Management Team

Our management team is highly experienced in a variety of relevant sectors, from molecular biology and genetics to pharmaceutical development, BD deals and corporate finance. This combination of skill sets enables the team to effectively execute our business plan.

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Iain Ross

Executive Chairman

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Dr. Rob Quinn

Chief Financial Officer

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Dr. Giles Campion

Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer

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Dr. John Strafford

VP, Head of Business Development

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Linnea Elrington

VP, Head of Human Resources

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Jørgen Wittendorff

Head of Manufacuring

Iain Ross

Executive Chairman

Iain was appointed Executive Chairman of Silence Therapeutics plc in December 2019 after serving as Non-Executive Chairman since April 2019. Iain has over 40 years’ experience in the international life sciences and technology sectors, where he has completed multiple financing transactions, and over 25 years in cross-border management as Chairman and CEO. He has led and participated in six Initial Public Offerings (“IPOs”) and has direct experience of M&A transactions in Europe, the USA and the Pacific Rim. Currently he is Non-Executive Chairman of Redx Pharma plc (LSE), and Kazia Therapeutics Limited (ASX & NASDAQ) and was responsible for leading the turnaround of all three companies before appointing new executive management. He is a qualified Chartered Director and former Vice Chairman of the Council of Royal Holloway, London University. Previously, he has held significant roles in multi-national companies including Sandoz, Hoffman La Roche, Reed Business Publishing and Celltech Group plc. He has advised banks and private equity groups on numerous company turnarounds including, as CEO of Quadrant Healthcare (1996-2000), taking the company public and signing numerous collaborations before selling the business to Elan in 2001. As Chairman and CEO at Allergy Therapeutics (2001-2002) he restructured the company prior to its IPO and as Chairman at Silence Therapeutics plc (2004-2010) he turned the business around through M&A and established numerous big pharma collaborations. As Executive Chairman at Ark Therapeutics plc (2010-2015) he successfully restructured the business and disposed of the manufacturing assets and reversed in Premier Veterinary Group.

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Appointed

December 2019

Areas of expertise

Corporate Strategy, M&A, Business Development and Governance

Current external roles

Biomer Technology Limited, Kazia Therapeutics Limited, Redx Pharma plc

Dr. Rob Quinn

Chief Financial Officer

Rob was appointed as Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of Silence in January 2019. Rob holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Manchester and is a qualified chartered accountant.

Following his PhD Rob trained as an accountant at Deloitte before joining GlaxoSmithKline (2013-2017), with time spent working in internal audit, M&A and commercial finance. Rob’s last role at GSK was as Area Finance Director for the Africa & Developing Countries business unit, covering sales of pharmaceuticals and vaccines to over 45 countries. Rob joined Silence in April 2017 as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis before broadening his responsibilities to Legal, IT and Manufacturing.

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Appointed

January 2019

Dr. Giles Campion

Head of R&D and Chief Medical Officer

Giles is an expert in translational medicine, and a highly experienced biotech and pharmaceutical professional across all therapeutic areas, most recently in orphan neuromuscular disorders. He has held senior global R&D roles in large pharmaceutical, diagnostics, and biotech companies, including responsibility at Board level. He served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice-President of R&D at Prosensa from 2009 to 2016, during which time the company signed a collaborative agreement with GSK worth up to $680 million with double digit royalties on product sales and co-commercialisation rights in certain territories. Prosensa went on to list on NASDAQ in 2013, raising $89.7 million in an offering nine times oversubscribed, and was eventually acquired by Biomarin in 2015 for $680 million.

Most recently, he served as Chief Medical Officer for Albumedix , Advisor to Myotherix, and a co-founder of PepGen, all companies focusing on therapies for rare diseases. At Albumedix his remit was to build a development portfolio based on the company’s recombinant albumin platform and his work was instrumental in product development and an eventual financial exit for the owners of the company.

Giles holds a medical degree and doctorate from Bristol University and is Board certified in Rheumatology.

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Appointed

June 2019

Dr. John Strafford

VP, Head of Business Development

John was appointed Vice President, Head of Business Development for Silence in May 2019. He has broad experience in biotech, management consulting, and specialty pharma, and has a track record in identifying strategic business opportunities and delivering significant commercial value for biotech growth. At Concordia International, a global specialty pharmaceutical company with over $600m in revenues, he was responsible for the end-to-end business development process and played a key role in the development of robust portfolio management processes, accelerating the identification of new product opportunities and driving pipeline value growth.

John earned his PhD in Biochemical Engineering at University College London and his BSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Edinburgh. He received the Pharma Licensing Group (PLG) Business Development Best Newcomer of the Year Award in 2009 and is the author of several scientific publications.

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Appointed

May 2019

Linnea Elrington

VP, Head of Human Resources

Linnea is an experienced international HR professional and has delivered high impact People programs across many cultures in PE-backed, start-up and global expansion projects. She was the Global Head of Organisation Development at Glory Global Solutions where she oversaw post-acquisition cultural integration programs as well as the development and implementation of executive, management, and employee development and training programs, succession planning, talent management, performance management systems, and organizational effectiveness initiatives. She earlier served in several senior HR roles at Deloitte in North America, Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia.

Linnea is a Chartered member of the Institute for Personnel and Development. She earned an MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology from the London School of Economics and a BA in History from Wesleyan University in the USA.

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Appointed

November 2017

Jørgen Wittendorff

Head of Manufacuring

Jørgen brings with him over 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical development of active pharmaceutical ingredients and products including scale-up, medical device development and technical transfers. His pharmaceutical formulation and analytical knowledge spans parenteral, sterile products, oral formulations, capsules and granules; with knowledge covering API’s. He has significant experience in managing and leading international projects with hands-on change management involvement - notably in respect of compliance with regulatory standards (FDA, EMA and PMDA).

Jørgen served as Senior Director of CMC and Supply at Ablynx from 2016 to 2019 where he was part of registering the company's first biologic. Before that he worked at Ferring Pharmaceuticals between 1995 and 2016 during which time he held the roles of VP for Pharmaceutical Development and Global Project Director. He was also a member of Ferring's patent committee and holder of 2 patents.

Jørgen earned his MSc in Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen.

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Appointed

October 2019