, Chairman & CEO, MaiHealth, Indianapolis, Indiana


Biographies of BELS Founding Members

Mark Bamforth, President & CEO, Brammer BioPharmaceuticals, Massachusetts USA

Mark Bamforth is the founder, President and CEO of Brammer Bio, a cell and gene therapy contract and development manufacturing organization, which merged with 10-year old Florida Biologix, a producer of early clinical materials for cell and gene therapies based in Florida with 120 employees. Brammer is developing a facility in Massachusetts to provide clients with phase III/commercial products, which will come on stream in early 2017.

In 2010, Mark founded and led Gallus BioPharmaceuticals, a premier CMO delivering biopharmaceuticals worldwide. Following the acquisition of a commercial facility in St. Louis with an experienced team of 160 and a supply agreement with Janssen, Gallus tripled through organic growth and a 2013 merger with another CMO, Laureate Biopharma. With Gallus’ investors, Mark managed the sale of Gallus to DPx Holdings B.V. in September 2014 and supported the integration of the two organisations.

Mark also has 22 years of previous experience in the UK and USA, running diverse, global manufacturing operations and a pharmaceutical CMO business for Genzyme, including supporting pioneering cell therapy and gene therapy clinical trials undertaken by Genzyme, resulting in the first FDA approval of a cell therapy facility and products in the late 1990s, and the establishment of dedicated gene therapy clinical capacity. He began his career as a petroleum engineer exploring for North Sea oil, then as a chemical engineer in the whisky industry.

Mark currently serves on the Board of MassBio and is a founding trustee of the Saltire Foundation, which enables young Scottish entrepreneurs to expand their business knowledge through education and internships with high growth companies in the US. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Henley Management College. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.

Dr Dominic P Behan, Chief Executive Officer – Sentia Medical Sciences, San Diego, California

Dominic has 23 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. His industrial career began at Neurocrine Biosciences where he directed several drug discovery programs from 1993-1997. In 1997 he co-founded Arena Pharmaceuticals, was elected to the Board of Directors in 2000, and most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. He has participated in multiple private and public financing initiatives. He helped build Arena from conception into a globally recognized biotechnology organization that developed a robust pipeline of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) modulators, the first of which, BELVIQ® (lorcaserin HCl), was approved by the FDA in 2012 for chronic weight management. Dominic led the FDA advisory panel process that ultimately resulted in BELVIQ being the first drug in 13 years to be approved by the FDA for obesity and the first drug in its class of selective 5-HT2C agonists. He has worked actively with multiple global regulatory healthcare authorities, including the FDA.

Dominic has secured numerous pharmaceutical partnering collaborations with large multinational pharmaceutical companies such as Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Eli Lilly, Ortho McNeil/Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Merck, Eisai, Taisho as well as several biotechnology companies and academic institutions.

In 2016, Dominic co-founded Beacon Discovery, a privately held drug discovery incubator, where he now serves as President and CEO. He is also a consultant to Arena Pharmaceuticals where he chairs the Scientific Advisory Board. Dominic was included in the PharmaVOICE 100 list of the most inspiring people. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Keystone, a world renowned organization responsible for establishing and arranging meetings of scientific excellence, and has authored numerous publications and patents that address multiple therapeutic areas encompassing protein/neuropeptide mechanisms as well as small molecule modulation of CNS, neuroendocrine, cardiovascular and metabolic systems.

Dominic obtained a BSc Honors degree in Biochemistry from the University of Leeds and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Reading, investigating the biology of stress. He then spent three years as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Salk Institute in San Diego. He also received a higher doctorate (DSc) degree from the University of Reading where he was appointed Visiting Professor.

Dr Simon BlakeSr Director, Scientific Licensing, Immunology, Janssen Research & Development, Berwyn, Pennsylvania USA

Simon Blake obtained his PhD in Biochemistry whilst at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London, UK.  He then served multiple Post-Doctoral Research appointments, where he continued to study the pathogenesis of inflammatory joint disease, focusing on the role of the cytokines IL-1 and TNF.  He moved into industry in 1994 spending five years each at Celltech Therapeutics and GlaxoSmithkline respectively, leading small and large molecule discovery research teams.  In 2004 he joined Centocor and was appointed Director of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases team in 2005.  Simon is currently Senior Director for Scientific Licensing in Janssen Business Development, supporting the Immunology and Janssen Biotherapeutics teams within Janssen Pharmaceuticals R&D.

Dr Timothy P Clackson, President & EVP of R&D – Akrevia Therapeutics, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

Before joining Akrevia,  a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly-potent, tumor-targeted immuno-oncology therapeutics, Tim was President of R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, an integrated oncology company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lausanne, Switzerland.

During his 19 year career at ARIAD, Tim held a series of increasingly senior positions, including CSO since 2003 and President of R&D since 2010. He had overall operational and strategic responsibility for R&D at ARIAD, including drug discovery, preclinical and translational research, clinical development, and technical operations.  He led the multi-disciplinary R&D team that discovered and developed Iclusig® (ponatinib), an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor now marketed in the US, EU and Switzerland; AP26113, a next-generation oral inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) currently in a phase 2 study in lung cancer patients; ridaforolimus, an mTOR inhibitor licensed to Merck for oncology, and to Medinol as a component of drug-eluting stents; and AP1903, a small molecule regulator for cancer cell therapy licensed to Bellicum Pharmaceuticals.

Tim’s education and training provided him with an early exposure to biotechnology.  Prior to ARIAD, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Genentech.  His research on the human growth hormone receptor, with Dr. James Wells, led to a highly-cited paper that defined the now-established “hot spot” paradigm for how proteins interact, which was broadly influential in the field of drug discovery.  His graduate research, conducted with Dr. Greg Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK), included the development of antibody phage display library technology and led to the founding of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and the subsequent development of multiple approved antibody products.  Tim has published approximately 85 scientific papers and is a co-inventor on 15 issued US patents.  He received his PhD in Biology from Cambridge University and his BA degree in Biochemistry from Oxford University.

Nicola Downes, Chief Financial Officer, PneumRx (a BTG group company), San Francisco, California USA

Nicola Downes has been managing the Finance Department at PneumRx since 2006. PneumRx, a leader in the field of interventional pulmonology, was acquired by London-based BTG PLC in 2014. Nicola has worldwide experience in managing all aspects of Accounting and Finance.

Previous to PneumRx, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for ArkaSoft, a Silicon Valley software firm. She has held senior accounting and supervisory positions for a variety of firms prior to that, including Hansa Chemie AG, the Royal Navy, UK, a Lloyds of London syndicate, as well as Auditor with Accenture and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Nicola is a Chartered Certified Accountant. She received her BA in Accounting and Finance from University of Brighton, UK and her MBA from Oxford Institute of International Finance, UK.

Dr David R Ebsworth, PhD, Chairman, Verona Pharma, Opterion AG and Actimed Therapeutics, Switzerland

Dravid Ebsworth is an experienced healthcare professional with broad experience in senior executive and non-executive roles, equipping him with corporate governance experience spanning North America, the UK and multiple European countries. He is currently chairman of the board of Verona Pharma PLC, a specialty pharma company focused on respiratory diseases such as COPD and listed on the London AIM and on the Nasdaq stock market. He is also Chairman of Opterion AG and Actimed Therapeutics Ltd as well as a board member of Interpharma Investments Ltd, Kyowa Kirin International and Soho Flordis International.

Until he retired, David was CEO of Galenica AG as well as the subsidiary specialty pharma company fully-owned by Galenica, Vifor Pharma Ltd.  Galenica AG was a Swiss-based healthcare company with a current market cap of 10 billion CHF having increased from 2.5 billion at the time David joined the company in 2009.  The increase in market cap of Galenica was driven by the performance of all businesses, e.g the market leading Swiss pharmaceutical wholesaling, pharmaceutical retail and healthcare information divisions, the success of Vifor Pharma and the creation of a joint venture with Fresenius Medical Care, the leading dialysis services provider.  Recently Galenica Santé was IPOed as a separate company to Vifor Pharma.

Prior to his time at Galenica, David served as Chairman of various companies such as A&D Pharma Holdings, a leading Romanian wholesale and retail company, Atani Ltd, Wilex AG, Curacyte AG and Xention Discovery Ltd.  He also served on the board of Intercall AG, Skyepharma PLC, Novuspharma spa and Curagen Ltd.

From 2002- 2003 David was CEO of Oxford Glycosciences PLC which was purchased by Celltech PLC.  From 1983-2001 he worked for Bayer AG in the pharmaceutical division in Germany, Canada and the US. His final role at Bayer was head of the global pharmaceutical business.

David started in the industry as a sales representative for Pfizer in Germany. Hehas a BSc in chemistry and German as well as a PhD in comparative industrial relations from the University of Surrey in UK.  David is bilingual in English and German and speaks solid French.

Dr Christopher H Evans, PhD, DSc, Professor & Director of Rehabilitation Medicine Research Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota USA

Christopher Evans, a leader in the field of gene therapy in the treatment of arthritis, is Director of the Rehabilitation Medicine Research Center at Mayo Clinic. He is also Maurice Müller Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery Emeritus at Harvard Medical School.

Trained in molecular biology in the United Kingdom, Chris became the inaugural Henry Mankin Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. While at the University of Pittsburgh, he obtained an MA in the History and Philosophy of Science. In 1994, he was awarded a DSc by the University of Wales, UK.  Recruited to Harvard Medical School in 1999, he held the Robert Lovett Chair and then the Maurice Müller Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was recruited to Mayo Clinic in 2013.

Chris’ research interests focus on the application of biological therapies, particularly gene therapy, to the treatment of disorders of bones and joints, a field he pioneered. He was principal investigator for the world’s first arthritis gene therapy trial.

Dr Clive A Meanwell, Chief Executive Officer, The Medicines Company, Parsippany, New Jersey USA

Clive Meanwell is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Medicines Company. From September 2001 to August 2015, he was also chairman of the board. Under his guidance the company has built a reputation as an innovative institution known for developing industry-leading, value-based products to treat cardiovascular disease, infectious disease and sedation.  He was previously a partner and managing director at MPM Capital, LP and, before that, held key positions at F Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc, including Senior Vice President at Roche Biosciences in Palo Alto, and leadership roles at Roche’s Basel, Switzerland, headquarters. Clive received his MD cum laude and MB, ChB and PhD from the University of Birmingham, UK.

He was recently awarded the 2016 Dr Sol J Barer Award for Vision, Innovation, and Leadership. Named for Sol J. Barer, PhD, founder and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation of Summit, New Jersey, the award recognizes outstanding research and business leaders who have made significant contributions to the growth and prosperity of the biosciences industry in New Jersey and throughout the world.

Dr Stephen Naylor, Chairman & CEO, MaiHealth, Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Stephen Naylor is currently Founder, Chairman and CEO of the preventive medicine company MaiHealth based in Indianapolis.  He has over 25 years of experience in the Health and Life Sciences in both the academic and private sectors.  In addition, he is also the founder and served as Executive Management /Chairman of numerous other companies in the personalised medicine, diagnostic, companion diagnostic, biomarker and systems biology sectors.

Steve has published over 250 scientific journal manuscripts, filed over 20 patents and helped raise in excess of $40 million in federal grants (NIH/SBIR) and $40 million in equity investments for the companies he has been associated with over the past decade.  Stephen has degrees from the University of East Anglia (BSc-1st Class Honors-Chemistry), University of Southampton (MSc-Oceanography), University of California (MS-Chemical Sciences) and University of Cambridge (PhD-Analytical Biochemistry /Chemistry) and also was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT.  Over the years he has worked at the MRC (UK), Mayo Clinic (US) and the world’s first systems biology company Beyond Genomics, as well as helped found numerous small start-up entities, all in the US.

Please contact Nigel Gaymond  if you would like more information on joining BELS as a Founding Member, or if you would like to explore other opportunities to support the organisation.