The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult executive team manage the organisation on a day-to-day basis.
Chief Executive Officer
Matthew Durdy is Chief Executive of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, having been part of the founding team in 2012. Prior to 2020, he was Chief Business Officer and was responsible for strategy, communications, marketing, and business development. He is credited with leading the design and implementation of the commercial model for the highly successful Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre and being a global champion for the early integration of healthcare economics and reimbursement expertise into decision-making and clinical product design.
He began his career in international investment banking and venture capital, and has successfully invested in and managed a number of biotechnology SMEs and regional operations of multinational organisations. He has an MA from the University of Oxford in Pure and Applied Biology, an MBA from the University of Chicago, and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. He is also Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the charity Parkinson’s UK.
Dr Jacqueline Barry
Chief Clinical Officer
Jacqueline joined Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult as Director of Regulatory Affairs and has since been promoted to Chief Clinical Officer.
Prior to this Jacqueline worked at the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service in a number of senior regulatory and quality positions, the responsibility for which included designing the regulatory strategy for the Cellular Therapies developed by the Blood Transfusion Service, acting as Responsible Person for Blood and Qualified Person for medicinal product release. Before that she held a number of post-Doctoral academic posts at the University of Edinburgh studying neuromuscular regeneration. She has considerable experience in the development, translation, clinical trial and approval of cell based medicinal products and therapies.
Dr Stephen Ward
Chief Manufacturing Officer
Prior to becoming the new Chief Manufacturing Officer of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Stephen has established the world-class industrialisation capabilities at both the Guy’s Hospital facilities in London, plus designed and built the innovative GMP manufacturing centre in Stevenage.
As the first Chief Operating Officer of CGT Catapult Stephen brings over 25 years of biological medicine research, development and manufacturing experience to the organisation. Stephen enjoys bringing high impact therapies to patients, by developing commercially viable products. Stephen is passionate about securing and growing the cell and gene therapy manufacturing and development supply chain.
He is the current Chair of the BIA’s Manufacturing Advisory Committee, actively promoting and supporting UK biomanufacturing at Government as well as grass root level. His first degree was from the University of Birmingham, and his second degree from the Medical School of Southampton University.
Dr Jonathan Appleby
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr Appleby joined CGT Catapult as Chief Scientific Officer in October 2018. Prior to joining he was CSO for Cell and Gene Therapy at GSK’s Rare Diseases Unit where he also led the team that developed and launched Strimvelis, the multi-award winning and first autologous stem cell gene therapy to be approved for commercial use.
Dr Appleby has worked in all phases of medicines development from discovery to launch and brings decades of industry experience in both conventional and ATMP medicines development. Prior to joining GSK’s Rare Diseases Unit, Dr Appleby was Director and Portfolio Manager at the GSK Centre of Excellence for External Drug Development. In this role, he discovered, in-licensed and developed new technologies and assets with SME companies across a broad range of therapeutic areas. Dr Appleby graduated from the University of Leeds with an honours degree in Genetics and a PhD from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Chief Financial Officer
Brian joined CGT Catapult in September 2019 and is responsible for Finance, HR, IT and Procurement across the three sites.
Brian has over 25 years leadership experience across a range of industries. Brian's last role was as CFO for a £350 million turnover PE-backed food packaging business.
Brian has a BSc in Management Science from St. Andrews University and is a UK Chartered Accountant.
Dr Sharon Brownlow
Chief Business Officer
Sharon has over 30 years’ experience in the bioprocessing industry. Following postdoctoral research in protein structure and function, she had a number of technical / commercial roles in leading equipment / disposables manufacturers and a biologics contract manufacturing organisation.
She is now responsible for establishing and maintaining collaborations of researchers and companies worldwide with The Cell Therapy Catapult. Working with up to 12 collaborating ATMP manufacturers at the Catapult GMP manufacturing centre in Stevenage, UK, she is also part of a team working to creating a cluster of services through attracting inward investment.
Jon Halling was appointed Quality Director of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in April 2016. He has responsibility for the company quality management system.
This includes all quality assurance related activity which ensures the GMP facility and support services are maintained in strict compliance with the governing regulations, assuring our collaborators that their manufacturing environment is maintained fit for purpose. Jon also has responsibility for the Centre’s quality control service provision which includes raw materials, environmental monitoring, microbiology, in-process and final product testing services.
Jon has over 20 years’ GMP quality experience in regulated pharma and biopharma manufacturing environments including working with diagnostic enzymes, monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins and attenuated viral vaccines for both contract manufacturers and internal innovators.
Dr Michael Bennett
Director of Business Development
Michael is Director of Business Development at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, managing the business development, intellectual property and legal teams.
Michael is an experienced negotiator who has closed tens of multi-million US dollar revenue generating agreements such as in and out licences and settlement agreements. Previously Michael has held a number of executive management positions and was the Vice President of Business Development and Licensing for Oxford Gene Technology Ltd, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Molecular Sensing Plc, Market Manager for Roche Diagnostics and Product Manager for Hybaid after spending four years as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Bristol and the Royal Free Hospital in London.
He is a chartered biologist (CBiol) holds a BSc (Hons) in Biology from the University of Paisley along with a doctorate (D.Phil) from the University of Oxford.
Dr Damian Marshall
Director of Industrialisation, New and Enabling Technologies
Damian leads the assay development and validation team which underpins a diverse portfolio of cell therapy products at various stages of clinical maturity from pre-FiM to phase II.
Damian has over 15 years of assay development experience in the cell therapy and life sciences fields having previously managed the R&D portfolios for both SMEs and LGC Ltd and has successfully managed a European life sciences business with an annual turnover in excess of £15million.
Damian graduated with a degree in biological sciences and a PhD in developmental biology from Manchester University.
Director of Industrialisation, Manufacturing
Julie has more than 20 years’ experience across large pharma, biotech and academic laboratories, including 7 years at Pfizer Ltd as Biology Lead for a cell replacement therapy for Age Related Macular Degeneration which achieved First-in-Human in 2015.
Working closely with our collaborators she is responsible for the development and technical transfer of cell and gene therapy manufacturing processes ensuring they meet quality and regulatory requirements. Julie holds a BSc. Hons degree in Biology from the University of Southampton
Manufacturing Centre Director
Mark joined CGT Catapult in April 2019 as the Manufacturing Centre Director in Stevenage, where he oversees the smooth operation of the facility. Mark has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 18 years across both large and contract manufacturing organisations.
Mark studied Process Biotechnology at university and then commenced working for GSK in 2000. Mark moved on to work for a contract manufacturing organisation in 2002 and spent 12 years working within product development, technology transfer and the commercialisation of new products. In 2014 Mark moved onto work for Pfizer in the UK and was responsible for the liquid dose manufacturing operation in the UK. Across the last 18 years he has led a number of teams across different organisations, from process/product development groups, manufacturing teams, project management, process improvement groups to leading entire business units.
Chief Strategy and Impact Officer
Nick Johnson is the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, and ensures the CGTC remains at the forefront of driving innovation in the field of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs). Building on the existing strong collaborations with academia and industry, Dr Johnson focuses on our continued alignment against the Government’s goal to grow the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry.
Prior to this role, Nick was the Commercial Director at CPI, part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVMC), where his responsibilities included business development, strategic marketing, marketing communications, grant proposals and reporting of impact to government and other stakeholder groups. Earlier in his career he has held senior strategic and commercial roles at Catalent, Johnson Matthey, Sigma Aldrich and Dr Reddys.
Nick holds a first-class bachelor of science degree from the University of Manchester and a PhD in organic chemistry from the same institution. His master of business administration was gained at Imperial College and he is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.