Executive Leadership Team

Our executive leadership 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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Mark Rothera

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Dr. Rob Quinn

Chief Financial Officer

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Dr. Giles Campion

EVP, 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

SVP, Head of Manufacturing

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Dr. Barbara Ruskin

SVP, General Counsel and Chief Patent Officer

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Dr. Marie Wikström Lindholm

SVP, Molecular Design

Mark Rothera

President and Chief Executive Officer

Mark was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and Board member of Silence Therapeutics in September 2020. Mark has three decades of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry including driving the transition of multiple emerging biotech companies from R&D stage to commercialization. During his career, he has focused on bringing novel therapies to patients with rare diseases and has launched seven orphan drugs.

Mark previously served as CEO of Orchard Therapeutics, where he oversaw its transformation from a small U.K.-based, privately held company with two clinical-stage programmes into a leading gene therapy company with seven clinical-stage programmes and fully integrated capabilities. Prior to that, Mark served as chief commercial officer of PTC Therapeutics, where he successfully launched two rare disease therapies and helped lead the company’s transition from a private, U.S.-based R&D biotech to a public company with a global commercial footprint. Mark’s previous roles include serving as head of the EMEA region of Shire Human Genetics and Commercial Director for EMEA region for Chiron/PathoGeneis. Mark holds an M.A. in natural sciences from Cambridge University and an MBA from INSEAD.

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Appointed

September 2020

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

EVP, 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

SVP, Head of Manufacturing

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

Dr. Barbara Ruskin

SVP, General Counsel and Chief Patent Officer

Barbara brings over 25 years of experience in life science IP and corporate law, having served as outside counsel for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and their investors, including as a Partner at Ropes & Gray LLP and an associate at Fish & Neave LLP, both in New York City. From September 2017 to February 2019, Barbara served as SVP, General Counsel/Chief Patent Officer of Molecular Templates, Inc. (Nasdaq:MTEM) and from April 2015 to August 2016, as SVP, General Counsel/Chief Patent Officer of Bionor Pharma ASA, a public company in Oslo, Norway. At each company, she managed general legal and intellectual property matters, including corporate financing and regulatory matters, business development, licensing and patent portfolio management.

Barbara earned a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Harvard University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in New York State and is a registered United States Patent Attorney. She currently serves as Chairman of the Board of St. Jude Children's Hospital GMP, LLC and has previously served as a director on the Board of the Burke Neurological Institute.

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Appointed

March 2020

Current external roles

St. Jude Children's Hospital GMP, LLC

Dr. Marie Wikström Lindholm

SVP, Molecular Design

Marie joined Silence Therapeutics in December 2017 as Head of Molecular Design where she leads a skilled team focusing on fine-tuning design of GalNAc-conjugated siRNA and exploring siRNA delivery outside the hepatocyte.

Marie has more than 13 years’ experience with oligonucleotide therapeutics, starting with Santaris Pharma A/S, Denmark, working on locked nucleic acid (LNA) oligonucleotide drug discovery from molecule design through in vitro screening, in vivo activity and metabolism studies, and finally a role as lipid metabolism expert. When Santaris was acquired by Roche in 2014, Marie was appointed Expert Scientist in Discovery Technology and Head of Targeted Delivery of oligonucleotide conjugates. She was also scientific coordinator for the LNA work in two large EU-funded FP7 programs (AtheroBCell and AtheroFlux).

Before the transition to industry, Marie had an international academic career in experimental cardiovascular research starting with a PhD from Uppsala University. She has authored over 60 patents and peer-reviewed scientific publications, many in the fields of oligonucleotide drug design, safety, and function.

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Appointed

November 2020