Tuesday 5 November 17:30 - 20:30

Francis Crick Institute
1 Midland Road

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Innovating Cancer Research: trends, challenges & future perspectives

Science & Technology

OncoStars Launch - Innovating Cancer Research: trends, challenges and future perspectives.

PanaceaStars are partnering with Cancer Research UK to deliver Oncostars: an engagement, training and translation platform for researchers working in the field of oncology. More information about the partnership can be found at our website.

To lauch the initiative, we will be co-hosting an event at the Francis Crick Institute on Tuesday 5th November.

The event aims to bring together experts from academia, tech transfer, investment, pharma, biotech & entrepreneurship to discuss innovation in oncology from their different perspectives, touching on the current trends in the field, the challenges faced and what more can be done to foster the development of young sci-entrepreneurs in Oncology.

Each of our expert speakers will give a 10-minute presentation on their perspectives, followed by a panel discussion, mediated by a member of the PanaceaStars team, which will be opended up to the audience. The evening will conclude with a newtworking drinks reception.


17:30 - Registration

17:50 - Introduction from Panacea and Cancer Research UK

18:00 - Tony Hickson - Chief Business Officer @ Cancer Research UK

18:10 - Kevin Johnson - Co-founder and Partner @ Medicxi

18:20 - Astrid Maria Dahl - Executive Director of Business Development in Oncology @ AstraZeneca

18:30 - John Cassidy - Co-founder and CEO @ Cambridge Cancer Genomics

18:40 - TBC

18:50 - Panel discussion

19:30 - Networking drinks

Speakers Bios

Tony Hickson

Tony Hickson is the Chief Business Officer for Cancer Research UK. He leads the Commercial Partnerships team responsible for the commercialisation of IP from CRUK funded projects, new start-up creation, licences and corporate alliances.

Prior to this Tony was the Managing Director of Imperial Innovations Ltd, responsible for intellectual property sourcing, licensing and spin-out creation for technologies arising from Imperial College London. Tony has sat on the Executive Committee of IP Group and spent 5 years as an executive director on the board of Touchstone Innovations PLC, a company listed on the London Stock exchange investing in deep science projects from UK universities. Prior to joining Imperial Innovations, Tony had acquired 15 years of commercial and business development experience in bioscience companies including Wellcome Group R&D, Murex Biotech, Abbott Laboratories and Kalibrant Limited. He has acted as a board director or observer for a number of start-up companies including Polytherics (now Abzena), Catapult Therapy TCR, Zihipp and Precision Robotics, and was instrumental in the creation & development of companies such as Thiakis (sold to Wyeth/Pfizer in 2008), Respivert (sold to J&J in 2010), Circassia (listed on LSE in 2014), EMcision (sold to Boston Scientific in 2018) and Cell Medica (in advanced clinical studies).

Tony has sat on the IP boards of two European Institutes of Technology (Healthcare and Climate Change), is a member of the BBSRC industry advisory panel and a board director of PraxisUnico. He has a diploma in company direction from the Institute of Directors and is a Certified Licensing Professional.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johson is a co-founder and Partner at Medicxi. Prior to Medicxi, Kevin was a Partner at Index Ventures for 13 years, having joined the firm in 2003. Kevin originated Index’s first asset-centric investment in PanGenetics (acquired by Abbott) and led Medicxi’s investment in Impact Biomedicines (acquired by Celgene). Kevin currently serves on the boards of a number of portfolio companies, including Levicept, Superx, Capella Bioscience, UltraHuman, Apcintex and Breakpoint Therapeutics.

Prior to joining Index, Kevin was with Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT). During his tenure at CAT, he was appointed Head of Research in 1994 and then Research Director and Chief Technology Officer in 1997. Kevin led the development of CAT's platform technologies and oversaw their application in the discovery of a number of human antibodies - two of which are now marketed worldwide: Humira (by Abbott Pharmaceuticals) and Benlysta (by GlaxoSmithKline). Kevin was part of the management team that floated CAT on the London Stock Exchange (subsequently acquired by AstraZeneca).

Kevin received a BSc in Molecular Biology from Edinburgh University and a PhD in Pathology from Cambridge University. He also acts as chairman of Crescendo Biologics and sits on the strategic advisory committee of Hilleman Laboratories.

Astrid Maria Dahl

Astrid Maria Dahl is Executive Business Development Director, Scientific Partnering & Alliances – Oncology at AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company operating in more than 100 countries worldwide. In this role she is responsible for global licensing and partnering with regards to oncology assets in early clinical development and research.

Maria has a dual technical and business background and more than fifteen years of experience in the US and UK biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, primarily in the areas of business development and portfolio management. Following a Ph.D. in Tumor Immunology from the Imperial Cancer Research Fund/University College London in the UK, she did her post-doctoral work in immunology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. She then obtained an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and moved into industry. She initially worked in the business development team at the San Francisco based biotechnology company Cell Genesys prior to moving to London to work for IPSEN from 2004 to 2012. At IPSEN she was responsible for oncology in the corporate business development team prior to being promoted in 2008 to Vice-President to head the entire oncology portfolio management team. She joined AstraZeneca’s business development team in early 2012 and is based in the offices in Cambridge, UK. She also serves on the board of Apollo Therapeutics (UK) and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce (UK).

John Cassidy

John Cassidy is Co-founder and CEO at Cambridge Cancer Genomics (CCG.ai), a precision AI startup transforming the ability of oncologists to provide effective, personalised cancer treatment for everyone. John holds a PhD in functional genomics from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Pharmacology from the University of Glasgow. His research career in academia (CRUK) and industry (MedImmune) focused on understanding how tumours evolve and become resistant to treatment. John is actively involved in the biotech startup community as a Venture Partner at the Pioneer Fund, Director of SiliconBio and a lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University.

About PanaceaStars

PanceaStars is a health and life sciencestechnology translation platform. Wecollaborate with the most exciting scientrepreneursto help transform boldvisions into thriving companies thatimprove people’s lives. Whether you havethe seed of a scientific innovation or awell-developed proof-of-concept, ourmulti-phase framework is designed to helpyou translate your idea into a successfulbusiness. Find out more here.

About Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is the world’sleading cancer charity dedicated to savinglives through research and awareness.We carry out scientific research to helpprevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Wehave discovered new ways to beat cancerthat together have saved hundreds ofthousands of lives across the world. Findout more here.


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