Circassia is led by a team of experienced life science entrepreneurs and scientists. The management team combines strong development experience with proven commercial success and world-class strategic expertise.
Board - Non-Executive Directors
Sir Richard Sykes - Non-Executive Chairman
Sir Richard is Chairman of The Royal Institution of Great Britain and also Vice-Chairman at Swiss life sciences company Lonza Group. He remains Chairman of The UK Stem Cell Foundation, Chairman of the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC), Non-Executive Chairman of Circassia Holdings Ltd, Non-Executive Chairman of Omnicyte Ltd, Executive Chairman of Toumaz Holdings plc and is an Advisory member of Siemens Holdings plc and the Virgin Group Advisory Board.
Prior to that, he was Senior Independent Director, Non-Executive Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of ENRC from 2007 – June 2011, Chairman of NHS London from December 2008 to July 2010, Rector of Imperial College London from 2000 – 2008 and the Senior Independent Director of Rio Tinto plc from 1997 to 2008. He has over 30 years of experience within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, serving as Chief Executive and Chairman of GlaxoWellcome from 1995 to 2000 and then as Chairman of GlaxoSmithkline until 2002.
Internationally, he is Chairman of the International Advisory Board, A*Star Biomedical Research Council, Singapore and a Board member of EDBI. He was awarded Honorary Citizenship of Singapore in 2004 for his contribution to the development of the country’s biomedical sciences industry.
Sir Richard holds a number of degrees and awards from institutions both in the UK and overseas. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Academy of Medical Sciences, and Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal College of Pathologists and Royal College of Physicians. He is also President of the R&D Society, a position he has held since July 2002.
He is a Fellow of Imperial College London and Imperial College School of Medicine, King’s College London and Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales, Cardiff and the University of Central Lancashire.
Sir Richard received a Knighthood in the 1994 New Year’s Honours list for services to the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr Tim Corn – Non-Executive Director
During his more than twenty years in the industry, Tim has developed a broad base of expertise in clinical development, regulatory management and medical affairs, gained in large pharmaceutical companies (GlaxoWellcome and MSD Research Laboratories), the biotechnology sector (Athena Neuroscience and Elan) and at the UK regulatory agency (the MHRA). He has played a key role in attaining seven regulatory approvals in the USA and Europe (via the Centralised, Mutual Recognition and Orphan Drug procedures). He was previously Chief Medical Officer at Zeneus Pharma, where he was responsible for all medical and regulatory aspects of the company's product portfolio, and was a key part of the executive management team responsible for growing the value of the business more than threefold. He is currently Chief Medical Officer at EUSA Pharma.
Russ Cummings – Non-Executive Director
Russ Cummings is Chief Investment Officer at Imperial Innovations where he manages the Group’s investment portfolio and decision-making process. He joined the Group from Scottish Equity Partners Limited where as director in the Information Technology Group he was responsible for investment in high growth technology companies. Russ worked at 3i Group plc where he was a director in their UK Technology Group, and he previously worked at Rolls-Royce Motors as a development engineer. Russ serves on the Board of Nexeon Limited, and has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College.
Cathrin Petty – Non-Executive Director
Cathrin Petty has extensive senior-level experience of the life sciences industry, and is currently a Special Partner at Vitruvian Partners LLP, a Board member of ICON Plc and a member of the Discovery Investment Board at GSK. Prior to her current roles at Vitruvian Partners, she spent 10 years at Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, as a Partner in the Healthcare team working in the US and Europe. Prior to Apax, Ms Petty was a Principal at Schroder Ventures Life Sciences and before that Research Analyst at Schroders Investment Management. Previous directorships include Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Zeneus Pharma, Xanodyne Inc and Intercell AG. She served as a Non Executive Director at the NHS Strategic Health Authority for Greater London until July 2010. Ms Petty holds an MA in Natural Sciences (Immunology) from Cambridge University and is a post graduate in Management Studies from the Judge Institute, Cambridge.
Board - Executive Directors
Steven Harris - Chief Executive Officer
Steve Harris is a successful bioscience entrepreneur with extensive experience of founding and leading biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies. Prior to establishing Circassia, Steve was a founding member of the management team that grew Zeneus Pharma into a leading specialty pharma company after acquiring Elan’s European business for $110m. As CFO, Steve played a key role in refocusing and turning the business around, and subsequently as CEO managed the company’s acquisition by Cephalon for $390m.
Prior to Zeneus, Steve spent seven years at PowderJect Pharmaceuticals Plc as CFO. As a key member of the management team he helped grow the business from a loss-making private biotechnology business into a fully integrated, profitable public company and fifth largest vaccines business in the world. As CFO he oversaw the financial management of PowderJect’s subsequent acquisition by Chiron for $1 billion.
Charles Swingland - Deputy Chairman and General Counsel
Charles Swingland has over 30 years of corporate legal experience. He practised as a corporate lawyer in the City of London for over 15 years before joining PowderJect Pharmaceuticals Plc in 1996 as Executive Director, General Counsel and Company Secretary. While at PowderJect he was responsible for all legal, intellectual property and compliance matters, and managed the legal aspects of several major acquisitions and fundraisings, including the eventual sale of the company to Chiron for $1 billion in 2003.
In 2004, he joined Zeneus Pharma as Director and General Counsel, where he oversaw the company’s transactions, including the in-licensing of several products. Following the company’s sale to Cephalon Inc, Charles left Zeneus Pharma and subsequently co-founded Circassia.
Dr Rod Hafner - Vice President Research and Development
Rod Hafner has over 20 years international experience in the life sciences industry, gained in both multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Following an early career at Procter & Gamble, Wyeth and a period as Head of Project Management at Cortecs, he joined PowderJect Pharmaceuticals Plc in 1998. While there he held a number of positions of increasing responsibility, including Director of Programme Management and Vice President of R&D Portfolio Management. Following the acquisition of PowderJect by Chiron in 2003, he joined the Scandinavian drug delivery company OptiNose to set up the UK operating company. At OptiNose his management of the outsourced development team allowed the rapid progression of two drug-device combination products from concept, through phase I studies and into large scale phase II studies. Rod is an Inventor on more than 20 granted patents and patent applications. Since joining Circassia in 2007 Rod has been responsible for the progression of Circassia’s four lead programmes through epitope identification, preclinical toxicology and into nine phase II clinical studies.
Professor Mark Larché
Prof. Larché is a leading authority on immune system control, and original co-founder of Circassia. In 2006 he was appointed as a Professor in the Department of Medicine at McMaster University (Canada), after being awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Allergy and Immune Tolerance. In 2008 he was awarded the McMaster University/GSK Chair in Lung Immunology at St. Joseph’s Healthcare (Hamilton, Ontario). He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and an Honorary Professorial Fellow in Respiratory Immunology at Imperial College London and was formerly Honorary Reader at the Royal Brompton Hospital and an Asthma UK Senior Research Fellow. He was Chairman of the Asthma Section of the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) from 2001-2005, a member of the EAACI Executive Committee (2001-2005) and a member of the British Society for Immunology's Vaccine Affinity Group Board (2004-2006). He is currently a member of the Genetics, Molecular Biology, & Epidemiology Committee of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). He has served on funding and advisory panels for the Medical Research Council, Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the National Institutes of Health.
Prof. Larché is an Associate Editor of Clinical Experimental Allergy (Basic Science Reviews Editor 2007-2010), former Associate Editor for Respiratory Research (2005-2010) and a member of the editorial boards of Clinical Experimental Immunology, CHEST and International Archives of Allergology & Clinical Immunology. Prof. Larché has authored over 100 scientific papers and has been the recipient of several international prizes for his work including "The Respiratory 2000 International Young Investigator Award", "The Henning Lowenstein Research Award 2000" and the "Pharmacia Allergy Research Foundation Award" in 2001.
Professor A. Barry Kay
Professor Kay is one of the most distinguished clinical scientists in the UK and is recognised as a world-leading expert in the field of allergy and asthma. He is an original co-founder of Circassia and currently Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Investigator at Imperial College London, and Honorary Consultant Physician at both the Royal Brompton Hospital London and The London Clinic. He is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians.
In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Paul Ehrlich Medal from the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (of which he is a past President) and in 2004 was elected an Honorary fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Prof. Kay has published over 300 papers in the field of allergy and asthma, as well as several monographs that have become key works in the area.
Did you know?
25% of the UK population have some form of hay fever