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Dr. Denise Scots-Knight CEO and Co-Founder

Dr. Denise Scots-Knight

CEO and Co-Founder

Denise is our CEO, a board member and co-founder of Mereo. Denise has over 25 years experience in the biopharmaceutical industry both in R&D management and as a venture capitalist. 

She started her career in R&D management at Amersham and Fisons and as a senior executive at Scientific Generics before joining Rothschild Asset Management as an investment manager. In 1999 she joined Nomura and became Managing Director after heading the life science investment team investing globally in biotechnology companies. She led the Phase4 Partners MBO from Nomura in 2010.

Denise had served on many US and European private and public boards including Idenix (until acquired by Merck for $3.85bn). She is currently a board member of Elanco Animal Health Incorporated. Denise has a PhD and BSc (Hons) from Birmingham University and was a Fulbright scholar at UC Berkeley.

 

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Dr. Peter Fellner Chairman

Dr. Peter Fellner

Chairman

Peter has previously served on the Boards of a wide range of life science companies, including as Chairman of the MedTech company Consort Medical plc until April 2019, Chairman of Vernalis plc until October 2018, Chairman of Ablynx NV from November 2013 until January 2018, Vice-Chairman of Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. until its sale to Otsuka in 2013, Chairman of Optos plc from 2000 until its acquisition by Nikon Corporation in 2015, Director of the global biopharmaceutical company UCB SA from 2005 to 2014 and Chairman of Acambis plc from 2006 until its acquisition by Sanofi in 2008.

He was Chairman of Celltech Group plc until its acquisition by UCB in 2004, having been CEO from 1990. Before joining Celltech he was CEO of Roche UK from 1986 to 1990. He served as a member of the Medical Research Council from 2000 to 2007.

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Dr. Anders Ekblom Non-Executive Director

Dr. Anders Ekblom

Non-Executive Director

Anders has extensive experience as an executive and leader with broad business knowledge from senior roles in the biopharmaceutical industry, with global experience delivering products, projects, productivity and change management.

He is currently Chairman/Non-Executive Board member of several biotech companies. During two decades at AstraZeneca, he was a member of global executive teams including Executive VP Global Medicines Development, Global Head Clinical Development, Global Therapy Area Head, Global Head Science & Technology Integration, and CEO AstraZeneca AB Sweden.

Anders is also a board certified MD (Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care), PhD, DDS, and Associate Professor at Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden and a fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences.

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Peter Bains Non-Executive Director

Peter Bains

Non-Executive Director

Peter has nearly three decades of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry encompassing strategic and operational leadership expertise across global geographies, functions and business segments.

Previously, he was representative executive officer and chief executive officer of Sosei Group Corporation, a Tokyo listed biotech company, and chief executive officer of Syngene International, which he successfully took public on the Mumbai exchange in 2015.

He also currently serves as non-executive director for Phase4 Partners, MiNA and Indivior PLC, and is also non-executive chairman of Fermenta Biotech, a subsidiary of DIL, a Mumbai listed company. Previously, he had a 23-year career at GlaxoSmithKline, where he held multiple senior roles. Peter received a BSc Combined (Honours) in Physiology/Zoology from Sheffield University.

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Kunal Kashyap Non-Executive Director

Kunal Kashyap

Non-Executive Director

Kunal is a Chartered Accountant and is currently Chairman and Managing Director of Allegro Capital Advisors, a leading Indian investment bank. Kunal has a deep understanding of the life sciences industry, built over two decades of advising companies in the industry on fund raising, IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and IP licensing.

He is an Independent Director of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd and Phase4 Partners. He was also Founder and Executive Director of Celstream Technologies, a leading software product engineering organization. From 1994-2000 he was a global partner at Arthur Andersen responsible for building and developing the firm’s practice in Southern India.

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Michael Wyzga Interim CFO

Michael Wyzga

Interim CFO

Michael Wyzga served as a director of OncoMed from October 2013 until the closing of the Merger. Mr. Wyzga is currently the President of MSW Consulting Inc., a strategic consulting group focused in the life sciences area.

From December 2011 until November 2013, Mr. Wyzga served as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Radius Health, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Wyzga served in various senior management positions at Genzyme Corporation, including as Chief Financial Officer from July 1999 until November 2011.

Mr. Wyzga is a member of the boards of directors of Exact Sciences Corporation and LogicBio and is Chairman of the board of directors of GenSight Biologics S.A. and of X4 Biologics. Mr. Wyzga previously served as a member of the boards of directors of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Altus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and as a member of the supervisory board of Prosensa Holding B.V. He received an M.B.A. from Providence College and a B.S. from Suffolk University.

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Dr Deepa Pakianathan Non-Executive Director

Dr Deepa Pakianathan

Non-Executive Director

Deepa is a Managing Member at Delphi Ventures and leads all of the firm’s biotechnology investment activities. She joins the Mereo Board subsequent to the merger with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals. She currently serves on the boards of Alder Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:ALDR), Calithera Biosciences (Nasdaq: CALA), and Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq:KPTI). 

Deepa joined Delphi in 2001 to build and lead the firm’s biotechnology investment practice. Prior to joining Delphi, Deepa was a Vice President in the healthcare group at J.P. Morgan. Prior to that, she was a biotechnology research analyst at Genesis Merchant Group.

She worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the Immunology Department at Genentech Corporation from 1993 to 1997. Deepa received her Ph.D. and MS from Wake Forest University and her MSc and BSc from the University of Bombay.

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Dr. Jeremy Bender Non-Executive Director

Dr. Jeremy Bender

Non-Executive Director

Jeremy is a senior biopharma leader with broad experience driving strategic decisions and transactions. He was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of DayOne Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., focused on oncology. Previously Jeremy served as Vice President of Corporate Development at Gilead Sciences, Inc., where he was responsible for development and negotiation of partnerships, alliances, joint ventures, equity investments, licensing agreements and M&A transactions including Gilead’s $4.9bn acquisition of Forty Seven, Inc., and the establishment of a 10-year partnership with Arcus Biosciences Inc., to advance next-generation cancer immunotherapies.

Jeremy joined Gilead from Tizona Therapeutics, Inc., where he was Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Tizona, he was Chief Business Officer of Sutro Biopharma, Inc.. During his time at Sutro, he successfully completed partnering transactions with Celgene Corporation and EMD Serono.

Jeremy received his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his Ph.D.in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Colorado, where he worked on peripheral T-cell selection in the labs of Philippa Marrack and John Kappler. He also holds an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

 

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Dr. Brian Schwartz Non-Executive Director

Dr. Brian Schwartz

Non-Executive Director

Brian has wide-ranging experience as a drug development expert in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, spanning several therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, dermatology, neurology and rare diseases.

During the past decade Brian has served as Senior Vice President, Head of Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer of ArQule Inc., which was  acquired for $2.7bn by Merck & Co. in 2020. Prior to ArQule Inc., Brian was CMO at  Ziopharm, having previously held several senior leadership roles at Bayer and LEO Pharma.

Brian is a Board Member of LifeSci Acquisition Corp, an advisor for the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and acts as an independent consultant for numerous biotech companies.

Brian received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, completed a fellowship at the University of Toronto, Canada and practised medicine prior to his career in the biopharmaceutical industry.

Board Committees

Learn more about the Board committees: 1) Audit and Risk, 2) Remuneration, 3) Nomination and 4) Research & Development.

View Our Board Committees