The event will consist of:





  • Preparing for After COVID - freeform discussion on how to prepare your business for a post-COVID world
  • Managing the NSI bill for your company
  • UK Life Science Strategy - update and Q&A
  • The increasing importance of sustainable investing and ESG


Innovation showcase - highlights from this year's PULSE cohort

Networking activities and drinks

Dinner and fireside chat - Sir Jon Symonds, GSK

Overnight stay at Fanham’s Hall




Thought leadership panels

  • How has market access evolved? A fireside chat with Blake Dark
  • Funders new and old - where is the money coming from?
  • Lessons from sector successes - raise, deals and M&As
  • UK biotech on the world stage - developing a world-leading ecosystem

Networking lunch

(Details and order subject to change)


Confirmed speakers

Lisa Anson


Redx Pharma

Lisa Anson is Chief Executive Officer of Redx Pharma plc, appointed 1 June 2018.
Lisa has been President of AstraZeneca UK since 2012 and has significant leadership experience in pharmaceuticals. Over a 20 year career at AstraZeneca plc, Lisa has held a number of senior management roles in both the US and the UK including Global Vice President, Oncology and as Vice President of emerging brands where she worked closely with the Research and Development teams.
Lisa holds an MBA (awarded with distinction) from INSEAD, France and a First Class honours degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University in the UK. Upon graduating she joined KPMG in London as a management consultant and then moved to California where she worked for Salick Health Care (now Aptium), a California based cancer disease management company, prior to joining Zeneca Pharmaceuticals (USA) in 1998 as a business development manager.
Lisa was President of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) a position from which she will stepped down in July 2018. She has been a Board member of the ABPI since 2012 where she has chaired a number of UK industry committees and worked closely with Government and a wide range of industry stakeholders.

Steve Bates

Chief Executive Officer


Steve Bates has been the CEO of the UK Bioindustry Association since 2012. He currently chairs the International Council of Biotech Associations and has been a Board member of Europabio since 2015. Steve is the visible face of the vibrant UK life sciences industry to government and media. He sits on the UK’s Life Sciences Council and Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. Steve has championed with government effective industrial incentives like the Biomedical Cataylst which have crowded-in private sector investment into UK SMES. He has forged links for the sector across the USA, Europe and in China. In his time at the BIA Steve has developed new member groups focused on cell and gene therapy, genomics and engineered biology. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia. Proud to lead an organisation with a diverse Board with over 40% female representation, Steve is committed to next generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish. Before the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and as an advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was made OBE for services to innovation in 2017.

Olivia Cavlan

Head of Business & Operations


Olivia is a biotechnology executive and former academic clinician experienced in supporting international pharmaceutical, biotech and med tech companies across strategic, business and operational activities. Olivia heads up business at Alchemab Therapeutics, an advanced-analytics enabled therapeutics company which she helped to build from inception having been a Principal at SV Health Investors. Prior to that, she was a Partner at McKinsey where she led healthcare private equity and global R&D restructuring efforts, and a Partner at QuantumBlack, focused on advanced-analytics projects for pharmacos. Olivia is also a Non-Executive Director at the BIA and a member of the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Seed investment committee. She's passionate about innovation and regularly advises start-ups on company creation and financing topics.

John Counsell

Principle Investigator

GOSH-Institute of Child Health

Dr John Counsell is a Principal Investigator at the GOSH-Institute of Child Health. He specialises in viral vector biology, developing gene therapy technologies that exploit basic virology principles to deliver genes to patient cells in vivo. His research group have developed a novel lentiviral platform technology that mitigates safety and durability issues with viral vectors in treated patients. He is currently progressing this platform for a paediatric metabolic disease with high unmet need, serving as proof of principle for broader uptake of the platform across a range of disease indications.

Blake Dark

Commercial Medicines Director

NHS England

Blake is the Commercial Medicines Director for NHS England. He is NHS England’s chief negotiator with the pharmaceutical industry and SRO for the broader cross-organisational Medicines Value Program.

Blake‘s team oversee all commercial discussions with companies in relation to individual drugs: Drugs that trigger the £20 million budget impact test (BIT); commercial arrangements associated with the Cancer Drug Fund (CDF); commercial arrangements relating to NICE’s Highly Specialised Technology appraisal programme (HST); commercial arrangements relating to NHS England’s clinical policy process overseen by its Clinical Priorities Advisory Group (CPAG).

Blake also leads a procurement function relating to medicines used in secondary care; Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU).
Before joining NHS England in Oct 2018, Blake held senior roles in the pharmaceutical industry for 24 years at Sanofi. Blake has led both innovative pharma and generic businesses in the UK for 15 years and 9 years running innovative pharma businesses across multiple countries in Europe and as Commercial Operations Head for Sanofi’s global generic’s company.

Nicky Edwards

Director of External Affairs


Nicky joined the BIA in December 2018. As Director of External Affairs, she is responsible for leading and coordinating the BIA’s work across the full range of policy, public affairs, regulatory affairs and communications.

She has extensive experience of delivering external affairs strategies for national organisations, including more than a decade of leading on policy and public affairs for businesses and membership bodies in the financial and professional services sector.

Zainab Gulamali

Policy and Public Affairs Advisor


Zainab joined the BIA in March 2021 as a Policy and Public Affairs Advisor. She previously was Public Affairs and Communications Manager for the Muslim Council of Britain, and prior to this, Zainab worked in the House of Commons where she was the Head of Parliamentary Affairs for Plaid Cymru, coordinating voting and advising on policy.

Outside work, Zainab has recently been with local councils and public health bodies on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in London’s faith and ethnic minority communities. In her spare time, she is an avid baker of bread and biscuits.

Tim Haines

Chairman and Managing Partner


Tim is Chairman and Managing Partner at Abingworth LLP, a leading global life sciences venture investment firm. Tim joined Abingworth in 2005 having been Chief Executive of Abingworth’s portfolio company, Astex Therapeutics, and was instrumental in establishing it as one of the leading UK biotechnology companies. Tim has held a number of senior management positions in the US and Europe, including CEO of both Datascope Corp. and Thackray Inc, and General Manager at Baxter UK. Tim has a BSc from Exeter University and an MBA from INSEAD. He is a former Director of the BIA and sat on the BVCA Venture Committee and the Wellcome Trust / NHS Health Innovation Challenge Fund. During his time at Abingworth Tim has taken board roles in a number of companies including Adaptate Biotherapeutics, Astex, Avillion, Fovea, GammaDelta Therapeutics, MEDIAN Technologies, PowderMed, Scorpion Therapeutics, Sientra and Venatorx.

Sarah Howell


Arecor Therapeutics

Sarah Howell was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Arecor in 2015, having joined in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director. During her time at Arecor she has led the transformation of the business into a successful clinical stage biotechnology company. Sarah has a background in clinical and commercial pharmaceutical product development, manufacture, supply and licensing across a range of product types and therapeutic areas.

She has served in a number of senior roles in the pharmaceutical industry, including Vice President CMC & Technical Development at BTG Plc., and Director of Outsourced Manufacturing at UCB-Celltech.

Sarah holds a BSc in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry.

Bahija Jallal



Dr. Bahija Jallal is Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Board of Immunocore, a pioneering, clinical-stage T cell receptor biotechnology company working to develop and commercialize a new generation of transformative medicines to address unmet needs in cancer, infection and autoimmune disease.

Prior to taking the helm at Immunocore in January 2019, Bahija was President of MedImmune, the global biologics research and development unit of AstraZeneca. She was also Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca and was a member of its senior executive team reporting to the CEO. Dr. Jallal joined MedImmune in March 2006. Under her leadership, MedImmune/AstraZeneca developed and launched five new biologic medicines in three therapeutic areas.

Dr. Jallal serves on the Boards of Anthem, Inc. and Guardant Health. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Johns Hopkins University and the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Health Sciences Research Park Corporation.

Dr. Jallal has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications and has more than 15 patents. She is a member of the Women in Cancer Research Council of the American Association of Cancer Research; and the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. She is the past President of the Association of Women in Science. Dr. Jallal was named the 2017 Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Katherine Kingsbury


Covington & Burling

Katherine Kingsbury is an associate in the Corporate Practice, resident in the firm’s London office, and a member of the firm’s Foreign Direct Investment Regulation team.

Katherine has experience advising on a broad range of corporate matters, including joint ventures, private M&A, takeovers, other significant transactions for public companies, venture capital, restructurings, and general advisory work. She has over 13 years’ experience in corporate practice, including responsibility for knowledge management and training.

In addition, Katherine has particular interest in UK corporate governance and its application to listed companies, larger private companies, and private equity.

Alexander Macdonald

Head of Sustainability

Polar Capital

Alexander leads and co-ordinates Polar Capital’s sustainability initiatives at a corporate level and acts as a focal point for ESG activity in investment portfolios. His aim is also to further develop Polar Capital’s funds’ integration of ESG factors as well as enhancing their responsible investment and stewardship capabilities. Alexander has a BCom in Economics and Finance, an MSc in Sustainable Urban Development and has completed the CFA certificate in ESG Investing. Alexander has been at Polar Capital for 6 years, for the past two years he has been increasingly focused on the development of Polar Capital’s approach to responsible investment and the company’s ESG capabilities.

Allan Marchington

Managing Director and Head of Life Sciences


Allan joined ICG in January 2021 and is Managing Director, and Head of Life Sciences, responsible for the Life Science Fund strategy and team at ICG. Prior to ICG, Allan was Founder and Managing Partner of Bridge Valley Ventures a successful life science investor, and prior to this was a Partner and Founder of Apposite Capital. Before this Allan was at Abingworth. Formerly a PhD medicinal chemist at Pfizer, he later founded and was CEO of his own life sciences company before it was successfully acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc. in 2000, where he became SVP Technology. On his return to the UK in 2003 Allan joined Abingworth to begin his investment career.

Dr Ruth McKernan



Dr Ruth McKernan CBE joined Innovate UK as Chief Executive in May 2015. Ruth has 25 years of research and commercial experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including heading up research units in the UK and the US. She is a member of the Science, Industry and Translation Committee of the Royal Society and was a Council Member for the Medical Research Council for 5 years. Ruth’s previous roles include Senior Vice President at Pfizer and Head of the Merck Neuroscience Research Centre.

Ruth’s awards and achievements include a CBE in 2013 for services to Business, Innovation and Skills, a Fulbright Scholarship and a Glaxo/ABSW Science Writers’ Award. Ruth is the author of a book for non-scientists, “Billy’s Halo”.

Kate O'Brien

Principal, Head of Legal & Company Secretary

Oxford Sciences Innovation

Kate joined OSI in 2017. Before joining, Kate practiced at Herbert Smith Freehills in London and Paris. Prior to this, she worked as an attaché to the British Embassy in Paris. Kate holds an MA in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford, and spent a year studying Spanish Law and Catalan Law at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. At OSI, Kate provides guidance to the team on the negotiation and execution of investments, as well as general corporate, commercial and IP matters. She is also OSI’s company secretary and advises the Board on corporate and governance matters. She has a keen interest in regulatory and policy reform in the deep tech and venture space, and leads OSI’s engagement in this area. Kate is passionate about advancing female corporate representation and entrepreneurship, and is currently spearheading OSI’s commitment to the Investing in Women Code.

Hanno Ronte


Monitor Deloitte

Hanno is a Partner at Monitor Deloitte, Deloitte’s strategy consultancy business. He has more than 20 years of consulting experience primarily in the Healthcare and Life Sciences sector. Hanno leads the Life Sciences and Healthcare team in Monitor Deloitte and is responsible for building the Real World Evidence Capability within that. His projects have focused on corporate and business unit strategy, competitive response, marketing strategy and capability building.

Josh Sauer



Josh studied chemistry at the University of Oxford and is currently finishing his PhD in interdisciplinary bioscience. He has research experience ranging from synthesis and materials chemistry to structural biology and biotechnology. He co-founded Inulox Ltd in 2018, a disruptive biotech company developing an enzyme ingredient that will convert ingested sugars into healthy vegetable fibre. Josh has had tutoring experience at St Hilda’s College Oxford and has won national awards in communicating science to the general public.

Nerida Scott

Head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, EMEA

Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Nerida oversees the EMEA IC portfolio of co-investments and collaborations to construct, prioritize and advance the early external innovation portfolio of Johnson & Johnson. She identifies and accelerates science and technology outside the company in areas of strategic value to consumer health, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, exploring new models to support external R&D collaboration and grow early stage innovation networks.
Nerida has been an integral part of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation team since 2015. She was Vice President New Ventures & Transactions, and she led a senior team to identify, develop and execute early-stage transactions with diverse partners in the life sciences ecosystem, including academia, venture capital, entrepreneurs, NGOs and governmental organizations.
Before joining Johnson & Johnson, Nerida was Director for Business Development & Licensing and Executive Team member at Vernalis PLC, a UK biotech company with US commercial activities, responsible for transactions from evaluation through negotiation to closing. Before that, Nerida worked in business development at RiboTargets, a biotech building on Nobel Prize-winning science from the lab of Venki Ramakrishnan. Her experience also includes The Boston Consulting Group in London, where she was a project leader providing strategic counsel to clients on M&A opportunities, R&D, manufacturing and business strategies.

Dr Avi Spier

Executive Director, Head of Search & Evaluation/Region UK

Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research

Dr. Spier has over 15 years of experience at Novartis, having joined the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation as its Head of Business Development in 2004. In 2012, Avi moved into Novartis BD&L where he is now Executive Director and Head of Search and Evaluation activities for a range of therapeutic areas and disciplines, and with a particular focus on the United Kingdom.
Having trained as a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute in California, in 2001, Avi co-founded La Jolla based Allon Therapeutics, Inc. There he led the peptide therapeutic neurodegenerative disease focused company as its President and CEO through two financing rounds and up to its entry onto the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Avi was educated in Biological Sciences at Oxford University and received his Ph.D. in molecular neuroscience from Cambridge University at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

Sir Jon Symonds

Non-Executive Chairman


Jon has extensive international financial, life sciences and governance experience.

Jon served as an Independent Non-Executive Director of HSBC Holdings plc from April 2014, and as Deputy Group Chairman from August 2018, until his retirement from the Board in February 2020. He was previously Chairman of HSBC Bank plc, Chief Financial Officer of Novartis AG, Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, Chief Financial Officer of AstraZeneca plc, and a Partner at KPMG. His governance experience includes roles as Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committees of Diageo plc and QinetiQ Group plc and Non-Executive Chair of Proteus Digital Health Inc.

Jon is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Dr Martin Turner

Head of Policy and Public Affairs


Martin joined the BIA in April 2016 as Policy and Projects Manager and was promoted to Head of Policy and Public Affairs in January 2019. He is responsible for the BIA's policy outputs and public affairs activities. He also leads on innovation and industrial strategy policy and provides the secretariat for the BIA’s Finance and Tax Advisory Committee and the Intellectual Property Advisory Committee.

Martin has eight years’ experience in policy and public affairs and has worked at the Royal Society, the Campaign for Science and Engineering, and the Association of Medical Research Charities. Before embarking on a career in policy, Martin completed a PhD in molecular biology at the University of Sheffield, where he also co-founded and was director of an award-winning science communication charity called Science Brainwaves. He has a BSc in molecular biology from the University of Manchester.

Jacqui Ward

Head of the Ministerial & Parliamentary Support Team


Peter Wrighton-Smith

Chief Executive Officer and Director

Oxford Immunotec

Peter Wrighton-Smith is the founder and CEO of Oxford Immunotec, a global, high-growth, diagnostics company. The company has pioneered a new technology to measure T cells for clinical application. The company’s tests are now sold in over 50 countries around the world and Oxford Immunotec has offices in Oxford, Boston, Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul. Since founding the company in 2002, Peter has led Oxford Immunotec through 5 rounds of private VC funding, an IPO on NASDAQ in 2013, and the recent sale of the company to PerkinElmer for $590m. Peter also sits on the board of Inivata, a UK-US based leader in liquid biopsy diagnostics for oncology, recently sold to Neogenomics for $390m.