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Our Name


"NuCana" is derived from "New Cancer Agents” and “Nucleotide Analogs”. It represents our goal of inventing, developing and commercialising truly novel, transformational medicines, as well as the proprietary medicinal chemistry platform upon which they are based. Our medicines are completely new cancer treatments.

Technology
  • Our History


    • 2008 -


      NuCana’s operations commence to drive ‘A New Era in Oncology’

    • 2011 -


      Series A financing ($11 million) to accelerate ProTides into clinical development

    • 2012 -


      Acelarin enters the Phase I PRO-001 clinical study in patients with advanced solid tumours

    • 2013 -


      NuCana wins Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences’ 'Investment of the Year’

    • 2014 -


      Series B financing ($57 million) to fund expansion of clinical studies of ProTides

      Acelarin enters the Phase Ib PRO-002 clinical study in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer

    • 2015 -


      Acelarin enters Phase III clinical study in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer

    • 2016 -


      NUC-3373 enters the Phase I NuTide:301 clinical study in patients with advanced solid tumours

      Acelarin enters the Phase Ib ABC-08 clinical study in patients with advanced biliary tract cancer

    • 2017 -


      NuCana completes Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Nasdaq ($114 million)

      Acelarin enters the Phase II PRO-105 clinical study in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer

    • 2018 -


      NUC-3373 enters the Phase Ib NuTide:302 clinical study for the treatment of patients with advanced colorectal cancer

      CEO Hugh Griffith honoured with ‘Outstanding Contribution Award’ from Scottish Life Sciences

      NuCana wins Scottish Life Sciences ‘Investment of the Year’

    • 2019 -


      FDA grants ‘Orphan Designation” status for Acelarin in biliary tract cancer

      NUC-7738 enters the Phase I NuTide:701 clinical study in patients with advanced solid tumours

    • 2020 -


      Acelarin enters Phase III NuTide:121 study in patients with advanced biliary tract cancer

      EMA grants ‘Orphan Designation’ status for Acelarin in biliary tract cancer

      NuCana raises $80 million in a follow-on offering

Our experienced team drives the development of these important new anti-cancer medicines

Our
Executive Team


Hugh Griffith Founder, CEO & Board Member

Hugh Griffith

Hugh is founder and Chief Executive Officer of NuCana with over 28 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He also currently serves as a non-executive director of Thirty Holdings Ltd and MedAnnex Ltd. As former Chief Operating Officer of Bioenvision Inc., Hugh led the company’s operations from start-up to a global, fully integrated, Nasdaq listed biopharmaceutical company from 2002 until 2007, when it was acquired by Genzyme, now Sanofi. Before that, he held several senior commercial positions at Quantanova Ltd in 2002, Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie Inc.) from 1995 to 2001 and Warner-Lambert Company (now Pfizer Inc.) from 1992 to 1995.
Hugh is a named inventor on over 80 patents and over 135 pending patent applications. He received an MBA from Cardiff Business School and a BSc Honours in Biology from the University of Stirling. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Scottish Lifesciences Association. He recently received a lifetime achievement award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Life Sciences’ by the Scottish Government.

Don Munoz Chief Financial Officer

Don Munoz

Chief Financial Officer since October 2015. Prior to joining NuCana, Don served as Group Chief Financial Officer of NOXXON Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company, from 2014 to 2015. Before that, he was Head of Investment Banking at Summer Street Research Partners, an investment banking and institutional securities firm focused exclusively on healthcare, from 2012 to 2014. Don previously served as a Managing Director leading the medical technology investment banking franchises at Cowen and Company from 2009 to 2011 and Leerink Partners from 2005 to 2009. Prior to that, he spent approximately ten years in the healthcare investment banking group at Alex Brown & Sons and its successor, Deutsche Bank Securities. Since April 2021, he has also served as non-executive Director of Enterin, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. Don received an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Columbia Business School and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Our
Senior Team


David Harrison

Head of Translational Medicine

David is a medically trained, clinical pathologist with extensive research, management and clinical experience that spans industry, academia and the clinic. As the head of NuCana’s preclinical and translational research programme, David’s research bridges from key biological differentiators of ProTides over traditional nucleoside analogs to programs focused on biomarkers and cell fate decisions following injury. David is also Professor of Pathology at the University of St Andrews, and holds visiting professorships at the Universities of Edinburgh, Florida and Glasgow. He chairs the UK Government Advisory Committee on Carcinogenicity, and is Director of iCAIRD, (Industrial Centre for AI Research in Digital Diagnostics), one of five UK Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Centres of Excellence. He has published over 300 papers and reviews in peer reviewed journals.

Theresa Bruce

Senior VP: Clinical Operations

Theresa has over 25 years of experience in clinical research where she has lead teams responsible for all aspects of clinical planning and delivery across oncology, haematology, and endocrinology therapeutic areas. She has held executive positions in both clinical research organisations and biotechnology companies, including VP Clinical Operations at Chiltern and VP Oncology at Veristat. Prior to joining NuCana, Theresa worked as an independent consultant to US biotech companies where she was responsible for expanding clinical trial portfolios outside of North America. Theresa originally trained as a nurse and received an MBA from Glasgow Caledonian University where she focused in Executive Leadership and Strategic Management.

Elisabeth Oelmann

Senior VP: Medical & Clinical Development

Elisabeth is a haematologist-oncologist with over 16 years of drug development experience. She has held senior medical positions at biopharmaceutical and clinical research organisations. Prior to joining NuCana, Elisabeth served as Senior Medical Director at Kymab. Previously, she spent more than ten years at AstraZeneca, where she worked on the strategic and clinical development of a variety of new agents in solid tumours and haematological diseases. Elisabeth also served as AstraZeneca’s Clinical Lead for their Bone Marrow Safety Knowledge Group across all disease areas. Prior to AstraZeneca, she served as Medical Director-Oncology, Europe for PRA International. Elisabeth performed her thesis in Professor Harald Stein’s Laboratory at the Free University in Berlin, characterising tumour escape mechanisms in Hodgkin’s disease, and received her MD, PhD from the University of Muenster in Germany.

Gordon Kennovin

VP: CMC & Development

Gordon has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, incorporating a diverse range of companies, skills and expertise. As VP of CMC and Drug Product Development, Gordon applies his technical and commercial expertise to advance the NuCana pipeline. Prior to joining NuCana, he was global Sales Director at Aptuit, Business Development Manager (BDM) at CXR Biosciences, BDM at Dundee University Research & Innovation Services, Project Leader at Smith & Nephew and Scientist at Johnson Matthey. Prior to his commercial career, Gordon was an academic, pioneering investigations into the pathophysiology and pharmacology of nitric oxide in solid tumours. Gordon received a PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology from St. Andrews University.

John-Paul Gallivan

VP: Medical Affairs

John-Paul has over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining NuCana, John-Paul was a Group Leader in Global Medical Affairs at Roche working across the breast and gynaecological cancers franchise from 2014-2019. From 2011-2015, John-Paul held various roles in Clinical Development, Medical Affairs and Project Strategy at Boehringer-Ingelheim in Germany where he worked across the virology and oncology franchises. Prior to this, he worked in various medical, commercial and research roles at biotech, consultancy and pharmaceutical companies based in the UK. John-Paul holds a BSc in Medical Microbiology from the University of Edinburgh and an MSc and PhD in Virology from Imperial College, London.

Stuart Grant

VP: Regulatory Affairs

Stuart has 15 years of biotech/CRO experience across regulatory affairs, clinical operations and medical writing. Prior to joining NuCana, Stuart held a number of positions at CROs/consultancies, including Director of Regulatory/Study Start-Up at inVentiv Health Clinical, Director of Regulatory at ClinTec, Clinical Regulatory Consultant at Kendle and a Medical Writer at Complete Medical Communications. His regulatory experience spans clinical development planning, scientific advice procedures, protocol development, clinical trial applications, IND submissions, marketing authorisation planning and orphan drug applications. At NuCana, Stuart oversees all regulatory activities and has led several IND submissions for Acelarin and NUC-3373, in addition to two orphan drug designations for Acelarin (from FDA and EMA). Stuart received a PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology and a BSc (Hons) in Immunology & Pharmacology from the University of Strathclyde.

Our
Board of Directors


Andrew Kay

Andrew Kay

Non Executive Chairman

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2020.
Andrew brings more than 30 years of experience in building and leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of NeRRe Therapeutics and Blueberry Therapeutics. He also recently held the same role for KaNDy Therapeutics, a biotechnology company that was acquired by Bayer for a deal value of up to $875 million in 2020, and for Wilson Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Alexion Pharmaceuticals for $855 million in 2018. Prior to that, Andrew served as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Algeta. During Andrew’s leadership, Algeta’s lead product, Xofigo, was approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of bone metastases in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients, followed by a strong commercial launch. In February 2014, Algeta was acquired by Bayer AG for $2.9 billion. Prior to Algeta, Andrew was the Global Head of Marketing and Sales and a Member of the Healthcare Committee and Pharmaceutical Executive Committee at Novartis, and held several other senior commercial positions in Europe and the US having worked at AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Sandoz and Boots.

Hugh Griffith

Hugh Griffith

Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2008.
Hugh is founder and Chief Executive Officer of NuCana with over 28 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He also currently serves as a non-executive director of Thirty Holdings Ltd and MedAnnex Ltd. As former Chief Operating Officer of Bioenvision Inc., Hugh led the company’s operations from start-up to a global, fully integrated, Nasdaq listed biopharmaceutical company from 2002 until 2007, when it was acquired by Genzyme, now Sanofi. Before that, he held several senior commercial positions at Quantanova Ltd in 2002, Abbott Laboratories (now AbbVie Inc.) from 1995 to 2001 and Warner-Lambert Company (now Pfizer Inc.) from 1992 to 1995.
Hugh is a named inventor on over 80 patents and over 135 pending patent applications. He received an MBA from Cardiff Business School and a BSc Honours in Biology from the University of Stirling. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Scottish Lifesciences Association. He recently received a lifetime achievement award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Life Sciences’ by the Scottish Government.

Rafaele Tordjman

Rafaèle Tordjman

Non Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2011.
Rafaèle has over 20 years of healthcare experience including 16 years as a Venture Capitalist. Rafaèle is CEO of Jeito Capital, an independent investment company dedicated to biopharmaceuticals which she founded in 2018. She joined Sofinnova Partners in 2001 and became co-leader and managing partner until 2017.
Rafaèle currently serves as a director of ObsEva SA and Lysogene having previously served as a director of several other biopharmaceutical companies, including: Ascendis Pharma A/S, DBV Technologies S.A., Medtronic CoreValve LLC and Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. She also founded the association W.I.T.H (Women Innovating Together in Healthcare) in 2010.
Previously, Rafaèle worked as a physician and researcher in haemato-oncology. After five years working at the Hôpitaux de Paris as a medical doctor specialising in internal medicine and clinical haematology, she presented her doctoral thesis in haematology and angiogenesis, which she obtained in 2000. She then completed her post-doctoral work in immunology at INSERM, Cochin Hospital.

James Healy

James Healy

Non Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2014.
Jim joined Sofinnova Ventures in 2000 as a General Partner. He has funded companies where eleven products were approved by the FDA or EMA. Eighteen of his investments have gone public and ten have been acquired as private or public companies. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Ascendis (ASND), CinCor Pharma, Coherus (CHRS), Karuna (KRTX), Natera (NTRA), Obseva (OBSV), and Y-Mabs (YMAB).
Jim received a BA in Molecular Biology and BA Scandinavian Studies from UC Berkeley where he graduated with Honours and received the Departmental Citation. He subsequently completed the NIH sponsored Medical Scientist Training Program and received his MD and PhD in Immunology from Stanford University where he received the Novartis Foundation Bursary Award and was a Beckman Scholar. He authored or co-authored thirteen scientific articles and reviews, including three papers published in Nature.
Prior to Sofinnova Jim worked at Bayer and Sanderling. In 2011 Jim received the IBF Innovator Award for his investment in Amarin (AMRN). In 2012 Xconomy named him one the leading “Young and Proven Biotech VC’s”. In 2013, Fortune selected him as one of the top life science investors and in 2015 he received a Healthcare and Lifesciences 50 award from Irish America. He has lectured on entrepreneurship at Stanford University and served on the boards of the Executive Committee at UC Berkeley, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Martin Mellish

Martin Mellish

Non Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2009.
Since 1994, Martin has served as the Executive Director of Aspen Advisory Services Ltd., a London-based private investment office overseeing private and publicly traded investments in North America, Europe and Asia.
Martin also currently serves as a non-executive director of Kensington Green (Management) Limited, a real estate management company, Levitronix Technologies LLC, a technology company, Alturki Holding, an industrial investment and development holding company, Livercyte Limited, a biotechnology company, and Omnicyte Limited, a biotechnology company.
From 1992 to 1994, Martin pursued studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 1984 to 1992, he was controller and subsequently Chief Financial Officer of Alturki Holding. Prior to that, Mr. Mellish trained at Price Waterhouse Coopers.
He was awarded an SM (Management) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MSc (Accounting) from Northeastern University.

Adam George

Adam George

Non Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2018.
From March 2017 to December 2020, Adam served as GW Pharmaceuticals’ UK Managing Director and Company Secretary. GW Pharmaceuticals is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercialising novel therapeutics from its proprietary cannabinoid product platform in a broad range of disease areas.
Previously, Adam was GW Pharmaceutical’s Chief Financial Officer from 2012 until March 2017 and Financial Controller from 2007 to 2012. Before joining GW Pharmaceuticals, Mr. George held several senior finance roles within both public and private companies.
Since April 2021, Adam has served as a non-executive director of Beckley Psytech, a biopharmaceutical company.
Adam holds a BSc in Biology from Bristol University and is a chartered accountant.

Cyrille Leperlier

Cyrille Leperlier

Non Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2018.
Cyrille brings to NuCana over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Most recently, Cyrille served as Senior Scientific Advisor for Sanofi’s Corporate Business Development and M&A Group, where, among other transactions, he was deeply involved in Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme. Prior to this role, Cyrille served as Medical Director in Japan for Sanofi.
Before joining Sanofi, Cyrille was Medical Director and Global Head of Clinical Development at Rhone Poulenc Rorer and previously worked for Takeda in a variety of operational and medical affairs roles. Cyrille received an M.D. from the University of Paris, Saint-Antoine School of Medicine and an MSc in Human Biology (major in physiology) from the Medical University of Paris.
He is a recognised expert in oncology drug development, strategic portfolio prioritisation, and business development, with extensive leadership experience at a number of global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Bali Muralidhar

Bali Muralidhar

Non Executive Director

Has served as a member of our board of directors since 2020.
Bali is a Managing Partner at Abingworth, a leading transatlantic life sciences investment firm. He has 15 years professional experience in healthcare across a range of functions including venture investing, R&D, clinical practice and teaching. He works with the Abingworth team in the London, Boston and Menlo Park offices to source and evaluate new investment opportunities and support existing venture investments through to exit. He represents Abingworth on the boards of Exicure Inc. (XCUR), Spruce Biosciences (SPRB), Reneo Pharmaceuticals (RPHM), and Gynesonics.
Prior to joining Abingworth, Bali was a senior partner at MVM Partners LLP in London where he completed investments in and served on the boards of several companies, both public and private. Two of these were Wilson Therapeutics and Valneva, both also Abingworth portfolio companies. In 2018, Bali was named among Financial News’ Rising Stars in Private Equity, which celebrated 25 men and women under the age of 40 standing out in the European private equity industry. Before MVM, Bali was a member of Bain Capital's healthcare deal team.
Bali obtained a degree in clinical medicine from the University of Oxford and practiced general surgery at the John Radcliffe and Addenbrooke's Hospitals in Oxford and Cambridge, respectively. He has a PhD in translational cancer research from the MRC Cancer Cell Unit, University of Cambridge, and has published over a dozen peer reviewed papers. He was also a Bye-Fellow in Medical Sciences at Downing College, Cambridge where he taught pathology, surgery and medicine.