CEO - Human Centric Drug Discovery
James is the founding CEO of Human Centric Drug Discovery, an Oxford University spin-out improving neurology drug discovery by bringing more human data to the process. He is also a founder director of Univ8 Genomics, a next-generation cancer sequencing company. He’s a mentor at the P4, CancerTech and StartCodon incubators and an Expert Data Commercial Advisor to Cancer Research UK. He delivers consulting projects via his company Precision Strategy.
James has been at the forefront of genetics and data in the UK for some years, since leaving McKinsey to set up Cancer Research UK’s Stratified Medicine Programme with AstraZeneca and Pfizer, and the parallel Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform with the Technology Strategy Board. He subsequently was a founding partner of Syncona, the Wellcome Trust’s venture capital arm, focussed on UK genetic and data opportunities. He joined Genomics England as first employee and Managing Director of the Main Programme, setting up the sequencing and sample acquisition operations of this national initiative with Illumina and the NHS Genomics Medicine Centres. He then worked in the Precision Medicine and Medicines Discovery Catapults, helping UK biotech companies with access to human biological samples and electronic health records. He set up and ran commercial aspects of HDR UK’s cancer data access hub DATA-CAN, creating a sustainable cancer data organisation serving major pharma for HEOR and RWE, as well as advising Flatiron and Janssen. James has advised major UK clients including HDR UK, ABPI, Sensyne Health, Roche, Novartis and a number of start-up companies.
James served on the Department of Health’s Human Genomic Strategy Group and the Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee, and he organised the Sanger Commercialising Genetics course in 2018. He was a board member of the Entente Cordiale Scholarship scheme. He lives in London with his wife and two children, and enjoys climbing mountains.