About Us

Internationally renowned Professors David Kerr and Nick La Thangue started OCB from the laboratories of the University of Oxford in 2012. Their aim was to discover and develop biomarkers using screening platforms to advance personalised medicine within oncology, specifically colorectal cancer and its treatments.

Since then, we have built a world class development team consisting of industry professionals, leading scientists and oncologists, retaining strong links to Oxford University. Together we have developed pioneering biomarker technology products that put each individual patient at the centre of cancer treatment.

Management team

  • Joanna Smart MA (Cantab) Exec Chair

    Joanna has over 20 years’ experience driving enterprise growth, corporate deal-making and technology translation in the life sciences industry across SME’s, start-ups, multinationals and investment banking.  Previously Joanna was CEO of Verso Biosense Ltd, leading the company from academic start-up to clinical stage SME and has led corporate development activities including fundraising, licensing, M&A and IPOs for public and private companies in the UK and the US.  She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Verso Biosense, Deputy Chair of the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Challenge Award Panel and an adviser to Google For Start-ups.

  • Prof. David Kerr CBE MD DSc FRCP (Glas, Lon, Edin) FRCGP FMedSci Medical Oncologist and Founder

    David is a founder of OCB and Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, where he has worked with colleagues to build a new Institute for Cancer Medicine and Cancer Hospital. David has an international reputation for the treatment of, and research into, cjolorectal cancer and the quality of his work has been recognised by the award of several international prizes and the first NHS Nye-Bevan award for innovation.

    David has made a significant contribution to reforming the NHS as a Founding Commissioner for Health Improvement, Chair of the National Cancer Services Collaborative, instigator of the Department of Health’s networked approach to clinical cancer research and he developed a 20 year plan for the future of the NHS in Scotland, the “Kerr Report”. David was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000, Honorary Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners in 2007, appointed Commander of the British Empire in 2002 and was elected President of the European Society of Medical Oncology in 2010.

  • Dr Susan Fotheringham MSc PhD Scientific and Technical Director

    Susan is a senior scientist with expertise in developing new and improved therapies in cancer with a focus on stratification of patients and personalised medicine. Before joining OCB, she developed a model system studying the role of the fallopian tube as a site-of-origin for serous ovarian cancer in her post-doctor research in Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School and studied clinical relevance of the biomarker HR23B in patient stratification for HDAC inhibitor cancer drugs in Oxford University.

     

  • Dr Kevin Xu BSc PhD Head of R&D in Digital Pathology

    Kevin is a senior biomedical data scientist/engineer and highly experienced medical device software product development manager with a focus in digital pathology. Before joining OCB, he was a Lead Software Engineer in Tactiq Limited (originated from GE Healthcare), led the software development and managed the CE-marking process of a number biomedical products including the world-fast PCR thermal cycler. Prior to that, he had been a research fellow in the Applied Optics Group in Nottingham University and a Senior Technical Consultant for commercial software development in Hewlett-Packard UK.

Board

  • Joanna Smart MA (Cantab) Exec Chair

    Joanna has over 20 years’ experience driving enterprise growth, corporate deal-making and technology translation in the life sciences industry across SME’s, start-ups, multinationals and investment banking.  Previously Joanna was CEO of Verso Biosense Ltd, leading the company from academic start-up to clinical stage SME and has led corporate development activities including fundraising, licensing, M&A and IPOs for public and private companies in the UK and the US.  She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Verso Biosense, Deputy Chair of the NIHR Invention for Innovation (i4i) Challenge Award Panel and an adviser to Google For Start-ups.

  • Nick LaThangue BSc MSc PhD MA Director and Founder

    Nick is a founder of OCB and Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the Lister Institute and Professorial Fellow at Linacre College Oxford. Nick has founded several companies, including Prolifix and Celleron Therapeutics, and more recently Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, and has considerable experience derived from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. He served as Chief Business Development Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of TopoTarget, and engineered the IPO on the Scandinavian Stock Exchange.

  • David Kerr CBE MD DSc FRCP (Glas, Lon, Edin) FRCGP FMedSci Director and Founder

    David is a founder of OCB and Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford, where he has worked with colleagues to build a new Institute for Cancer Medicine and Cancer Hospital. David has an international reputation for the treatment of, and research into, cjolorectal cancer and the quality of his work has been recognised by the award of several international prizes and the first NHS Nye-Bevan award for innovation.

    David has made a significant contribution to reforming the NHS as a Founding Commissioner for Health Improvement, Chair of the National Cancer Services Collaborative, instigator of the Department of Health’s networked approach to clinical cancer research and he developed a 20 year plan for the future of the NHS in Scotland, the “Kerr Report”. David was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000, Honorary Fellow of Royal College of General Practitioners in 2007, appointed Commander of the British Empire in 2002 and was elected President of the European Society of Medical Oncology in 2010.

  • BK Lee Non-Executive Director

    Mr. Lee is a professional investor with extensive experience in investing in biotech and technology. He was previously involved in foreign currency trading at the Bank of New York based in Seoul. He also served as President of Sudokwon Environment Co. Currently Mr. Lee is CEO of Muhan Corporation, a Seoul-based environmental company, and CEO of 29 Investment Corporation, an investment company in Vietnam.

  • Chris Towler PhD Non-Executive Director

    Chris Towler holds a doctorate in Biochemistry and has worked in both academic and commercial fields. During 23 years with Glaxo and Glaxo Wellcome, he led the development of three major new medicines and held senior international positions in Project Management and Regulatory Affairs. He subsequently moved to Imperial College London where he held a number of senior roles in the university’s management team. In 2008, he moved to Oxford University to head up a newly-formed team responsible for investing university funds in its spin-out companies, a post he held for 7 years, Chris is currently a Director or Board Observer for 4 of the university’s spin-outs.

  • Dean Slagel Non-Executive Director

    Dean Slagel has 23 years of biopharmaceutical industry and venture investing experience and an MBA from ENPC Business School, Paris. After a global marketing management position at Tillotts Pharma, he spent 10 years with Ferring in global operations and global business development management. He has led Esperante since 2004, building an investment portfolio of up to 21 companies across North America and Europe. During this period, Esperante completed two successful exits (Thiakis and Pinnacle Biologics) and an IPO (Cara). In addition to OCB, Mr Slagel is currently a Board Director of Altacor, Atox Bio, Cara Therapeutics, Canbex Therapeutics and Haemostatix.

  • Kyoung Mee Lee PhD Non-Executive Director

    Kyoung Mee Lee holds a doctorate in Immuno-Pathology and has worked for 20 years in the biotech/pharmaceutical area.  Before joining Kwangdong Pharma (KDP) in 2006, she worked in the monoclonal antibody therapeutics field. Whilst at KDP she has worked in New Drug Development and external R&D.  Currently she is the Leader of the New Business Team focussing on open innovation to expand business opportunities.  Previously she led the development of an anti-obesity drug candidate. Her Ph.D. was obtained at Chung-Buk National University in Korea where she studied microbiology and immuno-pathology.

  • Sang Tae Park Non-Executive Director

    Sang Tae Park is an entrepreneur with systems biology background and has received academic training from Harvard medical school, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Broad institute of MIT and Harvard, Boston university, and Yonsei university.  He led the acquisition of CLIA and business development at Psomagen in the US and worked for developing digital healthcare platform based on multi-comics technologies in COREE.  Currently, he is working for Dx & Vx, a diagnostic and vaccine-related technology company, as a CEO.