Unlocking immunology

to deliver revolutionary

medicines

Our vision

A world where safe, efficacious therapeutics improve the lives of people with chronic inflammatory diseases

Our story

In 2015 DJS Antibodies founded upon a vision of creating the next generation of antibody therapeutics. We developed HEPTAD, a revolutionary platform for antibody discovery, and now use this to create novel therapeutics that will have a meaningful impact on the lives of patients.

What we do

Building a pipeline of unique assets enabled by a world-leading platform for antibody discovery

Our Pipeline

Our Platform

Our team

CEO

David Llewellyn

David is the CEO and Co-Founder of DJS Antibodies. He loves discovery, and so is motivated by the pursuit of developing totally novel therapeutics. David has more than 10 years’ experience in evolutionary immunology, antibody characterisation and myeloid cell biology, and he leads the team in our pursuit to create world changing antibody therapeutics.

Having originally come from the sunny shores of Australia, David came to the UK to complete a PhD at the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute supported by a Rhodes Scholarship. While studying he co-founded and led the Good Lad Initiative, an organisation promoting positive masculinity and gender equality amongst groups of young men. David remains committed to promoting values of equality and diversity throughout DJS and more broadly.

In a past life, David was a competitive kayaker, most often found half way down a waterfall, though now is more likely to be found watching water fall onto his struggling vegetable garden.

Research Associate

Lara Bavinton

Before joining DJS Lara completed an MRes in Biomedical Research at Imperial College. Throughout her studies, she developed an interest in disease biology and practical laboratory science. Lara likes a challenge, and so is keen to apply her skills to the field of drug discovery. She thrives in fast-paced environments and working in a close-knit team.

As a research associate at DJS, Lara is responsible for performing a wide variety of lab tasks including cell culture, protein expression and purification, cell-based assays, and data analysis.

While not at work she is likely to be doing some sort of exercise (probably running) or be napping alongside one of her dogs.

Chairperson

Graeme Martin

Graeme is a Pharmaceutical industry veteran with 25+ years of direct engagement in therapeutic R&D, and a further 15 years’ experience in Pharma corporate venture. He cut his drug discovery teeth in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Professor Sir James Black at the Wellcome Research Laboratories, subsequently working under the direction of Sir Salvador Moncada on serotonin receptor biology, which led to two IND candidate molecules, one of which - Zolmitriptan (Zomig®) – was launched in 1997 for migraine acute treatment. Graeme then moved to the USA joining Roche Bioscience as the Head of Molecular Pharmacology and VP of CNS R&D, participating in the advancement of two further molecules through IND. In 2003, he joined Takeda Pharmaceutical Company where he built Takeda Ventures, Inc. (TVI), one of the first truly strategic Pharma corporate venture capital units. He retired as President & CEO of TVI in 2017 and now maintains a portfolio of advisory and non-executive Board roles in early stage biotech in USA, Europe and Japan. Chief among these is his involvement with DJS where, since 2015, he has shared with the founding team the inevitable thrills and spills of innovating new medicines.

When he is not helping to navigate the choppy waters of R&D strategy and fund raising, Graeme is most likely to be found on the water casting flies at rising trout, walking the countryside in pursuit of Finnegan the English Setter or learning new woodworking skills in his quest to make order out of chaos.

Director

Richard Shen

Richard is a co-founder of Sedgwick Yard, which is a Greater China-based venture capital firm dedicated to cross-border life science investments. Previously, Richard worked at Goldman Sachs and UBS in London and Hong Kong for more than a decade, engaging in various capital raising and M&A transactions both regionally and globally.

Having lost some family members to cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Richard was appalled by how inadequate the existing treatment options were, and this acted as the catalyst to venture into new drug discovery. His mission is to allocate capital to finance the most cutting-edge scientific discoveries, particularly those incubated out of prestigious universities / research institutes, which can potentially bring about innovative drugs / therapies to patients globally in a more equitable way.

In his spare time, Richard enjoys travelling, sports and cooking / gourmet food tasting. Richard studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and in the spirit of life long learning, is now pursuing a Master’s degree in relation to new drug discovery at Oxford University.

CSO

Joe Illingworth

Joe is the CSO and Co-Founder of DJS Antibodies. Joe loves working in a small and focussed team to solve problems creatively. He was a leader in the establishment of HEPTAD, the mAb discovery engine at the heart of DJS, and now oversees all R&D activities within the company. His work covers mAb discovery and screening through to preclinical development of lead drugs, and he works closely with industry-leading experts as well as managing several government funded projects.

Joe holds a BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College London and a PhD in antibody discovery and characterisation from the University of Oxford. After studying Joe worked as an academic on antibody induction and vaccination.

In his spare time he loves playing the guitar, sailing, kicking a football around and growing vegetables.

Research Assistant

Nathan Jones

Nathan has been fascinated by science from an early age, with his Nan being a great influence and supporter. However, It wasn’t until he started university that he began to fully appreciate the scale and vastness of how much we still don’t know. Having graduated with a PhD from the University of Nottingham, working on DNA replication and repair, Nathan decided that he wanted to work closely on something that has the potential to change many lives; now working for DJS he will be doing this with every experiment performed. Outside of work Nathan is an avid Lindy-hop dancer, while also enjoying bouldering, cooking, and a good read.
Research Assistant

Tom Mills

Before joining DJS as a Research Assistant, Tom completed a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology at the University of Bath. Through this degree he developed an interest in drug discovery and how the development of new treatments can provide a positive impact to people’s lives. At DJS, Tom is keen to expand his knowledge of the drug discovery process and develop his skillset through full-time lab work.
Away from DJS, Tom is a keen hockey player, skier and runner who also enjoys immersing himself in other people’s cultures through world travel.
Board Observer

Preeti Bakrania

Preeti obtained her PhD in Biochemisty at the National Institute for Medical Research and has more than 20 years research experience working in a number of disease areas with postdoctoral roles held within UCL, University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. During her 12 years at LifeArc she has gained experience of both small molecule and biologics drug discovery. Preeti currently heads up the antibody engineering and humanisation team and manages the humanisation portfolio for the Biotech Collaborations, leading programs within LifeArc’s portfolio to generate fully human antibodies against several target classes including GPCRs and ion channels with excellent biophysical properties for pre-clinical development. Preeti is a passionate scientist that thrives on the successful delivery of drug discovery programs to the clinic for the benefit of patient healthcare.

In her spare time Preeti is a keen gardener and very much enjoys cooking and travelling around the world.

Junior Scientist

Megan Ingham

Megan is motivated to pursue a career in drug discovery due to the opportunity to make a positive impact in science, and to be part of an innovative industry aiming to develop new medicines. Working at DJS Antibodies has allowed her to fulfil her aspirations as a scientist whilst also enjoying the team spirit, and dynamic, fast-paced environment that working in a small company offers.

After graduating from Newcastle University with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology and a MRes in Neuroscience, Megan joined DJS Antibodies as a Research Assistant. Working in the lab full-time has allowed her to expand her knowledge, develop her skill set and build up a large repertoire of lab skills and experimental techniques. She currently contributes towards the day-to-day running of the lab, development of new assays and management of our high-throughput antibody screening programmes.

When she is not working, Megan enjoys walking in the countryside with her springer spaniel, cycling, skiing, painting and baking.

Office Manager

Amanda Hall

Amanda has a passion for developing positive business cultures and has a track record of combining this with improving efficiency in administrative systems and processes. Having worked in a number of businesses large and small in both the UK and the US, Amanda saw the potential to make a significant contribution with DJS Antibodies. She is excited now to meet the challenges of our growing business. Outside of work, Amanda is a committed runner (albeit a little slow) foodie and loves to travel.
Senior Scientist – Protein Science

David Knight

David joined DJS Antibodies after working in antibody research for nearly 14 years at UCB and Immunocore. He has been involved in antibody engineering and discovery programs for a range of targets and indications across oncology, autoimmunity, infectious diseases and the central nervous system. At DJS he now applies his skills to the difficult task of engineering antibodies to GPCRs, and is critical to helping build on the success of the team. David holds a Master’s degree in Biochemistry from University of Bath and also did academic placements in the USA.

Outside of the lab, David spends his spare time playing with his son Billy either in the park or with various train sets. He also likes baking sourdough bread, walking in countryside, playing squash and enjoying a film with his wife Debs.

Board Observer

Uciane Scarlett

Uciane joined OSI as a Principal in December 2019. She was previously an investor and EIR at the US-based fund, Atlas Venture, where she focussed on company creation, early-stage investing, and operations within Atlas portfolio companies. She was involved in the launch of two companies, Quench Bio and Dyne Therapeutics, and served on several boards including Navitor, Quench, and Dyne. She also operated within the cell and gene therapy companies Korro Bio and AVROBIO [Nasdaq: AVRO], where she supported/co-led operations and financing, scientific, and commercial strategies. Prior to joining Atlas, Uciane was the Director of BD and Strategy at Compass Therapeutics, a US-based clinical stage I-O/immunology company which launched in 2015 with a $132M Series A led by F-Prime and Orbimed. Prior to Compass, she spent 5 years working with large-small cap biopharma companies in Boston as a commercial strategy consultant.

Uciane holds a PhD in cancer immunology from Dartmouth College. In addition to working with DJS, Uciane currently represents OSI on the boards of PepGen, Scenic, MiroBio, and Dark Blue Therapeutics.

Director

Pauline Stasiak

Pauline is an Investment Principal in LifeArc’s Seed Fund. LifeArc is an independent charity advancing medical research towards patient treatments and diagnostics addressing diseases where there is high unmet medical need. Following a PhD at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and post-doctoral research at Stanford University she has had a career in technology transfer with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and LifeArc gaining over 27 years’ experience in identifying and facilitating the translation of early stage research into patient benefit. She is passionate about supporting early stage companies to develop novel and transformative technology into new drugs to tackle disease, and DJS Antibodies is an excellent example with the expertise and drive to achieve this. She sits on the Board of the Infex Therapeutics, GyreOx Therapeutics and Avvinity Therapeutics as well as DJS Antibodies as a Non-Executive Director.

Outside of work she is a keen gardener and music enthusiast.

Advisory Board

John Haurum

John Haurum is a Non-executive Director in various European biotech companies (Synklino, Neophore, Storm, Agomab, Synact).
He was the CEO of F-star in Cambridge, UK (2012-2018), where he built a successful biotech company that initiated two clinical trials in oncology and generated more than €200M in non-dilutive revenue. Previously he was VP Research at ImClone Systems, New York (2010-2012) and before then he was the Chief Scientific Officer and cofounder of Symphogen A/S, Denmark (2000-2009).
After graduating in Medicine in Aarhus Denmark 1992, Dr. Haurum received a D.Phil. in Immunology from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, England. Subsequently, he took up positions as Associate Professor at the Danish Cancer Society and completed his medical training.

Catherine Hutchings

Cath has spent over 23 years acquiring significant depth of experience in antibody drug discovery and platform applications, alliance management and scientific leadership, working for cutting edge biotech and pharma companies, such as Cambridge Antibody Technology and Heptares Therapeutics. She reverted to independent consultancy in 2015, providing scientific and strategic consultancy to executive management teams in the pharma/biotech industry and investors, with a particular focus on therapeutic antibodies targeting GPCRs & ion channels, immuno-oncology, platform positioning, target/product evaluation and supporting alliance deal negotiations. Cath graduated with BSc Hons in Genetics and Cell Biology from University of Manchester, UK, and a PhD in Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology from UMIST, UK.

Cath loves travel, particularly safari trips to southern Africa, sea fishing (including tag and release), whale/dolphin watching (a member of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society); wildlife photography; Rugby Union – but just as a spectator!

Peter Kiener

Dr. Kiener has extensive experience in the Biotech and Biopharma industry and currently sits on the BODs or advisory committees of several Biotech companies. Most recently, Dr. Kiener served as Chief Scientific Officer at Sucampo until the company's acquisition by Mallinckrodt in February 2018. Prior to Sucampo, he served as Chief Scientific Officer of Ambrx Inc., a company focused on developing antibody-drug conjugates. Previously, Dr. Kiener was President and Co-founder of Zyngenia Inc, a monoclonal antibody company developing drugs for oncology and inflammatory diseases. His prior experience also includes positions at MedImmune LLC, where he was Head of Global R&D, and at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Kiener has led or contributed to the development of over 30 different clinical-stage therapeutics and seven approved drugs. Additionally, he has published more than 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals and is listed as an inventor on over 60 patents and patent applications. Dr. Kiener received a B.A. in Chemistry from Lancaster University and a D.Phil. in Biochemistry from Sir William Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University, where he also pursued a postdoctoral fellowship.

He's an avid cricket and football fan and spends his spare time getting out on the water.

Pauline Lukey

Pauline Lukey is a drug discovery and development professional with 20 years of experience at GlaxoSmithKline R&D. She led expert teams from candidate selection through to clinical proof of concept, designing and delivering over 20 individual clinical trials . She has extensive experience in various therapy areas: including inflammation, autoimmunity and fibrosis. Since January 2016 she has provided consultancy services to several biotech companies and has worked with the DJS team since 2018. She also lectures at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, sits on the strategic advisory board of the EPSRC Prosperity Partnership and has published over 60 articles in peer reviewed journals. Pauline has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Pretoria and an MSc in microbial genetics from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Michael Steward

In a research career spanning 30 years, Michael has worked across academic, biotech and pharmaceutical industries, specialising in protein and antibody engineering. He was formerly Head of Lead Discovery and Antibody Technologies within GSKs Biopharm R&D unit, where he led multidisciplinary project teams from start of discovery through to clinical candidate selection and beyond, working with a range of antibody formats and modalities including bispecifics. In this position, he also played a decision-making role in examining candidate therapeutics and platform technologies for in-licencing by GSK. Prior to this, he served in a senior role at Domantis Ltd. In addition to this, he has also served in senior roles for other biotech companies working in diverse areas such as immunodiagnostics and epigenetics. During his career Michael has authored more than 30 scientific papers and is a named inventor on a number of patents.

The latest news and insights from DJS

Join us

If you're looking to be surrounded by fantastic people and join an exciting team working on the cutting edge of drug discovery, get in touch!