management team

John Ford, PhD (CEO)

Dr John Ford has more than 18 years of ion channel, drug discovery and development experience. As a successful biotechnology entrepreneur he co-founded Xention (CSO), Ario Pharma (CEO) and Metrion Biosciences (co-owner). At Xention he was responsible for the Kv1.5 ion channel atrial fibrillation project which was partnered to Servier (up to 120M EUR). Recently, he was a member of the Executive Team at Dezima (COO) that developed TA-8995 for dyslipidaemia (Phase 2b study published in The Lancet) and sold the company to Amgen ($300M upfront, potential deal size of US$1.55bn + royalties). Previous positions include Team Leader for Receptors and Channel Drug Discovery at BioFocus (now owned by Charles River). Dr Ford holds a BSc and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Leeds.

Edward Stevens, PhD (CSO)

Dr Edward Stevens has extensive experience in ion channel drug discovery within both biotech and pharma. Most recently he headed up the electrophysiology group and led a pain discovery program at Pfizer Neusentis. At Pfizer Sandwich he was head of the ion channel pharmacology group within the Pain and Sensory Disorder Research Unit. He was a member of the senior leadership teams at Pfizer Neusentis and the Pain and Sensory Disorder Research Unit in Sandwich. Previously he was Chief Operating Officer of NeuroSolutions Ltd. and Section Head at BioFocus (now Charles River). He carried out postdoctoral research at the Pharmacology Department, University of Cambridge and Parke-Davis Neuroscience Research Centre. He holds a B.Sc. in Biology and Ph.D. in ion channel physiology from Imperial College London, U.K.

Nick Tait (Finance Director & Company Secretary)

Nick graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in Economics in 1993, then trained with Ernst & Young (EY) in London before becoming a Chartered Accountant in 1998.  His clients at EY included Polygram, Warner Music, Legoland Windsor, BP and Whitbread. He joined Whitbread in 1998, working in the Corporate, Pubs and Bars (where he was a key part of the disposal work to Laurel Pub Company in 2001), and David Lloyd Leisure divisions. In 2002, he co-founded and was Finance Director of The Great Little Pub Company, and during his time there also undertook project assignments at Aviva, Acambis, and SIG Group. He was Head of Finance at Black Trace Group from 2006 to 2012, being instrumental in its expansion overseas to the US, Japan, India and Brazil.  He was part of the team that sold Qype to Yelp in 2013, and was CFO of Ranier Technology in Cambridge until 2015, where he oversaw 2 funding rounds and also helped gain Venture Debt funding for the business. He is currently Associate Director of Denovo Partners Ltd, helping Technology and Life Science SMEs set-up, grow and manage their finance, HR and administrative burdens.