MESTAG TEAM

Susan Hill

Chief Executive Officer

Susan Hill
Chief Executive Officer
Susan Hill is Chief Executive Officer of Mestag Therapeutics. Susan joined Mestag from Gyroscope Therapeutics, where she served as Chief Business Officer and helped to drive the company’s $62m Series B. Prior, she was founding Chief Executive Officer of Orbit Biomedical ($12m Series A) and Chief Business Officer of Freeline Therapeutics. Previously, Susan served in the Business & Corporate Development team at Alexion (ALXN), and during an 8-year tenure at Merck Serono (MRK) in a series of Corporate & Business Development and Portfolio Management roles. Susan began her career in strategy consulting/M&A, followed by a 3-year tenure leading biotech seed investments. She has an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a previous Fellow of the Securities Institute.

Ray Jupp

Chief Scientific Officer

Ray Jupp
Chief Scientific Officer
Ray Jupp is the CSO of Mestag Therapeutics. Prior to this Ray was CSO of Enara Bio. Prior to joining Enara Bio, Ray was the founding CSO of TRex Bio, a discovery stage company focused on the functional manipulation of T-regulatory cells in a tissue-specific and disease-specific fashion to deliver transformative therapies for multiple disease indications. Previously, Ray was head of the Immunology/Inflammation therapeutic area at UCB where he drove multiple compounds into development and through phase 1 and 2 trials. Ray has also held research and development leadership roles at Sanofi, Aventis, Rhone-Poulenc Rorer and Roche, where he developed deep expertise in the fields of inflammation, immunology, and infectious disease. Ray graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from Cardiff University, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute, San Diego.

James Legg

SVP R&ED

James Legg
SVP R&ED
Before joining Mestag James was SVP Research at Crescendo Biologics where he was responsible for managing Crescendo’s Immuno Oncology Portfolio from research through to preclinical development. James has 17 years’ experience in biologics drug discovery, mostly in the oncology area and has been responsible for the successful progression of multiple oncology biologics programmes through the research phases of drug discovery into preclinical development. Prior to joining Crescendo, James was a member of the oncology leadership team at MedImmune, the Biologics arm of AstraZeneca and held key scientific positions at Cambridge Antibody Technology. James has a BSc in Applied Biology from Bath University, a Ph.D in Molecular Cell Biology from Imperial College, London and undertook PostDoctoral research with Fiona Watt at Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CRUK) in London.

Robert de Jonge

Head of Corporate Development

Robert de Jonge
Head of Corporate Development
Robert de Jonge is the Head of Corporate Development of Mestag Therapeutics. Robert has broad background in business and corporate development in biotech. He joined Mestag from Cellinta, where he was the Head of Corporate Development. Previously, he was the Head of Business Development at Tusk Therapeutics, an immuno oncology company developing antibody therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. At Tusk, he was responsible for the company’s business development activities. He was closely involved in the sale of Tusk to Roche (€655m, €70m upfront). Robert also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Black Belt Therapeutics; an oncology company focused on targeting the stress response pathways in cancer. Earlier in his career, he worked as the Head of Contract Research for reMYND, a biotech company focused on the development of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Diabetes. He also worked as an investment analyst at M Ventures, Merck KGaA’s corporate venture capital arm. He holds an MSc in molecular biology and business economics from Leiden University and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Samantha Macro

VP Head of Finance

Samantha Macro
VP Head of Finance
Samantha is VP, Head of Finance at Mestag Therapeutics. Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant at PwC she spent time in their Cambridge and Brisbane offices. Samantha spent the last 15 years within Life Sciences, initially at Cambridge Antibody Technology - later acquired by AstraZeneca included the integration with MedImmune, where she was part of the leadership teams of three Innovative Medicines Units; Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmune; Cardiovascular and Molecular Diseases; and Neuroscience. Samantha then Johnson Matthey Pharma division to support the evolution and strategy of the ex-US region. Prior to joining Mestag, Samantha was the Global Head of Finance for Horizon Discovery Group, supporting the strategic and M&A initiatives while preparing the finance function for a NASDAQ listing, resulting in PerkinElmer acquiring the Group at the end of 2020. Samantha has an MBA and PhD from Loughborough University Business School, latter within the department of International Business and Strategy.

Yuchen Bai

VP Head of Data Science

Yuchen Bai
VP Head of Data Science
Yuchen is a leader in computational biology, with more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry (Pfizer, GSK, Janssen and Autolus). He has been working in multiple therapeutic areas such as oncology, immunology and neuroscience across the entire drug development pipeline. The therapeutic modalities that Yuchen has been working on include small molecules, antibodies and cell therapies. Yuchen has extensive experience in next-generation sequencing, multi-omics data analyses, and translational medicine. Recently he has adopted the single-cell omics approach in order to take a deep dive into disease biology and treatment. Yuchen holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Rutgers University, a Medical Degree from Tianjin Medical University, a MS in Computer Science from Villanova University, and a BS in Biology from Tsinghua University.

Claire Walshe

Program Lead

Claire Walshe
Program Lead
Claire Walshe is Program Lead at Mestag Therapeutics. Claire has over 14 years experience in roles of increasing responsibility across a series of biotechs including Arana Therapeutics (now part of Cephalon inc.), Molecular Vision and most recently Topivert Pharma where she was Head of Biology and Opthalmology Program Lead. Joining Topivert at inception, she was responsible for implementing and executing the biology strategies supporting discovery and translational activities and leading the preclinical development of the ophthalmology program through IND filing and early phase clinical trials. She has a PhD in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy from the University of Southampton.

Bojana Popovic

Head of Antibody Discovery

Bojana Popovic
Head of Antibody Discovery
Bojana Popovic started her industry career at Cambridge Antibody Technology (subsequently MedImmune/AstraZeneca) where she worked for more than 12 years in Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering. Bojana joined the organisation as a computational structural biologist where she was responsible for establishing the company's structural biology capability to support rational drug design of biologics. She led a scientific team to develop and implement novel computational biology technologies and enhance existing platforms to expand the pipeline of antibodies and antibody-based drugs. Bojana drove the integration of the role of protein structure/dynamics and established techniques such as molecular dynamics, free energy perturbation and machine learning into early drug design & discovery. She led a number of early drug discovery projects across various therapy areas with responsibilities for matrix and direct line management. She is excited by research at the interface between technology and biology, is able to define important therapeutic problems and drive innovation to solve them. She is an author of more than 25 publications and thought leader in the rational design of biologics, has been an invited speaker in many prominent conferences and led pre-competitive collaborations across industry. She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh.

Jane Whitrow

Business Operations Advisor

Jane Whitrow
Business Operations Advisor
Jane Whitrow FCA is the Business Operations Advisor at Mestag Therapeutics. Jane has a degree and PhD in Plant Genetics. She completed one three-year post-doctoral research contract in the same field before joining KPMG to train as a Chartered Accountant. Jane spent five years with KPMG working with a range of clients, primarily in the hi-tech and owner managed business space. In 1997 she was approached to join the biotech venture capitalist Merlin Ventures (latterly Merlin BioSciences) as Financial Controller with a wide-reaching role across both the corporate group and the investment portfolio. She was promoted to Board as Finance Director in 2001. Jane decided to leave Merlin and go freelance in 2003. In the period 2003 to 2020 Jane worked for a number of high tech/start up companies including IXICO, Gyroscope Therapeutics and Freeline Therapeutics providing support in fundraising, forecasting, financial reporting, investor relations, HR, IT, legal, facilities and Company Secretarial.

Tim Johnson

VP, Head of Target Discovery

Tim Johnson
VP, Head of Target Discovery
Tim Johnson joined Mestag Therapeutics in June 2021 as the VP of Target Discovery. Prior to this he was the Director of Fibrotic remodelling at UCB Biopharma for 8 ½ years where he established a strong fibrosis platform within the company, using this to identify a number of exciting new fibrosis targets and taking zampilimab (TG2 inhibitory antibody) to phase 2 studies in post renal transplant fibrosis. Previously he was the Professor of Kidney Science at the University of Sheffield where he led the “Kidney Fibrosis team” in the Medical School / Sheffield Kidney Institute, a role he now maintains on an honorary basis. Notable academic achievements include identifying the role of transglutaminase 2 in kidney fibrosis, establishing its role in ECM homeostasis and the discovery and development of 4 classes of TG2 inhibitory antibodies, one of which became zampilimab. In addition, he has been involved in identifying the importance of epithelial cell loss/damage in renal fibrosis and building patient biorepositories to enable omic based interrogation for the identification of biofluid biomarkers of chronic kidney disease progression. Tim has given invited lectures at major international conferences such as the American Society of Nephrology, The World Congress in Nephrology, the European Renal Association and the World Congress in Immunology. He also has had the honour of chairing a Gordon Research Conference. He has over 70 original publications, reviews and books to his name.

Sheila johnson

Head of HR

Sheila johnson
Head of HR