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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. Alastair MacKinnon CMO and Co-Founder

Dr. Alastair MacKinnon

CMO and Co-Founder

Alastair is our Chief Medical Officer and a co-founder of Mereo. Prior to Mereo, he was a Partner at for Phase4 Partners, a global life science venture capital firm. He was also involved in Phase4’s MBO in 2010 having originally joined Nomura in 2005.

Before Nomura, he was a practising physician in the UK for 10 years. Alastair received a BSc and MBBS from King’s College London, is a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCS) and has a Diploma in Corporate Finance from the London Business School. Alastair is a board member of Phase4 Partners.

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Charles Sermon GC and Co-Founder

Charles Sermon

GC and Co-Founder

Charles is our General Counsel, Company Secretary and a co-founder of Mereo.

He has over 20 years’ experience in corporate law and biopharmaceuticals.

He started his career as a corporate lawyer at Freshfields before joining Nomura as an Associate Director in 1998 where he worked for Nomura’s life science investment team investing globally in biotechnology companies.

Charles was part of Phase4 Partners’ MBO from Nomura in 2010.  

Charles has an LLB (Hons) from Hull University.

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John Richard Head of Corporate Development and Co-Founder

John Richard

Head of Corporate Development and Co-Founder

John is our Head of Corporate Development and a co-founder of Mereo. Prior to Mereo, he worked with the co-founders at Nomura then Phase4 Partners since 2000. He has significant corporate, operational and transactional experience, having served in various executive, director and advisory roles throughout his career. He is a board member of Phase4 Partners, QUE Oncology and Catalyst Biosciences.

Previously, he was Executive VP Business Development at SEQUUS, where he was responsible for negotiating SEQUUS’ acquisition by ALZA. John also headed business development for VIVUS and Genome Therapeutics; where he established numerous alliances. John holds a MBA from Harvard Business School and BS from Stanford University.

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Wills Hughes-Wilson Head of Patient Access & Commercial Planning

Wills Hughes-Wilson

Head of Patient Access & Commercial Planning

Wills is our Head of Patient Access and Commercial Planning. Prior to Mereo, she served as Chief Patient Access Officer at Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi), where she had executive accountability for the company’s go-to-market commercialization approach, leading the pricing, reimbursement and access teams. Prior to joining Sobi, Wills was Vice President Health and Market Access Policy at Genzyme Corporation, now part of Sanofi, securing in-market availability for the company’s orphan drug, rare disease and advanced therapies product portfolio. She has served as Industry Coordinator on the E.U. Commission’s Committee of Experts on Rare Diseases and Industry lead on the EMA’s Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) Working Group with Interested Parties. Wills holds a B.A. in Law and Politics from the University of Durham, U.K.

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Dr. John Lewicki Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. John Lewicki

Chief Scientific Officer

John joined Mereo as Chief Scientific Officer in July 2020. He has over 35 years of experience in the biotechnology industry.

John served as President, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. from March 2018 to April 2019. John joined OncoMed in 2004 as the company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development before assuming additional leadership roles within the company.

Previously, John served as Vice President of Research, at Scios Inc. Among his scientific achievements was the co-discovery of human B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). John contributed to Scios’ development of BNP into an FDA-approved treatment (Natrecor) for acute congestive heart failure.

John received his PhD from the University of California, San Diego. He has co-authored over 80 original papers and book chapters and is a co-inventor on over 30 issued US patents.

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Richard Francis Head of Pharmaceutical Development

Richard Francis

Head of Pharmaceutical Development

Richard is our Head of Pharmaceutical Development. Prior to joining Mereo BioPharma, Richard ran Francis Biopharma Ltd., providing CMC consulting to over 30 biopharmaceutical clients, including Mereo.  

Richard previously held a variety of senior management roles in process development, technical support, manufacturing operations and product lifecycle programs at Celltech, Centocor, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Protherics and BTG.

Richard serves as a visiting honorary lecturer at University College London (UCL) covering quality by design (QbD) and process validation and co-leads the UCL MBI® training program for QbD and process qualification and has more than 50 publications related to biopharmaceutical manufacturing.

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Dr. Jackie Parkin Therapeutic Area Head, Respiratory and Endocrinology

Dr. Jackie Parkin

Therapeutic Area Head, Respiratory and Endocrinology

Jackie is our Therapeutic Area Head for Respiratory & Endocrinology, leading our early clinical development of a potential medicine for the treatment for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) lung disease;  as well as our collaborations with academic institutes conducting studies in COVID-19 and Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS) and our future plans for acumapimod in acute exacerbations of COPD and leflutrozole in male hypogonadism.

Prior to joining Mereo, Jackie served as Vice President for Clinical Development at GlaxoSmithKline, leading multi-disciplinary teams focussed on immuno-inflammatory and infectious diseases. Prior to joining GSK, Jackie was a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Immunology at the St Bartholomew's and Royal London Hospital, caring for patients with HIV infection. This experience fuelled her passion for the possibilities that research and development bring to deliver medicines that can change people’s lives for the better.

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Dr. Ann Kapoun SVP of Translational Research and Development

Dr. Ann Kapoun

SVP of Translational Research and Development

Ann is our SVP of Translational Research & Development. Ann has over two decades of leadership in Research & Development, having advanced more than 10 drug discoveries into IND and through early clinical development.

Prior to joining Mereo, Ann served as SVP of R&D at ESCAPE Bio. Previously, Ann was SVP of Translational Medicine at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, where she oversaw the transition of the company’s drug discoveries into the clinic and executed multiple science-driven clinical biomarker programs. Ann earlier held scientific leadership roles at ALZA Pharmaceuticals and Scios Inc., a biopharma unit of Johnson & Johnson.

Ann received her PhD at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Indiana University and has co-authored more than 50 scientific publications and patents.

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