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Jul 19, 2019 7:33 AM ET

Horizon Discovery is a translational genomics company developing patient-relevant drug discovery and diagnostic research tools.

Horizon Discovery is a translational genomics company developing patient-relevant drug discovery and diagnostic research tools.

iCrowd Newswire - Jul 19, 2019

Horizon Discovery is a translational genomics company developing patient-relevant drug discovery and diagnostic research tools.

Horizon Discovery (Horizon) is striving to provide researchers with the gold-standard tools that will accelerate the search for new and effective “targeted” or “personalised” medicines. 

Central to realizing this ambition is the deployment of a proprietary gene-engineering technology called GENESIS that enables any endogenous gene in a human cell-line to be altered quickly, reliably and without introducing unwanted and confounding genotypes and/or phenotypes.


Chief Executive Officer
Darrin M Disley

Darrin M DisleyDarrin is a parallel business entrepreneur and has been involved in the start-up and growth of 10 business ventures. He has raised in excess of $80M of business financing and has closed business development deals totalling $200M. 

At Horizon, he is responsible for corporate development, business strategy and investor relations; and since October 2007 has overseen revenue growth of 100% (CAGR; 2007-12) and a 364% increase in exports (2008-11). 

Darrin holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge; has been the author of 6 papers, 7 patents and 36 conference abstracts and; has been an advisor on biotech commercialisation strategies around the world. 

Darrin supports numerous academic, business plan competition and mentoring programs in the UK with financial and practical help. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Judge Business School and Enterprise Fellow at the Institute of Biotechnology both at the University of Cambridge.

Chief Technology Officer
Eric Rhodes

Eric RhodesEric has a strong background in gene regulation and gene editing. Prior to joining Horizon, he was Director of Business Development at Sigma-Aldrich Corp. where he helped Sigma in launching its nuclease based gene editing platform, and served for 10 years as Vice-President of Business Development and Alliance Management at Sangamo BioSciences. 

At Sangamo he was responsible for securing and coordinating large target validation and technology licensing projects with over 25 of the top pharma and biotech companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Eric also has broad experience in growing small companies having participated in the successful launch of several start-ups in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Eric earned his degree in Microbiology and Immunology from UC Berkeley.

Vice President Sales
Kam Dhaliwal

Kam DhaliwalKam was previously at Evotec AG, where he was a senior member of the business development team for integrated drug discovery services throughout Europe. 

Prior to joining Evotec, he was Head of European Commercial Development for Acumen Bioscience Ltd (a subsidiary of The Technology Partnership) and a part of the management team that successfully positioned and established the Acumen brand within the competitive high-throughput screening market. 

He also helped Quadrant Healthcare Ltd establish a strong IP-position around its proprietary stabilisation technology platform.

Vice President Marketing
Chris Claxton

Chris ClaxtonChris has over twelve years experience in strategic and tactical marketing. Most recently Chris was Market Segment Manager at SAFC (a division of Sigma Aldrich), where he was responsible for marketing SAFCs industrial cell culture offering. 

Previously Chris was Marketing Director at ArcticDx Inc. and Associate Director Strategic Marketing at Luminex Molecular Diagnostics (formerly Tm Bioscience). 

Chris has an Honours Bachelor of Science degree, a Master of Science degree and an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Vice President
Paul Morrill

Paul MorrillPaul has over 20 years experience in the biotechnology and pharma sectors having held senior positions at Boeringher Mannheim, Roche and Acumen Biosciences. He has a strong track record in business and commercial development and, as a business entrepreneur, has help found numerous technology/biotechnology companies. 

Paul holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge, is the author and contributor of several peer reviewed papers and patents in the fields of diagnostics, down-stream processing and imaging arrays.

Vice President
Dan Cowell

Dan CowellDan has over 15 years experience in the contract research and biotechnology industries. He has been involved in ‘hit to lead’ discovery and the investigation of new technologies in the areas of automation, high-throughput catalysis, pharmaceutical solid form and lead generation. 

Dan was co-founder of Pharmorphix, a specialist CRO in the area of solid form, which grew market share rapidly and was subsequently acquired by Sigma Aldrich in 2006. 

Following the sale of Pharmorphix he founded Hypoxium, a client focused CRO providing pre-clinical oncology research which grew its revenue at over 75% each year. 

He was appointed COO of Horizon Discovery following its acquisition in 2010.

Chris Lowe

Chris LoweChris has a PhD in Medical Genetics from the University of Cambridge where he engaged in research on Type 1 diabetes in the Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory headed by Professor John Todd. 

Afterwards, he performed Post-Doctoral research in the laboratory of Professor Sir Steve ORahilly at the University of Cambridge Metabolic Research Laboratory. 

Chriss work at these two laboratories has resulted in numerous publications. 

In 2011, Chris Joined Horizon to work within and then develop and lead the Cell Line Validation team before merging and taking responsibility for the Cell Line Production group.

Kyla Grimshaw

Kyla GrimshawKyla was formerly at Astex Therapeutics where she was responsible for the cell biology on a number of different oncology projects and targets at various stages of the drug discovery process. 

Before that she was at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and GSK. Kylas focus has been in drug discovery and cell-based pharmacology within the oncology therapeutic area. The projects she has been involved with have ranged from assay development and generation of cell lines as a tool for new target projects, to in vivo biomarker development and compiling biology data packages to support IND submissions. 

Kyla obtained her PhD from Cambridge University and as Director of Assay Development & Screening has been responsible for the successful delivery of over 250 client projects in the CRO sector.

Siobhan Shadwell

Siobhan ShadwellSiobhan joined Horizon in November 2010 bringing over 15 years HR generalist experience. 

She is CIPD qualified and has worked for both small the large multinational companies including KuDOS Pharmaceuticals (a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca), Philips Electronics and Barclays Bank. 

The last 10 years have been spent working in the biotech environment and she has a considerable amount of experience in setting up HR functions for small growing companies.

Jonathan Milner

Jonathan MilnerExperience: Jonathan is an experienced entrepreneur and business leader. 

He gained his doctorate in Molecular Genetics at Leicester University after graduating in Applied Biology from Bath University. 

From 1992 to 1995, he was a post-doctoral researcher at Bath University, following which he worked at the University of Cambridge in the laboratory of Professor Tony Kouzarides studying cancer, specifically the BRCA2 gene associated with hereditary breast cancer. 

He identified the market opportunity for supplying high-quality antibodies to support protein interaction studies, and in 1998, Jonathan founded Abcam with David Cleevely and Professor Tony Kouzarides. 

External appointments: 

Jonathan is an active supporter of the Cambridge, UK business community. He is a non-executive director of Horizon Discovery, and also a non-executive director of Frontier Developments. 

He is also Chairman of Axol Bioscience Ltd.

Peter Keen

Peter KeenPeter is a chartered accountant with more than 26 years experience in the financing and management of biotechnology companies. He has a notable track record in the UK biotechnology sector and until March 2010 was corporate development and finance director of the private biotechnology company Serentis Ltd. 

He was co-founder and finance director of Chiroscience Group plc after which he helped establish the venture capital firm Merlin Biosciences Limited, where he was responsible for a number of early stage investments including Arakis Ltd, Ark Therapeutics Group plc, Cyclacel, ReNeuron plc and Vectura Group plc. 

On leaving Merlin he became chief financial officer of Arakis Limited, leading a 29m fund raising and then a successful trade sale in 2005; he then became a partner with the technology venture firm DFJ Esprit LLP before joining ex colleagues at Serentis.

Simon Cook

Simon CookSimon is the CEO of DFJ Esprit and has been involved with the European Venture Capital industry since 1995. 

In 2006 he led the spinout of Cazenove Private Equity and acquisition of Prelude Ventures, in 2007 he completed the next stage of Esprits expansion plan, negotiating the partnership with DFJ to form DFJ Esprit and in 2009 helped lead the acquisition of 3i plcs European VC business. 

In recent times Simon has continued to build the DFJ Esprit business, leading the fund raising and investment strategy for the DFJ Esprit III primary VC fund and through the further development of the VC secondaries business through the joint venture with Tempo Capital Partners. 

He has been involved with a number of Europes most successful technology start-ups. His past board roles include successful companies such as Lovefilm (Amazon), Cambridge Silicon Radio(IPO LSE), Virata (IPO Nasdaq), nCipher (IPO LSE) and KVS (Symantec).

Richard Vellacott

Richard VellacottRichard has over 15 years experience as a chartered accountant, working with life science companies from start-ups to global pharmaceuticals. He also has a first class degree in biological sciences from Durham University. 

Past roles include Vice President, Finance at CSR plc, a listed hi-tech company with revenues of $1bn. During his time at CSR Richard had worldwide responsibility for finance, making significant contributions to the transformational acquisition and integration of a NASDAQ listed Zoran Corp., product portfolio management, R&D budgeting and business investment / divestment decisions. 

Before this, Richard was a Director in Deloittes life sciences practice, where he specialized in capital market transactions including IPOs, M&A and fundraising on both the UK and the US markets.

Hugo Harrod

Hugo HarrodHugo is a partner at MVM Life Sciences LLP, a venture capital firm with over $500 million under management, investing in technologies and products for the life science and healthcare markets. 

Before joining MVM Life Sciences LLP, he qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG working with biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients. 

Hugo is a member of the boards of Horizon Discovery Ltd, Vantia Limited and eZono AG. 

Hugo has a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from Oxford University.

Karin Schmitt

Karin SchmittKarin has over fifteen years experience in research, management and business within the life sciences. Her expertise spans genomics, functional genomics and proteomics, and their applications in drug discovery as well as basic research. 

Karin previously worked at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Exelixis Inc., Open Biosystems and ThermoFisher Scientific. 

Karin obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and completed her postdoctoral training as an EMBO fellow in the Genetics Department at Cambridge University.

Chris Torrance

Chris TorranceChris has significant oncology research and development experience, including six years as a senior manager at Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company, Vernalis. His principle expertise lies in cancer cell biology and drug discovery. In this field, he has led project teams taking drug targets from inception through to hit identification, lead optimisation and into preclinical studies. 

Chris holds a PhD from East Carolina University and completed a Post-Doctoral position in the world renowned oncology laboratory of Professor Bert Vogelstein (Johns Hopkins University) where he pioneered the use of X-MAN cancer models in high-throughput screening and drug discovery.

Jon Moore

Jon MooreJon joined Horizon Discovery to lead its oncology target validation and drug discovery efforts. 

Prior to this, he enjoyed 10 years at Vernalis culminating in a role as Head of Biology, where he was responsible for both cell biology and assay development activities. 

He also led the biology side of several innovative drug discovery programs and managed a major research alliance with GSK. Jons research interests include cancer metabolism, signal transduction and, prior to making the move to industry, he gained extensive postdoctoral experience in the cell cycle control field working with first Sally Kornbluth at Duke and then Nobel Prize winner, Tim Hunt, at Cancer Research UKs Clare Hall labs. 

He holds a PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and is a Fellow of the Society of Biology.

Ian Gilham

Ian GilhamIan is currently non-executive chairman of Multiplicom NV, focused on the development and commercialization of DNA sequencing products; and Biosurfit SA, focused on development and commercialization of point-of-care diagnostic products. 

He is also Director of Stowheath Ltd., which offers advisory services to private equity companies and corporate finance organizations investing in clinical diagnostics and medical device companies. 

Ian has previously been CEO of Axis-Shield plc and Vice President, Pharmacogenetics and Diagnostics at GSK, as well as holding various positions within Abbott Laboratories.

Contact Information:

Karin Schmitt

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