Dr. Michael Leek
Executive Chairman of the Board
Michael Leek, Ph.D., MBA has served as our Chief Executive, co-founder and executive board member since July 2013. Prior to this, Dr. Leek served in senior management and board roles with, Intercytex plc, a cell therapy company he co-founded. While at Intercytex, Dr. Leek was involved in clinical development of cell therapies to treat chromic dermal wounds. Early in his career, he held roles of increasing responsibility at Smith and Nephew from 1989 to 1999 as leader of the Tissue Repair Enabling Technology team. Dr. Leek holds a Ph.D. (Forensic Medicine) from the University of Leeds. He has acted as an honorary lecturer at the School of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen since January 2014.
Chief Executive Officer and Board Director
Bryan Kobel serves as our Chief Executive Officer, having joined TC BioPharm, with a view to assuming that role, in June 2021. Prior to joining TC BioPharm he served as Managing Director at EF Hutton from October 2020 as the head of healthcare investment banking. From June 2018 to October 2020, Mr Kobel was Managing Director and head of healthcare/capital markets at the Alberleen Group where he led deal origination and structuring, as well as leading the sales efforts for transactions across the Healthcare and Technology sectors. From April 2017 to June 2018, he was Head of Capital Markets at R.F. Lafferty & Co. From March 2012 to April 2017, Mr Kobel was Managing Director, Capital Markets at Laidlaw & Company. Mr. Kobel holds a BA degree from Franklin & Marshall College and held the FINRA licenses Series 7, 63, 82, 79 and 24.
Chief Financial Officer and Board Director
Martin Thorp has been a member of the Board of directors since March 2016 and has served, in an executive capacity, as the Chief Financial Officer since March 2019. From December 2014, Martin was founder (and from 2018 chairman) of a life science financial advisory firm, Copernican Capital Partners Limited (formally NCL Corporate Finance Limited), where he acted as corporate finance adviser to and investor in, several disruptive life science companies. Martin was also a co-founding director of a life science advisory and investment firm NCL Technology Ventures from 2014 to 2018. He was a director of Discovery Park Technology Investments (GP) Limited (and associated investment companies) from September 2016 until July 2018. Martin holds a B.A. in business finance from the University of Kent and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co in London in 1977 and became a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1986. He was a partner in Arthur Andersen & Co from August 1985, and served in several roles including founder and global managing partner of Arthur Andersen’s international corporate finance business, based latterly in New York. He retired from professional practice in 2002 and consequently ceased to be a member of ICAEW in 2004.
Mark Bonyhadi, PhD
Mark Bonyhadi, PhD is a Senior Advisor at Qiming Venture Partners USA. Prior to joining Qiming in December 2018, Mark held positions of Vice President of Research, Head of Academic Affairs, and Vice President of Process Research Sciences from 2013-2018 at Juno Therapeutics. From 2006-2013, Mark was Director of Global Business Development for Cell Therapy at Invitrogen, which was merged with Applied BioSystems, to create Life Technologies, which subsequently was acquired by Thermo-Fisher. Mark was responsible for identifying and implementing business opportunities aligned with the Lifetech/Invitrogen/Thermo cellular medicine portfolio, participating, and leading in the launch of the Cell Therapy Systems (CTS™) product line optimized for cell therapy applications, as well as working with academia and industry to accelerate the development of novel cell and/or gene-based therapies. From 1997-2005, Mark served as Director and later Vice President of Research at Xycte Therapies, a T cell therapy company treating cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmunity. Prior to that, Mark was a senior scientist at SyStemix, a biotech company developing hematopoietic stem cell-based therapies for treating cancer, where he did his postdoctoral training. Mark is a former Chair and current member of the Industry Liaison Committee for the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). Mark received a B.A. from Reed College, Portland, OR (1982) and a PhD from University of California at Berkeley (1990), where he studied T cell immunology, and identified the first delta chain protein product of the recently discovered gamma/delta T cell. Since graduating from UC Berkeley, Mark has been focused on the development of commercially viable approaches and business strategies for bringing cell therapies, gene-modified cell therapies, and regenerative medicine from the bench to the clinic, and into commercial use over the past three decades.
James Culverwell served as a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Innocoll Holdings plc (a collagen-based drug delivery company) from 2013 until 2017 during which period it relocated from Dublin to Germany and ultimately listed on Nasdaq (INNL). Between 2016 and 2019 he was a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Amryt Pharmaceuticals plc, a commercial and research-based company specializing in rare diseases, which during his tenure listed on the Dublin STX and the London AIM markets and acquired Aegerion, a Nasdaq listed company. Since its foundation in 2006, Mr Culverwell has been a non-executive director and chairman of the audit committee of Safeguard Biosystems, a private company providing high throughput, multiplexed, molecular diagnostic tests and now generating commercial revenues. Since 2013 Mr Culverwell has been Chief Executive and is currently Chairman of HOX Therapeutics, a UK based private company researching early-stage treatments for prostate cancer. Since 2021 he has been a director and the chairman of the audit committee of Quoin Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is initiating clinical trials in a treatment for rare skin diseases. Since 2010 he has served as a healthcare investment consultant to a large secondary fund, where he performs due diligence on life science investment candidates. In 2005 Mr Culverwell established a corporate advisory firm, advising small life science companies on fund raising and larger companies on strategy and investor relations. From 1994-2004 Mr Culverwell was VP and Global Administrator Healthcare Equity Research Merrill Lynch/Bank of America and from 1982-94 he was Director and Head of European Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Equity Research at Hoare Govett/ABN Amro. He holds an MSc (Hons) in biology from the University of Aberdeen.
Arlene Morris currently serves (since July 2019) as a non-executive director of the following companies: Cogent Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: COGT) (since July 2019), where she is the chair the compensation committee and is a member of the audit committee and the nominating and corporate governance (‘N&G’) committee; Viridian Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRDN) (since January 2018), where she is a member of the audit, pricing and N&G Committees; and Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: PTN) (since 2015), where she is a member of the compensation and N&G committees. Ms Morris has also served as a non-executive director at the following companies: Neovacs SA (2011 to 2021), Dimension Therapeutics, Inc. (2015-018), Biodel, Inc. (2012-2015), MediciNova, Inc. (2006-2013). Ms Morris is an emeritus member of the board of directors at the Medical University of South Carolina (‘MUSC’) (since 2012) and is also (since 2016) a member of the board of trustees of Carlow University (PA). She has also served as a member (including of the executive committee) of the Biotechnology Innovation Origanisation (‘BIO’), which is a biotechnology industry advocacy organization; and of the charitable organization, the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (including chair of the audit committee). She has held senior executive management roles in the pharmaceutical group Johnson & Johnson including business development, product development, strategic marketing, product management and sales management.
Edward Niemczyk is a Partner at Bridges Fund Management, Ltd (‘Bridges’), a private equity firm focused on sustainable and impact investing. He has been with Bridges’ U.S. Sustainable Growth Fund since 2016 and leads its healthcare efforts in the U.S. Whilst at Bridges he served on the board of directors of the following private companies, which are, or have been, investees of Bridges: Impact Fitness North America, LP (2016 to 2019); Medwood Services, LLC (chairman of the board) (2018 to present); Sunrise Treatment Center, LLC (chairman of the board) (2019 to present); Jump City Holdings, Inc (2019 to present); James River Home Health and Hospice, LLC (2020 to present) and Altius Healthcare Management, LLC (chairman of the board) (2021 to present). Prior to Bridges, Mr. Niemczyk was an investor at The Beekman Group, LLC and Cordova, Smart and Williams, LLC and started his career at GE Capital Corporation. Mr Niemczyk holds a BA from Franklin & Marshall College and an MBA from Columbia Business School.