Team

Executive Directors

John von Benecke – Chief Executive Officer 

John has a strong track record as an executive in a range of Life Sciences and healthcare companies, covering both pre-revenue and commercial high growth companies. As a CFO, he has raised more than $130m of venture capital to date and taken two start-ups through to successful exit events, including the $330m acquisition of ApaTech Ltd by Baxter. John has gained strong operational experience across a range of business functions and organisations, including fulfilling combined CFO and COO roles for two private companies previously.

John holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organisational Psychology and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Professor Kevin Shakesheff, FRPharmS – Chief Scientific Officer

Following his return from the Langer Laboratories at M.I.T, Kevin has taken a leading role in shaping cell therapy and tissue engineering in the UK as a co-founder of the Tissue and Cell Engineering Society (now 12 years old), as a Co-Director of the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Regenerative Medicine and as a member of the Biologics and Vaccines Expert Advisory Group of the MHRA.

In 2013 he was appointed Director of the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform Hub in Acellular Technologies. Kevin has published over 220 peer-reviewed full papers (10,000 citations to date) and his work has generated 13 patent application families and numerous international awards.

Non-Executive Directors

Ian Wilding PhD

Ian Wilding PhD – Non-Executive Chairman

An internationally-respected key opinion leader in drug development and a serial entrepreneur, his background includes strong scientific, business, managerial and deal-making experience.

Ian has previously founded, managed and developed a number of successful bioscience start-up companies, including Pharmaceutical Profiles Ltd. (recipient of a Frost & Sullivan Excellence in Technology Award) which, as Chief Executive, he grew to over 110 employees and a 10 Million GBP turnover.

He presently sits on the board of Zysis, with previous board positions including Bend Research, Modern Biosciences and R5 Pharmaceuticals.

Peter Dines

Peter Dines – Non-Executive Director

Peter serves as the Chief Operating Officer & Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences at Mercia. He joined the Group in 2015 as Head of Life Sciences & Biosciences, with over 20 years’ experience in this sector, and in addition became Chief Operating Officer in 2018. He is responsible for a number of the life science portfolio investments including Native Antigen, EYOTO, Concepta plc, Sense Biodetection and Axis Spine Technologies. Peter is also the Fund Principal for Mercia EIS Funds and leads the Senior Management Team.

Peter has been involved with a number of turnarounds and exits within the sector, including the acquisition of Surgicraft’s loss-making business where, as Managing Director, sales quadrupled within three years and the business was subsequently sold to a private equity backed business and Diagnostic World, a fast-growing diagnostic provider to the NHS.

Thomas Kluge PhD – Non-Executive Director

Thomas is currently the Head of Technology at Heraeus Medical GmbH. He has been with Heraeus since 2012 and is also leading the Advanced Therapies Unit which develops next generation products for bone and cartilage regeneration as well as the management of Orthopaedic Infections.

Prior to this, he worked for different MedTech companies in Orthopaedics and Wound Care. He has a PhD in Chemistry.

Leadership Team

John Gleeson – Chief Technical Officer

John is a highly motivated and experienced Start-Up executive and founder, with a strong background in Life Sciences technology commercialisation. John’s experience spans the entire product development cycle (i.e. technology conceptualisation, research and development, intellectual property exploitation, clinical and regulatory approval, and business development). In 2012, John co-founded SurgaColl Technologies, a Class III orthobiologic implantable medical devices company, based on technologies from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. As CEO/CTO, John successfully raised venture capital investments, allowing these technologies to be translated from “benchtop to bedside”.

John is a highly innovative scientist, leader and motivator and remains research active within the fields of Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials. John holds a PhD in Engineering and a Masters in Leadership and Management.

Tracey Morton 

Tracey is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has a Master’s Degree in Business Law.

Gaining experience in a variety of sectors, Tracey has most recently been involved with an Oxford University spin off Bio-tech diagnostics company. As part of a successful team, Tracey participated in $60m fundraising in both the US and UK.

With a breadth of functional and  operational experience Tracey is able to lend support in a variety of business critical areas.