Oxford Biotrans is a University of Oxford spin-out company supported by over 20 years of research by Dr Luet Lok Wong from the Department of Chemistry. The company will develop and commercialise enzymatic process technologies that yield high-value chemical compounds.
Our processes bring the following benefits:
- Yield natural-grade products from natural feedstocks.
- Offer security of supply by using readily-available feedstocks.
- Realise production cost advantages, deriving from:
- Selectivity and activity of our proprietary, bespoke biocatalysts.
- Ability to use low-cost feedstocks.
They are environmentally friendly process that avoid the harsh reagents and conditions of many synthetic processes, thus producing less chemical waste and using less energy.
Moreover, we can provide routes to molecules not easily accessed by any other means due to the pronounced ability of our catalysts to functionalise positions of a molecular framework that would ordinarily be considered inactive.
Jason has eighteen years’ start-up/SME experience covering global business development, business leadership and project management, primarily in the catalysis, chemicals and advanced materials sectors. Previously Jason was Vice President for Business Development with Avantium Technologies in the Netherlands and then Business Development Director of hte AG in Germany before leading the start-up of MatOx Ltd, an Oxford-based IP development and commercialization business focused on advanced materials, and working with biomaterials company Giltech Ltd as director of business development. Jason is a specialist in early-stage technology development/commercialization, collaborative research and development partnerships and technology licensing. He has an MA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in chemistry from the same.
Will has worked internationally up to Vice President level in the chemicals sector for over 30 years with ICI / Zeneca, FMC and a JV of Monsanto and Akzo Nobel. He then co-founded Oxford Catalysts and became its COO. More recently he has headed up Manufacturing at the at the Technology Strategy Board, where he led the formation of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult Centre, and now focuses, as non-executive director, on early stage companies. He sits on the UK’s Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) , the Council and Board of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), and the Board of the Institute for Manufacturing (Cambridge) thereby maintaining senior level contacts in industry and government circles highly relevant to OB’s business. He is also Chairman of Irish Manufacturing Research, a state-funded organisation set up to take up a role similar to that of the Catapult in the UK. He was awarded an OBE for “Services to Innovation and Manufacturing” in the Queen’s 2016 New Year Honours List.
George RobinsonNon-Executive Director
George is a Partner and co-Founder of Sloane Robinson LLP, an investment management business which invests in listed equities globally with a particular focus on Asian and Emerging Markets. Prior to that he worked for 15 years in Asia, initially for John Swire and Sons in Hong Kong, Korea and the Philippines, and then for Asian based stockbroker WI Carr in Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong where he was Director of Regional Research. George is an active investor in early stage technology and biotech companies with a particular focus on Oxford spin- outs, and is a founding Partner of Technikos, a private equity partnership which invests in spin-out companies from the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He is an investor in a number of Oxford based companies and a partner of Oxford Investments Consultants LLP which advises the Oxford Technology and Innovations EIS Fund. He is an honorary fellow of Keble College, Oxford from where he graduated with an MA in Engineering Science, and is a member of Oxford University Endowment Investment Committee.
Tassos KonstantinouNon-Executive Director
Tassos joined IP Group in January 2019 and specialises in the life science sector. Prior to joining IP Group, Tassos was a business development executive at CRUK Commercial Partnerships (ex CRT) where he led the commercialisation of drug discovery programmes to pharma and helped set up new companies. He has experience in technology transfer both in the States and the UK and has also held an investment analyst role with SR One, GSK’s venture capital arm. Tassos did a PhD in molecular oncology at the University of Oxford and a postdoc at the University of Chicago.
James is Director at Oxford Spin-Out Equity Management (OSEM). James joined Isis Innovation Ltd in April 2003 to manage the University’s equity stakes in spin-out companies and joined Oxford Spin-out Equity Management (OSEM) on its formation in August 2008. Prior to Isis, James worked in the private equity group at Abbey National Treasury Services as a member of a team responsible for commitments of £1.9bn. He has also been a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of funds managed by Advent Venture Partners and Avlar BioVentures. James gained his first degree in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford, following which he trained and worked as a software engineer, initially with Marconi Underwater Systems. He gained an MBA from Cranfield in 1990 and has over 17 years of experience in venture capital as both investor and adviser.
Luet WongScientific Advisor
Luet is a University Lecturer in Chemistry and the EP Abraham Cephalosporin Trust Fellow and Tutor in Inorganic Chemistry at St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford. He provides Oxford Biotrans with scientific and technical leadership.
Pip HarrisOffice Manager
Pip has over 20 years’ experience in office administration. Previous roles include Office & Facilities support for K3 Business Technologies, the Horticultural Trades Association and Carus Retail (formerly Quintek Systems).
Matthew HodgesDirector of Commercial Operations
Matthew has a background in molecular biology, having first received a BA in Biological Sciences, followed by a D.Phil from the University of Oxford. He subsequently spent 3 years at Mars & Co. Consulting where he worked across the FMCG, Life Sciences, Agrochemical, Auto and Aerospace industries in a broad range of commercial engagements, including corporate strategy, product strategy, commercial due diligence and valuation.
Mohamed IssoufFermentation Development & Scale-up Manager
Mohamed has over 11 years’ experience working for start-ups/SMEs, leading scientific projects for the biotechnology industry. Previously Mohamed worked as senior scientist/ team leader at Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd in Scotland which was focused on the discovery and development of new natural products from marine micro-organisms. Mohamed holds an MSc in microbiology and biochemistry from the University of Luminy (Marseille).
Kouider GuerinikSenior Scientist
Kouider has over 24 years experience in Biotechnology spanning diverse sectors: food, chemicals, environment and oil industries. Previously Kouider worked at Saudi Aramco’s R&D centre on the application of Biotech to the oil industry, and at Unilever Research, where he worked on a number of bioconversion/biocatalytic processes.
Donna graduated from the University of Bath in 2004, achieving an undergraduate Masters degree in Biochemistry. She has since worked in a number of roles in both academic and commercial settings, focusing largely on the overexpression and purification of recombinant proteins.
Jay has over 8 years of biotech industry experience covering screening, upstream and downstream process development with process transfer from lab scale to large manufacturing scale fermentations. Jay has previously worked at Lallemand group, Aquapharm Biodiscovery Ltd, IFFCO and National Science Laboratory (Edinburgh) on varied roles. Jay is responsible for the scale up of P450 enzyme production process at Oxford Biotrans. Jay holds an MSc in Biomedical Sciences & Microbiology from the Edinburgh Napier University.
Scott is currently responsible for the initial screening and development of new target products. This role involves all aspects of Upstream Development, Fermentation and Biocatalysis. Scott has obtained a BSc degree from the University of Glasgow, UK and a MSc in Industrial Biotechnology from the University of Strathclyde, UK in collaboration with the IBioIC. Scott previously worked at Croda, UK as part of the Fermentation and Biotechnology teams.
Matthew is responsible for ensuring the scalability of processes, and bridging the gap between laboratory and plant scale work. Previously, Matthew was a process chemist at Robinson Brothers Ltd., where he led projects from concept through to plant synthesis, and was part of the group which received the GSK Innovation Award at the 2014 Chemical Industry Awards. Matthew holds an MSci in chemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK.
Sam is involved in the development of P450’s biocatalytic properties and has 2 years previous experience at the Universities of Oxford and Hull, in fields of biotech research ranging from epigenetics to electrochemistry. He holds an MBiochem from the University of Oxford, UK.
Caitlin joined the team in July 2016 after spending her Masters year working in the Wong group on P450 biotransformations with sesquiterpene compounds. She has recently graduated with an MChem from the University of Oxford.
Murray is a qualified Chemical Engineer who specialised in biocatalysis through postgraduate study. He has experience in P450 reaction design through an MSc (Eng) from the University of Cape Town, and has since completed a further MSc and PhD in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark under Prof. John Woodley. Murray is interested in pursuing and applying new reaction technologies to realise more efficient processes at Oxford Biotrans.
Sarah joined the team in May 2019 after spending five years working at Immunocore in fermentation process development. She holds a BSc. with microbiology specialism from Coventry University.