I am a serial entrepreneur specialising in life sciences and chair two exceptional companies Cells4Life, the UK's largest cord blood stem cell bank, and Stabilitech Biopharma, developer of the world's first 15-strain influenza vaccine and the first platform that will allow any vaccine to be take orally.
I graduated from Imperial with a First Class Honours degree in mathematics and physics and joined IBM during the computing revolution in the 1980s. And 4 years later, at the age of 26, founded my first company which specialised in networking and communications products distribution. It grew to revenues of over $500m in 13 years, employing over 1,200 people operating in 9 European countries with a full listing on the London Stock Exchange. I have run several other companies including a high-speed firewall company based in California; founded one of Europe's largest network training companies; and developed one of the first LAN search engines.
By far, the most rewarding part of my career has been life sciences - it combines my love of science, bleeding edge technology, managing complicated companies and directly helping people achieve better outcomes in their health.
In my personal life, I am a very keen dressage rider and my move from technology to life sciences was because of an injury to one of my horses. I have ridden all my life and had a dream of making Team GB in dressage. I bought Kaspar when he was two years old - he was, and still is, a dream horse to ride and train. He was the first horse that I managed to train to Grand Prix and in 2003 he had a very common injury, he tore a suspensory ligament. Normally, this would mean the end for his competitive career. However, my vet suggested we try stem cells - which at the time was a very rare therapy. They worked brilliantly and he returned to a full and long competition career and he did make Team GB.
Astonishingly, whilst I could treat my horse with stem cells, these therapies were not available to the public. The first cord blood stem cell treatment was performed back in 1988 and were used to treat Fanconi anaemia, today they are being used for over 85 different conditions and are the only therapy for cerebral palsy and autism. Stem cells are the building blocks of regenerative medicine and are going to fundamentally change how we are able to treat most illnesses and injuries - everyone of us needs to know about them and have the opportunity to use them as therapies are developed.
The most powerful stem cells available are potentially those contained in umbilical cord blood. My mission is to promote regenerative medicine and help make it available to everyone.
Cells4Life is the UK’s largest cord blood bank, storing more UK samples than all other companies combined. Founded in 2002 by doctors and scientists looking to safeguard the health their own children, Cells4Life currently has over 120,000 samples in storage and we provided our services to parents in over 54 countries.
Our mission is to enable parents to make the very best of the treatment potential that their baby’s stem cells offer. This is why we developed our CellsPlus service to retain 3 times more stem cells at the point of treatment than any other method and why we even give you the option to store your baby’s cord blood in multiple samples, so that if required, it can be used for more than one treatment.
Storing your baby’s cord blood could be the most important decision you ever take – it could change their life – so we are dedicated to making sure that it is collected, processed, stored and released in the best possible condition for therapy. The most important factor for a successful treatment is cell count, which is why everything that we do is designed to ensure that your baby will have the maximum number of stem cells available when they need them.
Cells4Life is headquartered near Brighton in the United Kingdom. This is also the location of one of our laboratories. Additionally, we have two storage facilities in the UK, which enable us to give you the option to store their baby’s cord blood across dual locations for additional security. Cells4Life can provide cord blood collection services at every single hospital in the UK, as well as most places all over the world and we have released cord blood and tissue samples for blood disorders and regenerative therapies in both the UK and the US.