Management - Abzena
John Burt, Abzena Board Member

John Burt

Chief Executive Officer

John Burt has 20 years of life sciences industry experience and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in May 2011. John has been leading the group to deliver its international growth strategy to enable the development of better biopharmaceuticals through organic growth, technology innovation and acquisitions. John has led the delivery of the M&A strategy that has brought together the businesses of PolyTherics, Antitope, PacificGMP and TCRS into the Abzena group, and the transition to AIM-quoted business on the London Stock Exchange in July 2014.

Previously, John co-founded Thiakis with Professor Sir Steve Bloom (Imperial College), and he served as Chief Executive Officer through to its successful acquisition by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in December 2008. Earlier in his career John held a range of roles covering finance, technology licensing and business and corporate development roles with Vanguard Medica plc (now part of Vernalis plc), GlaxoWellcome / GlaxoSmithKline and Imperial Innovations. John was awarded a DPhil (molecular biology) from University of Oxford, following his first degree in Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Julian Smith, Abzena Board Member

Julian Smith

Chief Financial Officer

Julian Smith joined PolyTherics as Chief Financial Officer and Director in September 2013. Prior to this he was 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.

Brian Johnson, Abzena Board Member

Brian Johnson

Interim Chief Operating Officer

Brian joined Abzena as an Interim Chief Operating Officer in April 2018. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive Officer at Metropolitan Housing Partnership and other executive positions. Brian started his career as a chemical engineer, working with ICI for 15 years in the UK and US, before extending his experience in industrial manufacturing and the housing sector.
Brian has a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

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 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.

Sanjeevani Ghone, Abzena Board Member

Sanjeevani Ghone

Vice President of Chemistry and Site Head

Sanjeevani joined The Chemistry Research Solution LLC (acquired by Abzena in 2015) in early 2010 as Principal Scientist and was successively promoted to Director of Chemistry and in 2016 to Vice President of Chemistry and Site Head. She has worked on a host of projects involving toxic payloads and antibody-drug conjugates along with other multi-step organic syntheses and has gained extensive experience in solving complex organic chemistry problems.

Sanjeevani has more than 20 years’ experience working in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies as well as academic institutes. She has held R&D executive positions at Imperial Chemical International and Bombay Drug House. During her academic career, Sanjeevani was a Professor in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at academic institutions where she mentored MS and PhD students as research advisor.

Sanjeevani has a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai. She has published a number of research/review articles on multi-step organic synthesis of novel molecules, lead optimization, payload-linker chemistry and computer-aided drug design (CADD) for a variety of therapeutic areas and also co-authored a book on the synthon approach to the synthesis of drugs.

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