Team

Leadership


Dr. Gregory Bailey

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Gregory Bailey is chairman of Portage Biotech, Inc. a publicly traded drug development company and was previously managing partner of Palantir Group, Inc., a merchant bank specialising in biotech and intellectual property. He has over 15 years of experience in investment banking and has founded several companies. 

Along with comprehensive experience in healthcare, finance and medicine, Greg brings an extensive involvement in corporate governance. He has co-founded and served on multiple public and private company boards of directors, such as Palantir Group, Inc., Ascent Healthcare Solutions, VirnetX Inc. (VHC:AMEX), Portage Biotech Inc. (PTGEF: OTCBB), DuraMedic Inc., and MediqVentures Ltd. 

Greg was was the initial financier and an independent director of Medivation, Inc. (MDVN:NASDAQ), recently acquired by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. 

Dr. Bailey holds a medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, and practiced Emergency Medicine for ten years before entering finance. He also served as the Managing Director and co-Head of Life Sciences at MDB Capital Group LLC.

Jim Mellon

Chairman

Jim Mellon is a British entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor with interests in several industries. He began his investment career in Asia and the US, where he worked for two fund management companies, GT Management and Thornton & Co. He established his own business in 1991, which today has two components: a listed fund management company, Charlemagne Capital Limited and an Asian investment group, Regent Pacific Group Limited.

In addition, Jim is a controlling shareholder and a director of Manx Financial Group, an Isle of Man based bank, and a controlling shareholder of Webis Holdings plc. He is also a co-founder of Uramin and Red Dragon Resources, both mining groups. Furthermore, his private company Burnbrae Group is a substantial landlord in Germany and in the Isle of Man, owning outright the hotel chain Sleepwell Hotels Limited, as well as major shareholdings in private and public companies in sectors such as banking, commodities, leisure and healthcare. Jim has published six best-selling investment books to date, including three focused on investment opportunities in the life sciences sector.

Jim studied PPE at Oxford University. He is an Honorary Fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford and is a trustee of the Biogerontology Research Foundation, as well as of the Lifeboat Foundation.

Dr. Declan Doogan

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Declan Doogan is a seasoned drug development executive and life sciences investor with more than 30 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry.

Declan joined Pfizer in 1982, where he held a number of senior positions in R&D in the USA, UK and Japan. Declan was the clinical development head for what was to become ZOLOFT, an important antidepressant and one of the top-selling products in the world. He retired from Pfizer in 2007 as the Senior VP Head of World Drug Development.

Subsequently, Declan was Head of R&D at Amarin where, along with the CEO, he raised $100m to fund the reorganization and portfolio realignment leading to the completion of a Phase III program and NDA approval for Vascepa (icosapent ethyl) for elevated triglycerides. During his career, Declan has engaged in activities to promote excellence in pharmaceutical medicine and sits on the Boards of several biotechnology companies.

Dr. Doogan received his Medical degree from Glasgow University in 1975, and received a Doctorate of Science from the University of Kent, UK

David Ellam

Chief Financial Officer

David Ellam is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA) with 17+ years of Biotech experience in UK private and listed companies as well as regional experience for a US listed Biotech. Prior to joining Juvenescence, David was CFO and Board member at AIM-listed Silence Therapeutics Plc in London, helping to rebuild and reposition the business.

Prior to joining Silence, David was the EUMEA Finance Lead for BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc as the EUMEA business grew from 50+ to 500+ people. His finance team supported the startup of Manufacturing in Ireland, the expansion of Commercial activities, post-acquisition integration activities and system implementations.

David graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA in English & Philosophy.

Team


Colin Watts

CEO of Juvenescence Life

Colin Watts retired as the Chief Executive Officer of The Vitamin Shoppe in mid-2018, having led the USD $1.3 billion retailer for the past three years. Over 25 years, Colin has built a proven track record leading rapid-growth business across CPG, food, healthcare services, retail and wellness both in the United States and globally.

During his tenure at The Vitamin Shoppe, Colin spearheaded a technology and customer-experience driven reinvention of the VSI business. VSI created a new retail store and online design centered on personalization and “wellness coaching” across a 785 store network as well as online and mobile.  Other notable accomplishments in Colin’s career include leading Global Innovation and serving as President of Healthcare at Weight Watchers, leadership of Walgreens innovation around stores and pharmacy/retail healthcare services and serving as Global Operating Company President of J&J Nutritionals and J&J OTC products. Colin has provided growth leadership of numerous brand franchises in his career including Tylenol, Campbells Soup, LifeSavers, Splenda and Ortho-Tricyclen. 

Colin has a BA in History from Brown University, an MA in International Relations from University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from Wharton Business School. 

Alexander Pickett

Managing Director

Alexander Pickett is a Principal at Mediqventures, a multi-family investment partnership and merchant bank. While at Mediqventures, he supported existing investments in Portage Biotech Inc. and Biohaven (NYSE:BHVN) and helped found SalvaRx Limited, a cancerimmunotherapy focused investment company.

Prior to joining Mediqventures, Alexander was an associate at Flatley Venture Capital, a cystic fibrosis focused investment arm of a family office, where he was responsible for investment analysis and scientific due diligence. While there, he also supported Flatley Discovery Lab’s business development efforts. Alexander co-founded Real Life Sciences, a start-up focused on using software-based patient-engagement solutions in order to improve patient recruitment to clinical trials.

Prior to joining Flatley Venture Capital, Alexander graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, where he was a Microbial Studies Initiative Undergraduate Fellow and an International Genetically Engineered Machines Competition Team Member.

Dr. Margaret Jackson

Head of Preclinical R&D

Dr. Margaret Jackson founded BYOMass Inc. in October 2017 and has since raised up to $6.5 million. Margaret is an experienced neuropharmacology leader with almost 20 years of drug discovery experience. She has a successful track record of initiating and developing multiple small molecule and biologic programs from idea to Phase II clinical studies (6 INDs). Within a 15 year career at Pfizer, she has led multiple groups across 4 disease areas and 3 research sites within the U.K. and U.S.

Margaret previously served on the Cardiovascular Metabolic Disease Leadership team. As Head of Eating Disorders, her group specialized in hypothalamic control of caloric intake, resulting in 2 novel clinical candidates and an innovative early portfolio. As a member of the Emerging Science and Technology Fund committee within Pfizer, she was responsible for assessing external collaborations and seed investments across Cardiovascular Metabolic Diseases, Oncology, Inflammation/Immunology, Neuroscience, Chemistry, Biotherapeutics, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Drug Safety.

Dr. Jackson received her D.Phil. in neuropharmacology from the University of Oxford and was awarded a Royal Society Post-doctoral Fellowship. She has authored over 40 papers and patents.

Dr. Nafees Malik

Head of Cell & Gene Therapy

Dr. Nafees Malik is Chief Operating Officer at AgeX Therapeutics.

Nafees’ 15 year career has involved roles spanning clinical medicine, investment banking, biopharmaceutical companies, research and academic institutions, and strategy consulting. For many years now, he has focused on the strategic and commercial analysis of cell and gene therapies and regenerative medicines.

Dr. Malik is an M.D. with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge.

Chris Shilling

Project Management

Chris Shilling has worked in pharmaceutical innovation management for over 20 years. He spent 10 years in project and portfolio management at Pfizer R&D, was responsible for managing the project to secure FDA approval for and establish the Phase 3 programme for Amarin’s Vascepa, and has managed innovative drug and medtech projects for a range of companies including DNDi, Pharma Diagnostics, THOR Photomedicine and Proximity Care.

Prior to joining Pfizer, Chris worked as a professional musician and knowledge manager for SCA. He is the programme committee chair for the European Industrial Research Management Association, and was a founder of the successful consulting business Volt Pharma Associates.

Chris trained as a lawyer at Brunel University in the UK.

Christine Curioso

Executive Assistant

Christine Curioso has been providing executive level administrative support for over 15 years within the biopharmaceutical and energy industries. 

During this time, Christine managed the global procurement and cost controls of $9.2M within the R&D laboratory supplies commodity at Pfizer, Inc.  Prior to working at Juvenescence, Christine assumed the role of Executive Administrator at Amarin Corp, providing dedicated support to executives and board members as they achieved FDA approval for Vascepa.

Christine earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Resource Management while minoring in Soil Science and Watershed & Water Resources from Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Martin Ducker

Director

Prior to joining Juvenescence, Dr. Martin Ducker was a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, where he specialized in regenerative neuroscience.

Martin was awarded an EIT Health Gold Prize, EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award and was the winner of Imagine IF Oxford 2017. He previously worked as an Analyst at St James’s Place Wealth Management, Applied Strategies Consulting and Pfizer.

Dr. Ducker received his DPhil in System Biology from the University of Oxford and MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge.

Benjamin Swerner

Director

Prior to joining Juvenescence, Benjamin Swerner worked at DN Capital, one of Europe’s oldest venture firms, where he focused on deep-tech and healthcare.

Benjamin has co-authored primary research across neuroscience, respiratory medicine, and high-altitude biology. 

Benjamin read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, graduating with a First and subsequently read for a Master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, graduating with a Distinction.

Dr. Jake P. Taylor-King

Director

Prior to joining Juvenescence, Dr. Jake P. Taylor-King was an award-winning mathematician (G-Research prize, Lee Segel Prize) and aspiring entrepreneur with degrees from the University of Bristol (BSc), the University of Oxford (MSc, D.Phil), and the University of Cambridge (MPhil). His work has broad scope, from theoretical advances (stochastic processes, numerical methods) to applied mathematical modelling (swarm robotics, animal migration).

After a research secondment to the Moffitt Cancer Center, Jake then looked to apply his work in increasingly biomedical settings (bone formation, histology analysis). A short post-doc at the ETH Zürich allowed for a transition into single-cell bioinformatics, which Jake then utilised as Head of Bioinformatics at Empyrean Therapeutics designing and optimising high throughput CRISPR screens. 

Dr. Taylor-King is now excited to work with Juvenescence to advance their efforts in exploiting AI for drug development. 

Dr. Raj S. Dattani

Director

Prior to joining Juvenescence, Dr. Raj S Dattani was practicing as a physician at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, where he was a tutor to medical students and a member of the Junior Doctors’ Leadership Group. During this time he also worked independently on resurrecting an unloved Phase II clinical asset in prostate cancer, which is now in the process of being licensed with new IP protection in China. 

Raj studied Medicine at Oxford and was a Craythorne Scholar at St Peter’s College. Here he was an active member of the community, with leadership roles including membership of the Medical Sciences Board. During his elective period he worked at SV Health Investors, a transatlantic healthcare venture firm with over $2B under management. 

Prior to medical studies, Dr. Dattani trained as a scientist, and co-authored his first primary research paper by the age of 20, and was lead author on a cohort study by the age of 23. 

Yehudah Nevies

Associate Director

Prior to joining Juvenescence, Yehudah Nevies worked as an Associate at Kinled Life Science Ventures (KLSV), a privately held life-science investment vehicle focusing on neurology and infectious disease startups, where he was responsible for investment analysis and scientific due diligence.

Yehudah assisted in setting up a new investment vehicle called WeCubed, with the aim of engaging non-biotech investors, and translating the complexity of biotech investment by acting as their diligence arm.

Yehudah graduated from Imperial College London with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and a specialisation in Pharmacology. Whilst at Imperial, Yehudah received a prize for designing a primer for amplifying the TAS2R38 gene.

Advisors


Dr. Annalisa Jenkins


Dr. Annalisa Jenkins M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P., is a life-sciences thought leader with over 25 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience. Annalisa has extensive recent experience in building and financing biotech companies pursuing cures for the most challenging rare diseases to address important medical issues globally. She has consistently built and led teams advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval, and into healthcare systems globally. In addition, she is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly for women in science, and as was elected Woman of the Year in 2014 by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Annalisa served as president and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics a leading gene therapy company that she took public on the NASDAQ and subsequently sold to Ultragenyx. Prior senior leadership roles have included the head of global research and development at Merck Serono Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2014, where she also served as executive vice president global development and medical from 2011 to 2013 and several leadership roles at Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS) from 1997 to 2011, most recently serving as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs. Earlier in her career, Annalisa was a medical officer in the British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving the rank of surgeon lieutenant commander. Annalisa is a board member of several growing companies, including Ardelyx, Inc., iOX Therapeutics Limited, Thrombolytic Strategies Incorporated, PhESi, Oncimmune, AVROBIO, COMPASS Pathways, AOBiome, Sensyne Health, AgeX, PlaqueTec, Cocoon Biotech Inc. (Non-Executive Chair), Cellmedica (Non-Executive Chair), and Vium, Inc. (Executive Chair). She also is a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which advises FDA leadership on complex scientific and technical issues, board member at Faster Cures a center of The Milken Institute and Chair of The Court The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Dr. Jenkins graduated with a degree in medicine from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in the University of London and subsequently trained in cardiovascular medicine in the U.K. National Health Service.

Dr. Steve Felstead


Dr. Steve Felstead retired from the position of Vice President, Head of Clinical Research, Pharmatherapeutics Division, Pfizer Inc in April.

Steve joined Pfizer in 1989. He was appointed Head of Clinical Research in January 2009, responsible for the disciplines of Clinical Development and Pharmacology, Translational and Molecular Medicine, Preclinical and Clinical Statistics. Clinical Research was responsible for research projects up to Proof of Concept (Phase 2a) in the following Therapeutic Areas: Neuroscience, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, Anti-Infectives, Pain and Regenerative Medicine. During this time Steve led the Pfizer team that laid the groundwork for the NIH/NCATS programme for systematic evaluation of drug repurposing. From 2007 – 2008 Steve served as Development Therapeutic Area Head for Allergy and Respiratory medicines through to Phase 3b. Previously he held a number of project, line and administrative roles within drug development in the Sandwich, UK office over 15 years, and in the Groton/New London, CT office for three years. These roles included Zithromax (azithromycin) clinical project manager in Europe, head of clinical development in Sandwich, Viagra (sildenafil) development team leader, Vfend (voriconazole) development team leader and Groton/New London development site head. Steve led the Viagra (sildenafil) team when the first pulmonary hypertension study was being designed, which led to the successful Revatio development program. From 2003-2007 he led the Celsentri/Selzentry (maraviroc) team through to successful transatlantic registration of this novel anti-retroviral medicine. Since retirement, Steve consults widely on various programmes for VC, Biotech, and Pharma. Steve is a member of Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst Late Stage Award committee, a member of AdALta Limited’s Scientific Advisory Board, a Non-executive director for MGB Biopharma Ltd, CMO for Mironid Limited and a member of TRICAPITAL Business Angel group, which invests in emerging businesses in the Scottish Borders and neighbouring counties.

Dr. Felstead studied Medicine at Leeds University UK in 1982.

Professor Howard Federoff


Professor Howard Federoff is the former vice chancellor for health affairs, dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California at Irvine, and CEO of UCI Health System where he was responsible for the oversight of the clinical, medical education and research missions. Howard is the former chair of the board for the Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC).  Howard is a distinguished professor of Neurology in the School Medicine. He is a member of the scientific advisory board for Ovid Therapeutics and director for Perthera, Inc.

Prior to UCI, Howard was the executive vice president for health sciences at Georgetown University and executive dean of the School of Medicine, where he was a professor of neurology. Prior to Georgetown, he held appointments as senior associate dean; professor of neurology, medicine, microbiology and immunology; professor of oncology and genetics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine; founding director of the Center for Aging and Development Biology at the Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences; and founding division chief of molecular medicine and gene therapy. His research interests include gene therapy and neurodegenerative diseases. He has published more than 260 peer-reviewed and invited articles and serves as a reviewer for many journals as well as on the editorial board of five journals. Howard served as chair of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee from 2007-2010. He chaired the Gene Therapy Resource Program for NHLBI, was president of the American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair and was president of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics. Howard co-founded MedGenesis Therapeutix, Ltd and Brain Neurotherapy Bio, Inc.

Dr. Federoff received his M.S., Ph.D. and M.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, did his internship, residency and clinical and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard Medical School, and practised medicine at MGH, Albert Einstein and Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester. He is an elected Fellow of the AAAS and National Academy of Inventors.

Dr. Sef P. Kurstjens


Dr. Sef P. Kurstjens, M.D., Ph.D. has served as a member of Urovant Sciences board of directors since July 2018.

Sef most recently served as Chief Medical Officer at Astellas from April 2013 to April 2018 where he was responsible for clinical development, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, pharmacovigilance and quality assurance and was a member of the Corporate Executive Committee. From 2010 to 2013, Sef was the President and Chief Executive Officer at Agensys, Inc., an early stage oncology Astellas affiliate. Previously, from 2007 to 2010, Sef served as the Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Head, Global Drug Development at Allergan Inc. Sef entered the pharmaceutical industry with Sandoz Pharmaceuticals (now a Novartis International AG company) in Basel, Switzerland in 1991, and from 1993 to 2005 held positions of increasing responsibility with Pfizer Inc. in both Europe and the United States, including VP Worldwide Therapeutic Area Head of Gastrointestinal and Genitourinary and VP Clinical R&D Site Head, Groton/New London.

Dr. Kurstjens received his qualifications in medicine and physiology from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dr. Charlie Roberts


Dr. Charlie Roberts is Chief Partnership Officer at Freenome, using blood tests to detect the body’s own early-warning signs for cancer, including real-time changes in gene expression, immune activity, and cancer-associated proteins.

Charlie co-founded a company that uses circulating cell-free DNA from maternal blood samples to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities during pregnancy. He is also a co-founder of two immunotherapy companies – one with a Nobel Laureate co-founder, the other sold to a NASDAQ-listed biotech. Charlie also co-founded an epigenetic deep learning company studying diseases of aging, raised approaching $100M from leading tech VCs.

Dr. Roberts studied medicine and neuropsychology in the UK, earning a Masters degree from Oxford with a focus on immunotherapy. He has worked in some of the UK’s leading oncology centers, including the Royal Marsden.

Dr. Jeff Sprouse


Dr. Jeff Sprouse is a neuropharmacologist by training whose career in the pharmaceutical industry has now spanned more than 25 years. Jeff established a neurophysiology lab in the Merrell Dow Research Institute in the early 90s and then moved to Pfizer Central Research where he led numerous drug discovery teams, primarily in the mood disorders space. 

Leaving Pfizer in the mid-2000s, Jeff continued to lead discovery teams at Lundbeck USA, also gaining valuable experience in the business development arena.  Exploiting the latter, he began consulting for small and midsize Pharma in 2011, with total clients now numbering more than 30.  Of note, he assisted Biohaven Pharmaceuticals at its inception, helping to kick-start a burgeoning portfolio. Jeff has been working with the Juvenescence team since 2018 and with Souvien since its inception. 

Dr. Sprouse completed his postdoctoral fellowship within the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University.