Management – Abzena
John Burt, Abzena Board Member

John Burt

Chief Executive Officer

John has been CEO of Abzena plc since May 2014 when the group holding company was established shortly before Abzena’s IPO on the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange. His leadership of Abzena and its predecessor company, PolyTherics, has delivered four successful financings and M&A transactions in both the UK and USA since he joined PolyTherics in November 2010.

Prior to joining PolyTherics he co-founded Thiakis, with Professor Steve Bloom (Imperial College), which he led as CEO through a major financing round in 2006 and ultimately to its sale to Wyeth in 2008. John previously led medical and life sciences technology transfer for Imperial Innovations, where he was responsible for a range of licensing transactions and involved with a number of spin-out companies, including being a board director of Sterix through their acquisition by Ipsen.

His career started as a management consultant with Coopers & Lybrand before he entered the pharmaceutical industry by joining Vanguard Medica. He then moved to GSK where he had a variety of technology licensing, predictive medicine strategy and corporate development roles. John holds an MA (Natural Sciences) from University of Cambridge and a DPhil (molecular biology) from the University of Oxford.

Julian Smith, Abzena Board Member

Julian Smith

Chief Financial Officer

Julian joined PolyTherics as its Chief Financial Officer and Director in September 2013. Prior to this he was the Chief Financial and Operations Officer at Imperial Innovations Group plc, where in 2006 he managed its listing on AIM and secondary offerings and a debt facility from the EIB. Prior to Imperial Innovations Group plc, Julian was the Chief Financial Officer of RadioScape Limited and Group Financial Controller of Mobile Systems International Limited. Julian is a Chartered Accountant and has an MA in engineering science from Oxford University.

John Manzello, Abzena Board Member

John Manzello

President, Abzena US

John Manzello comes to Abzena after serving as President of San Diego’s Promosome LLC where he joined the company as President & CEO in April of 2007. John expanded the business development, intellectual property portfolio and strategic alliances for the company’s suite of synthetic biology technologies.

Prior to joining Promosome, John’s relevant biotechnology experience included business and commercial development roles at Althea Technologies, Cohesive Technologies, Genzyme Transgenics (GTC) and GTC’s CRO/CMO subsidiary Primedica.

John held seats on the Boards for both Promosome LLC and Recopharma AB.

Sven Lee, Abzena Board Member

Sven Lee

Chief Business Officer

Before joining Abzena, Sven was Director, Global Sales and Business Development for the Cell Therapy Technologies business unit of Terumo BCT. He was successful in growing business and new collaborations within cell therapy and immunotherapy.

Prior to Terumo BCT, Sven was Vice President, Global Business Development at Catalent Biologics, responsible for the team's pre-clinical through Phase I/II GMP manufacturing business. He also launched the SMART Tag® antibody drug conjugation platform.

Before Catalent, Sven spent five years as Director, Business Development, with Crucell (Johnson & Johnson) and ten years with Biogen.

Sven started his career, after graduating with a BA in biology from Lake Forest College.

Campbell Bunce, Abzena Board Member

Campbell Bunce

Senior VP Scientific Operations

Campbell has over 19 years’ experience working in the biotech and diagnostics sectors, occupying senior management positions with Piramed Pharma (Director, Development Programmes), Immune Targeting Systems (R & D Director) and Oxford Immunotec (General Manager, Immunology Products). He has extensive experience in developing novel biologics and vaccines for cancer, inflammatory and infectious diseases, leading them through development and regulatory processes including pre-clinical evaluation and translation in the clinic.
Campbell has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Manchester and has published a number of papers in T cell biology, immunomodulators and vaccines.

Jim Mills, Abzena Board Member

Jim Mills

Senior VP Technical Operations

Jim has over 20 years’ experience working in the biotech and biopharmaceutical sector. He has held senior management positions at Cantab biopharmaceuticals (CEO), Xenova Biomanufacturing (Director of Operations) and Xenova Research Ltd (Leader, Upstream Process Development and Technical Business Development). Jim originally joined Cantab Pharmaceuticals, before its acquisition by Xenova, as a senior scientist in Upstream Process development and GMP Manufacturing in 1997. He has an extensive technical background in bioprocess development and GMP manufacturing, having worked on a diverse range of bioproducts from enzymes and recombinant proteins to live vaccines and conjugates. Jim’s experience ranges from products in early-stage research to those in Phase 3 clinical development.

Jim has a PhD in microbial physiology and biochemistry from the University of Leicester and has published a number of papers on microbial enzymes, upstream and downstream process development.

Donna Hackett, Abzena Board Member

Donna Hackett

Senior VP Intellectual Property, Commercial and Legal Affairs

Donna joined PolyTherics as part of the Executive management team in January 2014. Her previous roles include COO and Executive Director of Stabilitech, partner of the consulting firm ProPharma Partners and Executive Director of Stealthyx Therapeutics. While Assistant Director of UCL Ventures, she was UCL lead in establishing BioVex and held a non-executive Board position for four years; BioVex was sold to Amgen for a potential $1 billion. Donna started her career at BTG and is scientifically and legally qualified as a non-practising barrister.

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