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About Ascension

Everything we do is driven by a determination to make a difference where it really matters – allowing people to live the best possible life.


NEW APPROACHES TO OLD PROBLEMS:
Using patented technologies to treat people in unconventional ways

We differ from typical biopharma businesses in that we develop and sell, safe, high–quality and robustly tested alternatives to current drug products and therapies to retail customers and healthcare providers. Our Flexiseq products for joint pain and stiffness are currently available across Europe in major pharmacies and supermarkets and online, where they have the potential to reach people suffering from osteoarthritis everywhere.

Headquartered in the UK, one of the top three life sciences hubs worldwide, we operate globally. Our technologies dramatically increase the speed and precision with which we develop new treatments and products.

By accessing regional centres of excellence such as our clinical trial sites in Russia, we are accelerating our programme of haematology treatments towards approval. As we reduce treatment risk, improve convenience and increase effectiveness in our products, the value we create for those suffering, and their families, is priceless.

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Effective, Low cost, patient-centric solutions

Helping millions of people experience a better quality of life

The need for effective, affordable healthcare products for unmet or underserved diseases and markets is a pressing one for those who suffer from the conditions we target. Our range of drug-free treatments for osteoarthritis, that have no side effects, are already a commercial success, and our research and development pipeline of haematology treatments has blockbuster potential.

Our team

Our management team

  • Biresh<br> Roy

    Biresh
    Roy

    Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr Gavin<br> Ling

    Dr Gavin
    Ling

    Chief Medical Officer
  • Dr. Richard<br> Garraway

    Dr. Richard
    Garraway

    Director of Intellectual Property and Strategy Development
  • Shrikesh<br> Shah

    Shrikesh
    Shah

    Finance Director
  • Dr. Sam<br> Yurdakul

    Dr. Sam
    Yurdakul

    Director of Development and Regulatory Affairs
  • Mark<br> Turrell

    Mark
    Turrell

    Group Sales and Marketing Director
  • Justin<br> Bowen

    Justin
    Bowen

    General Counsel

Biresh
Roy

Chief Executive Officer

Former Chief Financial Officer of Verona Pharma plc, a listed clinical stage bio-pharmaceuticals group. Mr Roy is a strategic executive with a track record in executing and financing international M&A deals and delivering turnarounds, mainly in the bio-pharmaceuticals sector. He has acted as CFO for several biotech and medical device companies including Enigma Diagnostics, Xytis, Morphochem and Santhera. Prior to this, he was a management consultant at A.T. Kearney and PwC leading international teams in large scale projects for big pharma and private equity backed pharmaceutical companies. Mr Roy qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse and holds a B.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics.

Biresh<br> Roy

Dr Gavin
Ling

Chief Medical Officer

Dr Ling is a Consultant Haematologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital. He trained at University College London Hospital, a world class thrombosis and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) centre and the Royal Free Hospital, a world renowned haemophilia training centre.

He qualified at St George’s, University of London with distinction for his medical degree in 2006 and has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists since 2014.

Dr Ling is completing his PhD at University College London in gene therapy for the treatment of haemophilia, an area of cutting-edge translational science that has been revolutionising the treatment of haemophilia disorders and beyond.

Dr Gavin<br> Ling

Dr. Richard
Garraway

Director of Intellectual Property and Strategy Development

Dr. Garraway has over 30 years’ experience in developing, funding and commercialising novel technologies in the healthcare and bioscience sectors and is one of the founders of Ascension (previously Pro Bono Bio). He is an experienced director of technology companies both as a managing partner of private equity and VC funds, and also from six years at Imperial Innovations plc (now IP Group plc), heading their biotechnology incubator, creating, funding and mentoring companies with novel intellectual property. Prior to this he was an investment banker in the healthcare and FMCG M&A teams at JPMorgan and Robert Flemings investment banks. Dr. Garraway holds a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Portsmouth and an MBA from the London Business School.

Dr. Richard<br> Garraway

Shrikesh
Shah

Finance Director

Mr Shah has over 20 years of experience in Finance and has held leadership roles in private equity, listed and owner-managed businesses. He was previously Interim CFO at Atlantic Healthcare Group, an emerging biotech pharma group. Prior to this, he was Senior Director, Finance for UK and Ireland at InterMune, a US NASDAQ listed international biotech pharma group, that was subsequently acquired by Roche Pharmaceuticals and prior to that, he was Group Finance Director at Archimedes Pharma Group, a Private Equity backed international specialty pharma after ten years in public practice as an accountant, auditor and advisor. Mr Shah is a qualified Chartered Accountant, with an MBA and holds a BA (Hons) in Economics.

Shrikesh<br> Shah

Dr. Sam
Yurdakul

Director of Development and Regulatory Affairs

Dr Yurdakul has more than 30 years’ experience in leading product development from concept, through regulatory approval to commercialisation for major healthcare and consumer products companies including, Chiron Biopharma (Novartis), Boots Healthcare and Procter & Gamble. He has deep therapeutic area expertise in haemophilia and pain management, as well as experience in dermatology and infectious diseases. Dr Yurdakul holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Imperial College, London.

Dr. Sam<br> Yurdakul

Mark
Turrell

Group Sales and Marketing Director

Former General Manager and Director of Nelsons, the leading Natural Health Products Company with revenues of £70m serving 70 countries worldwide. Mr Turrell has over 25 years’ experience in commercial leadership roles in Health and Beauty companies. With particular strengths in commercial and business strategy, he also has a successful track record of developing brands, sales growth, key account management and delivering profitable results across international markets Mr Turrell has earned a reputation as a proactive leader in senior customer engagement across all channels including Pharmacy, Grocery, E-Commerce and International Distribution. Prior to Nelsons, following a major acquisition, he successfully integrated the Unilever cosmetics business with fragrance sales at Coty Beauty. He has also held senior commercial roles at Schwarzkopf and Gillette.

Mark<br> Turrell

Justin
Bowen

General Counsel

Former General Counsel for ten years at Imperial Innovations Group plc, a London listed spin-off from Imperial College London investing in biotech and industrial start-ups from leading scientific research universities in the UK. Mr Bowen is an experienced director of legal affairs and company secretary, focussing particularly on corporate, financing and commercial matters mainly in the private equity and venture capital sectors. He has previously also acted as General Counsel at RAC plc and prior to that was a legal adviser at GEC plc. Mr Bowen qualified as a Barrister at Lincoln’s Inn, specialising in corporate and trust matters.

Justin<br> Bowen

Board of directors

Name Title Biography
Jon Aisbitt Chairman Chairman of Pension Insurance Corporation since 2016. Former chairman of Man Group plc.; more than 20 years’ experience in international corporate finance and was previously partner and managing director in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs.
Biresh Roy CEO See management biography.
Dr Richard Garraway Director of Intellectual Property and Strategy Development See management biography.
David Quint Non-executive director Representative of the Berkshire Hathaway Funds. Founder and CEO of RP&C investment banking group.
Dmitry Pimkin Non-executive director Deputy chairman of the executive board of Rusnano Management Company LLC; more than 15 years’ experience in management, investment and strategic planning. Holds a certificate in company direction from IoD.
Vladimir Konovalov Non-executive director Managing Director of Management Company Rusnano; more than 15 years’ of investment management; previously Head of Analytical department of private equity fund Zindel Investment Partners.
Oleg Kiselev Non-executive director Over 40 years’ experience in the financial industry; previously held senior management positions in Rusnano and Renaissance Capital Investment Group.
Ali Baruni Non-executive director Over 37 years’ experience in the financial services industry; previously held senior roles in Bankers Trust Company and Citibank.

Medical and scientific advisory board

  • Professor Tuddenham

    Professor Tuddenham

  • Dr. Ulrich Thibaut

    Dr. Ulrich Thibaut

  • Dr. Grigory Borisenko

    Dr. Grigory Borisenko

Professor Tuddenham

Edward Tuddenham is emeritus Professor of Haemophilia at University College London. Prof. Tuddenham received his medical degree from the University of London in 1968. In his first post as a trainee pathologist at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Liverpool, he developed a keen interest in haemophilia sparked by observing a patient with inhibitory antibody to factor VIII. For further training in haematology, he moved to Cardiff and started working on factor VIII under the guidance of Arthur Bloom, which he continued at the University of Connecticut, USA in the laboratory of Leon Hoyer. He was appointed as first director of the new Haemophilia Centre at Royal Free Hospital in London, where he was the immediate successor of Katharine Dormandy in 1978. From 1978 to 1982 his group completed the first large scale purification to homogeneity of human factor VIII. This enabled the sequencing of the protein, cloning of its gene and production of recombinant factor VIII in cultured cells, achieved in 1984 in collaboration with teams at Genentech Inc. In 1987 he left the Haemophilia Centre to set up the Haemostasis Research Group for the Medical Research Council, which he led for 20 years. During this time, his group made many advances in rare bleeding disorders such as deficiency of factor VII, factor XI, combined factor V and VIII and platelet function disorders. He returned to the Royal Free Hospital Katharine Dormandy Haemophilia Centre in 2006 and remained Director until his retirement in 2011. During that time his group initiated the first safe effective gene therapy for haemophilia B, work which was carried out in collaboration with Professor Amit Nathwani, (who became Tuddenham’s successor as Director of the Katharine Dormandy Haemophilia Centre) and teams at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. Prof. Tuddenham has published over 300 original scientific papers, review articles, book chapters and books His current research interests are the establishment of gene therapies Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B and factor VII deficiency and the structure, function and interaction of factor VIII with other proteins. He is also interested in ways to make affordable therapy available worldwide in resource poor countries.

Professor Tuddenham

Dr. Ulrich Thibaut

Dr. Ulrich Thibaut studied Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Tübingen University in Germany. On graduating, and after qualifying as a Pharmacist, Ulrich obtained a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and subsequently joined Byk Gulden GmbH (which later became ALTANA Pharma AG) as a research scientist. He served in various scientific and managerial roles in Research and Development and was appointed Executive Vice President Global R&D and member of the Executive Board of Management of ALTANA Pharma AG in 2004.

After the sale of ALTANA Pharma AG to Nycomed in 2006 Ulrich joined Drägerwerk AG in Lübeck, a global leader in the medical and safety device industry as Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Executive Board. His responsibilities included the global R&D organization of Dräger Medical AG, Dräger Safety AG and Drägerwerk AG’s basic research and development as well as the patent department.

In 2010, Ulrich joined Octapharma AG in Switzerland as Executive Board Member, with responsibility for the global R&D organization of the Octapharma Group. During his more than five years at Octapharma, several new products were successfully launched by the Company, including Nuwiq®, a recombinant FVIII produced in a human cell line and Panzyga®, a new IVIG product.

Ulrich has a broad managerial and scientific background from more than 27 years of R&D work in the healthcare industry and a proven track record of several large and successful product launches emerging from the R&D organizations he led.

Today, Ulrich teaches at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and is a consultant to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

Dr. Ulrich Thibaut

Dr. Grigory Borisenko

Dr. Grigory Borisenko, PhD, is the Investment Director of RUSNANO Management Company LLC, a Venture Capital & Private Equity company in Russia. Dr. Borisenko has over 20 years of scientific, management and strategic experience in life sciences.

He graduated from the Russian State Medical University (Moscow) in 1996, receiving his PhD in biophysics in 2000. He underwent further postgraduate training at University of Pittsburgh (PA, US) until 2004. His previous academic appointments include the University of Pittsburgh, the Russian State Medical University and the Institute of Physico-Chemical Medicine in Moscow. His research was focused on mechanisms of haem proteins, redox signaling, cell death and phagocytosis in oxidative stress and pathological conditions. He developed several new fluorescence and EPR research methods for applications in cell biology and actively participated in development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies. During research carrier, he co-authored 50 articles in peer-reviewed biomedical journals, and received several awards, including the Fogarty International Award from NIH, International Fellowship Award from NINDS/WHO, Molecular and Cell Biology Award from Russian Academy of Sciences.

In 2009 Dr. Borisenko joined the state corporation RUSNANO as a head of the pharmaceutical sector in the Department of Science and Technology Expertise to lead  scientific and clinical due diligence for innovative life science projects. He subsequently became Investment Director at RUSNANO Management Company to support the development of RUSNANO’s portfolio companies. Dr. Borisenko currently serves on the Board of Directors for several biotechnology companies, including Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Adastra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Xenetic Biosciences, Inc. He served on the board of directors of Nearmedic Pharm LLC from 2011 to 2014.

Dr. Grigory Borisenko