Management Team

Levicept has a highly experienced Board and Senior Management Team with extensive experience in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Furthermore, Levicept has brought together a multidisciplinary team of pharmaceutical consultants to complement its own core internal expertise to assist in the development of p75NTR-Fc.

Simon Westbrook - CEO and Founder

Simon has a strong track record of innovation and delivery of drug development programmes with 20 years of drug discovery and development experience, including 15 years at Pfizer Sandwich UK. Simon has played pivotal roles in progressing novel, successful projects from conception of idea to delivery of clinical data. Simon is the named inventor on numerous patents, including p75NTR-Fc for the treatment of pain. He was a team member of four programmes that achieved positive readout in proof-of-concept phase II clinical trials, of which he is the co-inventor of three.

Kevin Johnson - Executive Chairman

Kevin has been working with Index Ventures since 2003, focusing on drug development companies, including Acutus Inc, B3NGF and Levicept . Prior to joining Index, Kevin was CEO of PanGenetics, an antibody development company and Index investment that was acquired by Abbott. During his career at Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT), including Head of Research and board membership as Research Director and Chief Technology Officer, he led development of CAT’s platform technologies and their application in the discovery of a number of antibodies currently in clinical development. Two of these, Humira (Abbott Pharmaceutical) and Benlysta (GlaxoSmithKline), are now on the market.

Francesco de Rubertis

Francesco is a co-founder and Partner at Medicxi. Prior to Medicxi, Francesco was a Partner at Index Ventures for 19 years, having joined the firm in 1997 to launch its life sciences practice. Under his leadership, the asset-centric approach to life sciences investing was conceived and adopted. Francesco currently serves on the boards of a number of portfolio companies, including Palladio Biosciences, Rivus Pharmaceuticals, Orexia and Inexia.  

Francesco received a BA in Genetics and Microbiology from the University of Pavia and a PhD Molecular Biology from the University of Geneva. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Whitehead Institute at MIT and is a CFA Charterholder. Francesco also serves on the strategic advisory board of the University of Geneva.

Raj Parekh

Raj is a general partner at Advent, having joined in 2005. He has over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and investor in the life sciences. He has served on the Board of several Advent portfolio companies including Thiakis, Avila, EUSA and Cellnovo.

Paul-Peter Tak

Paul Peter Tak is Board Director of Levicept. He is also the President and CEO of Candel Therapeutics and Board Director of Sitryx Therapeutics and Citryll.

He received his medical degree cum laude from the Free University in Amsterdam and was trained as an internist, rheumatologist and immunologist at Leiden University Medical Center, where he also received his PhD. He has been Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego. Next, he served as Professor of Medicine and founding Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam (AMC).

He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals (> 570 publications, H-index 135, > 80,000 citations) and received numerous awards. He has been elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

At GlaxoSmithKline he served as Senior Vice President, Chief Immunology Officer, and Global Development Leader. As global head of a cluster of Therapy Areas, he oversaw the creation of a portfolio of new therapies for immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, cancer, and infectious disease. He was also the Chair of GSK’s Scientific Review Board.

Paul Peter served as venture partner at Flagship Pioneering, President and CEO of Kintai Therapeutics, and President and CEO of Tempero Pharmaceuticals. He is a co-founder of Sitryx Therapeutics and was also Board Director of Galvani Bioelectronics, ViiV Healthcare, and Omega Therapeutics.

Barbara Dalton

Barbara Dalton, PHD is Vice President, WWBD and Senior Managing Partner of Pfizer Ventures. Barbara has been a member of Pfizer’s Worldwide Business Development Leadership Team for the past 11 years where she is responsible for leading Pfizer Ventures, managing the corporation’s private equity portfolio, as well as overseeing equity based transactions that support business development. She currently has responsibility for Pfizer’s investments in, Artios Pharma, BioNTech, Complexa, Cydan, Imara, Ixchelsis, Morphic Therapeutic, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, SpringWorks, System1, and Yumanity.

Barbara has spent over 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, most of that time as a corporate venture capitalist. She joined SmithKline’s venture capital group, S.R. One, Limited in the early 1990s and was a founding member of EuclidSR Partners, a related private New York based venture capital firm, in 2000. Barbara began her career as a research scientist, pursuing anti-inflammatory drug discovery research at SmithKline and French Research Laboratories. Barbara has been a leader in the corporate venture capital world, establishing the Corporate Venture Capital Group within the National Venture Capital Association. She has been on the board of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Foundation, the NYBio organization and currently Chairs the Healthcare group of the Partnership Fund for New York City.

Barbara received a BS in General Science from Penn State and a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, now the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Arthur Franken

Arthur Franken has been a partner at Gilde Healthcare since 2001. He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Moximed, ProQR Therapeutics Symphogen and was a member of the Supervisory Board of FlowCardia and MTM Laboratories.