Event Details

The DNA of a unicorn

How project management helps build successful businesses from research

Research and technology are advancing at a very fast pace, in this fast moving and competitive environment it is fundamental to build on the good ideas and innovative technology platforms to make sure that these will translate into concrete businesses and future patients’ benefit. Will all ventures result into successful businesses? How can an early biotech startup company achieve the ‘unicorn’ status reaching a $ billion dollar value? Join us at this meeting to discuss some of these questions, we will be focusing on how Project Management can be key to build from good ideas and new technologies to business value. Experts who have been involved in building this kind of value will be discussing their experience, touching different areas including manufacture. There will be great opportunities to network with people with similar challenges and others who have overcome these challenges in an informal set up perfect for sharing experience and asking questions.

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Up to 7 CPD points are available to people attending the full meeting.

There is a 15.0% discount for a PIPMG member. PIPMG members should log in here to obtain the members' discount. If you are not a member, PIPMG is free to join and if you do, you will receive members' discount for this booking - so why not join?

Bookable Sessions

Full meeting (1 day) Includes presentations (26th Nov 2019) Cost: £385.00 (+ VAT @ 20.0%)

About VAT

Fees for admission to an educational or scientific event such as a conference or seminar are subject to VAT in the country where the event takes place. Depending on the local rules, it may be possible for overseas delegates to reclaim the VAT, however PIPMG is not able to give advice on VAT reclaims.


Pauline Stewart-Long: Consultant, Stewart-Long Solutions

Pauline Stewart-Long

Pauline Stewart-Long (BSc, PhD) is a  director and chairman of PIPMG. Pauline has worked in the pharmacuetical industry for over 30 years with roles of increasing seniority in both project and portfolio management. She has led R&D drug development projects as well as major organisational change projects. She left GlaxoSmithKline in 2012 to set up her own consultancy and has since worked with a variety of large, medium, small and start up companies developing organisation-specific solutions to meet client needs and ensuring the Project Management organisation acts as a catalyst for R&D strategy by providing staff with the skills to deliver projects.

PIPMG Role: Pauline has been part of the PIPMG executive Committee for 6 years and Chairman for 3 years. She is involved in all areas of PIPMG activity but particularly focused on the future of the organisation and driving the strategy to meet the changing needs of the members.

Raffaella Mangano: Head of Study, Project & Portfolio Manage, Cancer Research UK

Raffaella Mangano

Leadership and line management of a team of Project Leaders, Clinical Study Managers and Portfolio Managers, accountable for the management and delivery of the Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development’s clinical trial portfolio (driving projects through preclinical and clinical phases). Raffaella joined CDD in 2013, she has 20 years’ experience in drug discovery and drug development project and portfolion management in the charity and in the biotechnology sector, working at the Cancer research UK Centre for Drug Development and previously at Cellzome (a biotechnology company now part of GSK). PhD and post-doctoral experience in Cell Biology in international research institutions (University of Palermo, Italy, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, UK and European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Germany).

John Faulkes: Consultant, PPMLD

John Faulkes

John began his career as a scientist in Immunology Diagnostics within the Wellcome Foundation (now GSK).  He moved after some years to a new career in human resources as a trainer, team coach and eventually a learning and development Business Partner. He became a consultant in the 1990's, offering organization development, team building, skills training / coaching, instructional design and coordination.  In 2001, he co-founded PPMLD Ltd with Ralph White, which specialises in enhancing collaborative working in life sciences – in particular, cross-functional project management and alliance / CRO outsourcing partnerships.  John is also highly experienced in developing online, interactive support for learning and continues to innovate as this technology evolves.

Colm Moody: European Production Director, Bard Pharmaceuticals

Colm Moody

Bard Pharmaceuticals Ltd are the Production and Supply Chain business of the Napp Pharmaceutical Group. It is also part of a broader Mundipharma network of independently associated companies that have a presence in 33 countries across Europe, and others throughout the rest of the world, including the USA, China, India, Central and South America, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Japan, Africa and South East Asia.

In his 26 years at Bard he has held a range of roles from F&P Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Head of Production and more recently Head of Supply Chain planning. Colm started his career as a Quality Engineer at CR Bard, a medical device company and held positions with Abbott Laboratories and Baxter Healthcare prior to moving to Bard.

In addition to his current role as European Production Director, Colm is also a member of the Executive team within the Rest of World Technical Operations group. which directs supply strategies, risk management and major investment proposals for the wider group of manufacturing companies. 

Melanie Boyle: Senior Director, Project Management, Kymab Ltd

Melanie Boyle

Dr. Mel Boyle has been a Senior Director/Director of Project Management at Kymab for the last four years. This followed 15 years at MedImmune, the former Biologics Organisation of AstraZeneca. The move into the Biologics area started as a Senior Scientist in Antibody Engineering at Cambridge Antibody Technology in 2000. Mel then worked as a Project Manager working predominantly on immuno-oncology projects including Imfinzi in Research. In the latter 5 years, Mel worked as a Senior Project Manager on autoimmune projects with global teams spanning the transition into Development through to Ph IIa studies.

Jason Mellad, Start Codon

Jason Mellad

Jason is a scientist entrepreneur passionate about translating innovative technologies into more effective therapies and better patient outcomes. As CEO and co-founder of Start Codon (https://startcodon.co/), he is focused on funding and supporting the next generation of healthcare startups. Previously, Jason was CEO of Cambridge Epigenetix which has developed a proprietary epigenetic biomarker discovery platform for the development of new diagnostic assays and the identification of novel drug targets. While at Cambridge Epigenetix, Jason transformed the research tools company into a leading liquid biopsy player and led two successful fundraises (Series B and C). He has a PhD in Medicine from the University of Cambridge and BSc in Molecular Biology from Tulane University.

Pamela Tranter: Head of Translational Research Group, UCL Translational Research Office

Pamela Tranter

Pamela joined the UCL Translational Research Office in Nov 2014 and has led the Translational Research group since Sept 2016.    The TRO builds on an increasingly vibrant translational culture across UCL by collaboration with academics, industry partners and external funding bodies, to facilitate the translation of UCL’s emerging research into therapies and medical products.  

Pamela is the Project Manager for several substantial late pre-clinical/early clinical  advanced therapy translational projects, including industry funded/partnered projects.   The Translational Research Group currently supports more than 45 active projects with a value of greater than £85 Million. Pamela is leading a key initiative to develop Therapeutic Innovation Networks (TINs) for all therapeutic modalities across UCL, which is supported by a WT Translational Partnership Award.

Prior to joining UCL, Pamela gained extensive experience of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry at Novartis/Ciba-Geigy. She has led projects for multiple small molecule and Biologics targets for respiratory and thrombosis indications.

Tim Hardman: Managing Director, Niche Science & Technology

Tim Hardman

Dr Tim Hardman, Managing Director of Niche Science & Technology Ltd. and current Chair of the Association for Human Pharmacology in the Pharmaceutical Industry, has over 30 years of experience in the bioscience research sector, working across academia and industry and playing a key role in many innovative collaborations and partnerships. Tim gained his first degree in Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Leeds followed by a PhD on membrane lipid defects in metabolic disease at Imperial College, London. Following 15 years of post-doctoral research in the fields of metabolic disease, diabetes, dyslipidaemia and hypertension, he spent several years in the the medical education sector. In 1998, Tim formed Niche Science & Technology Ltd., a specialist CRO focused on providing Regulatory Affairs, Medical Writing and Clinical Project Management services to the pharmaceutical industry and academia.

Tim is experienced at developing product identity and communication strategies for research programmes. Having serviced a broad range of commercial and academic organisations over the last 21 years, he has retained a keen interest in research and continues to publish regularly in the scientific literature. He plays a central part in fostering effective and innovative collaborations and partnerships between academic and commercial research groups. These activities have resulted in Niche's involvement in several EU and MRC funded research projects. Tim has a keen interest in training the next generation of research scientists being involved in both BSc and apprenticeship schemes as well as being the driving force behind the Insider's Insight series of 'How-To' documents that are widely circulated throughout the industry.

Daniel Rooke: Head of Operations, Start Codon

Daniel Rooke

Daniel Rooke is the Head of Operations and legal at Start Codon, a seed stage healthcare and life sciences accelerator based out of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

A lawyer by background, Daniel was previously the General Counsel of, and member of the management team at, a Cambridge-based but US focused pharmaceutical company focusing on the rare and orphan drug markets where he helped to plan and implement its global strategy and operations, launch several products and expand the legal team, which he built from the ground up.

Prior to moving in house, Daniel was a senior lawyer at, amongst others, Taylor Wessing LLP where he built a practice advising a wide range of healthcare and technology clients across the UK and worldwide, ranging from start-ups to multinationals, on a variety of national and international venture capital and private equity investments, M&A transactions, tech transfers and licence deals (with values ranging up to several hundred million pounds sterling).

Daniel has lectured for a variety of third parties on the key legal and commercial issues related to venture capital investments, tech transfers and trade sale. Daniel is a contributing author for Practical Law’s life sciences product offering and is also a mentor on the Cambridge Judge Business School’s “EnterpriseTECH STARS” programme, that focuses on mentoring the next generation of scientific and business leaders in Cambridge.

Ilaria Dragoni: Project Leader, Cancer Research UK

Ilaria Dragoni

Project Leader at Cancer Research UK with over ten years’ experience in leading projects from target identification/validation through to Clinical Development.

I graduated with a MSc in Biological Science from the University of Milan and in 1999 moved to Glaxo SmithKline in the UK where I was involved in identification of biomarkers for immune diseases.

I left GSK in 2001 and joined Novartis as Senior Scientist responsible for the identification and validation of novel targets for therapeutic intervention in chronic pain.

After few years I realised that I wanted to move from big pharma to the charitable sector and in 2005 started working at Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the tech transfer arm of CRUK.

At CRT I gained valuable expertise in the oncology field and I started leading drug discovery projects in diverse cancer indications from early target identification and validation to proof-of-concept in animal models.

Just over 4 years ago, I joined the Centre for Drug Development at CRUK as Project Leader. The majority of projects enter the portfolio at the exploratory phase, and my role is to lead them through to preclinical and clinical development up to Phase 1/2. My career path has allowed me to become an expert in driving the journey of a drug from early discovery to patients.       


Event Agenda

26th Nov 2019

Time Item Speaker
08:45 Registration and networking
09:00 Welcome and Introduction to PIPMG Pauline Stewart-Long, Stewart-Long Solutions
09:20 How to start something amazing - translating early-stage innovations into successful startups - Despite the outstanding research conducted by academic institutions every day, it is not always clear how to best translate their insights into commercially successful products and improved clinical outcomes. One common path is to start your own company. Using examples from his personal and professional journey from postdoc to CEO, Jason's talk will cover practical tips for translating your ground-breaking innovation into a startup. He will also introduce Start Codon, a new strategic initiative that leverages the unique resources of the Cambridge Cluster (UK) to identify, fund and drive the success of disruptive healthcare startups from across the UK and beyond. Start Codon’s key stakeholders include Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC), Babraham Bioscience Technologies (BBT), Jonathan Milner, the Milner Therapeutics Institute (MTI), and Roche/Genentech. Jason Mellad, Start Codon
10:00 What do investors look for and how project management can help raise money? What do investors really look for and is there a magic bullet? Does a company’s attractive depend on its life cycle? What are the fundamental attributes that investors look for in a company and how can a management team help to address these attributes to improve both the chances of funding and how much can be raised (and at what valuation)? Daniel Rooke, Start Codon
10:40 Break
11:10 What are Grant bodies expecting? Has this changed? The competition for funds to conduct clinical research is fierce, and only a minority of proposals receive funding. In particular, funding for patient-oriented research lags behind that allocated for basic science research. The skill of grant writing is essential to the clinical researcher, and conducting high-quality clinical research requires funds received through successful funding proposals. Whether the funding you are seeking is for your biotech company venture, multi-centre consortium plan or investigational project, the secret of creating appropriate applications is based in fulfilling well know criteria defining the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of your application. However, funders are now requiring you to differentiate your application in terms of establishing returns on their investment and emphasis should be placed on legacy and project sustainability, patient input and exploitation planning. Tim Hardman, Niche Science & Technology
11:50 Throwing it over the wall - lessons learnt in going from lab to production - a case study on the Technical transfer of a range of pharmaceutical products from one manufacturing site to another. This will focus heavily on why the application of sound project management principles is essential to the success of such a project. Colm Moody, Bard Pharmaceuticals
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Lessons learnt in going from research into clinical development - Challenges and opportunities in moving projects from research to early clinical development; Key role of project management in making this transfer a success Ilaria Dragoni, Cancer Research UK
14:10 Experiences from a Project Manager in Academia - Benefits of project management and an industry training to support academic translational research; Strategies to support the academic community to scope the development path for novel therapies; Facilitation between multiple stakeholders including funders, industry partners, clinical trials units; Building Therapeutic Innovation Networks (TINs) across UCL Pamela Tranter, UCL Translational Research Office
14:50 Break
15:10 Workshop session establishing some best practices John Faulkes, PPMLD
16:10 How to start a more structured PM approach in a Biotech company - This session considers how to add value to an organisation through the introduction of project and portfolio management. By reviewing four years of learning, Mel will attempt to answer: Did project and portfolio management make a difference and did anybody notice? Did we focus on the right things at the right time? Can we find the optimal balance between introducing process without stifling innovation? Melanie Boyle, Kymab Ltd
16:50 Closing Remarks Raffaella Mangano, Cancer Research UK
17:00 Networking Drinks
18:15 Meeting close

Venue Details

The meeting will be held on 26th Nov 2019 at: The Portway, Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridgeshire, CB21 6GS, United Kingdom, and will start at 09:00.