New board appointments to strengthen links between Precision Medicine Catapult and the SME and finance communities

The Precision Medicine Catapult today announces the appointments of Sir Alex Markham, Elaine Warburton, Dr Mike Evans and Paul Blackburn to its Board of Directors.

Professor Markham, who is currently Director of Research and Professor of Medicine at Leeds University, has made some eminent contributions to medical science in many fields. He trained initially in medicinal chemistry and is accredited in pathology and internal medicine. His work has included the development of DNA Fingerprinting, which received the Queen’s Award for Technological Achievement in 1990, as well as cancer drug development. Sir Alex, who received a Knighthood in 2008 for services to medicine, is also a Non-Executive Director of the Medicines Discovery Catapult and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

Elaine Warburton OBE is an entrepreneur with over 25 years’ healthcare and biotechnology experience. With an eclectic background in nursing, genetics, accounting and running hospitals, she currently heads up pioneering British life sciences, tools and diagnostics company QuantuMDx Group. QuantuMDx is developing Q-POC™, a low-cost molecular diagnostic device that could be used to test patients in the field and provide comprehensive analyses, answering clinical questions fast. Elaine was awarded an OBE in the 2014 Queen’s New Year Honours for services to innovation in healthcare.

Dr Mike Evans is Chief Executive at Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) and has led the transformation of the company into a highly successful genomic products business, delivering innovative genetics research solutions to advance molecular medicine. Before joining OGT, Mike held a number of senior positions at GE Healthcare/Amersham Biosciences, including Executive Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, and Executive Vice President, Corporate Development. Mike has also held several non-executive directorships and was chairman of TAP Biosystems Group plc until its sale to Sartorius Stedim Biotech. Mike holds a BA, MA and DPhil from the University of Oxford. He is a Member of Medical Research Council Technology and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Paul Blackburn has over 40 years of experience in finance in the pharmaceutical industry. He has previously held the positions of Senior Vice President Strategic Finance Projects and SVP Financial Controller at GSK gaining extensive emerging markets, corporate finance and change experience. He also recently served on the GSK Audit and Risk Committee. He is currently a board member of Syngene International, a global clinical research organisation and Mereo Biopharma Plc. He holds a BSc in Management Sciences from Warwick University and also a professional accounting qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

PMC Chairman, Professor Richard Barker, said: “We’re delighted to be strengthening our board with Sir Alex, Elaine, Mike and Paul, who collectively provide in-depth financial and SME leadership experience, and complement the tremendous scientific, clinical and NHS skills we already have on the PMC board. The fact that Sir Alex is also chair of our Expert Advisory Group will ensure clear processes of project selection and he will help ensure a strong link to the Medicines Discovery Catapult, on whose board he also sits.

“I’m very confident that all four of our new non-execs will be great assets to the PMC and positively impact the strategy and future direction of the Catapult.”

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