The Board

The Oxtex Board

Chris Towler - Interim Chairman


Chris Towler was educated in the life sciences, gaining a PhD in Biochemistry and undertaking a number of years of post-doctoral research in the area of onco-foetal antigens. He then spent 23 years in the Pharmaceutical Industry (Glaxo and GlaxoWellcome), 13 of which were as leader of a project management organisation within the Development Directorate, followed by a period as head of International and Manufacturing Regulatory Affairs. Chris led the development teams responsible for bringing a number of major novel therapies (including Imigran, Zofran and Relenza) to the market, served as a member of the Corporate Strategy Team and was closely involved with organisational change and post-merger integration projects.
In 2001, he joined Imperial College London to assist the new Vice Chancellor, Sir Richard Sykes, particularly in the realms of strategic planning, complex project management, commercialisation of science and communication. Chris joined Oxford University in 2008 as Director of Oxford Spinout Equity Management to create a new unit with responsibility for management of the University's shareholdings in its spinouts and investment of University funds in portfolio companies involved in a broad spectrum of technologies. Chris has experience of chairmanship or board membership of both science-based and property management companies.

Sanjiv Kanwar - Chief Executive Officer


Sanjiv was appointed CEO in November 2018 and brings over 29 years' experience in operations, business development and C-suite roles. Sanjiv has held senior leadership roles across clinical medicine/research, diagnostics, device/ drug delivery vehicles and the bio-pharmaceutical R&D industries and has worked extensively with resident roles in Europe, USA and Asia.
Sanjiv is a knowledgeable entrepreneur with a proven track record and experience of taking early-stage companies and different technologies and morphing them into mature corporations. Starting his career as a haematologist, he has had significant multi-disciplinary international working appointments - including tenures at UCT international (now part of ICON), Acurian (now part of PPD), Johnson & Johnson, ePharmaSolutions (now part of WIRB-Copernicus Group) and most recently was the Founder and Managing Director at Polaris BioPharma, an international clinical trial optimisation company.

Jan Czernuszka - Technical Director

Jan CzernuszkaJan Czernuszka is a University Lecturer at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Trinity College. He is a Founding Scientist of Oxtex and its Chief Technical Officer. Jan set up and is Head of the Biomaterials Group at Oxford: this is now a Wellcome Trust Centre for Tissue Engineering. He has over 100 publications and nine patents and is regularly invited to give presentations at international conferences. He has been part of a group that obtained Oxford’s largest single grant of approximately £56m. Jan has been Dean and vice-President of Trinity College and is currently Chairman of the Faculty of Materials. He has a BSc (Hons) and ARSM from Imperial College, London, a Ph.D from the University of Cambridge and an M.A from the University of Oxford.

Marc Swan - Clinical Director

Marc SwanMarc is a Consultant in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust where he specialises in the treatment of orofacial clefting. He undertook his specialty training in Oxford and obtained the FRCS (Plast) in 2011. He has worked extensively overseas including the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town, CoRSU Hospital in Kampala and the Comprehensive Cleft Care Centre in Guwahati. He undertook Fellowship training at The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, Canada) and Great Ormond Street Hospital (London, UK). The initial development of a self-inflating tissue expander was the motivation for his doctorate research undertaken jointly between the Nuffield Department of Surgery and the Department of Materials in the University of Oxford. He has since returned to full time NHS clinical practice although he maintains an active interest in the hydrogel research programme. Marc has authored over 50 scientific and medical papers, two patents, and is a contributor to the Oxford Handbook of Plastic Surgery.

David Stephens

David StephensDavid Stephens has enjoyed roles in numerous businesses from early stage to listed companies. His background includes several years as the Chief Financial Officer of Dr. Solomon's Group plc, where he was involved in the management buy-out and initial public offerings of that company on NASDAQ and EASDAQ and the subsequent sale of the business to Network Associates in 1998 for $700m. Since the sale of Dr Solomon's, he has been an active investor and non-executive Director. This has included a major involvement in the sale of Content Technologies to Baltimore in 2001 for $1bn. David has a degree in Mathematics from St. Catherine's College, Oxford and is a Chartered Management Accountant.

William Middleton

William MiddletonWill Middleton is an investor director representing OTIF. Will has over 10 years' experience in investment management, having formally worked for Sloane Robinson as an investment analyst and assistant fund manager. Will currently works for Somercourt Investments, a private investment office, and is the portfolio manager of Technikos LLP, a Biomedical Engineering fund established to support the commercialisation of biomedical opportunities spun-out of Oxford University's Institute of Biomedical Engineering.


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