Start Codon, a new model of life science and healthcare business accelerator, has announced two appointments to its senior team. Daniel Rooke has joined as Partner and Head of Operations, and Sakura Holloway as Partner and Head of Diligence.
Start Codon strengthens senior team with key appointments
Founded earlier this year, Start Codon is a strategic initiative, which offers significant funding and support to rapidly translate the most disruptive and innovative research into world class start-up companies. Daniel’s focus will be on the negotiation of investments, follow-on funding rounds and exits, as well as the management of the group’s intellectual property. Sakura will support Start Codon’s deal flow by identifying potential companies for investment and performing due diligence. She will also act as a mentor during the acceleration programme.
Daniel is a senior lawyer with expertise in the healthcare and technology sectors. He was previously the General Counsel of, and member of the management team at, Cycle Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a Cambridge-based pharmaceutical company focusing on the rare and orphan drug markets, where he built the legal team from the ground up and was heavily involved in the planning and implementation of Cycle’s global strategy and operations. Prior to moving in-house, Daniel was a senior lawyer at, amongst others, Taylor Wessing LLP where he built a practice advising a wide range of technology and healthcare clients across the UK and worldwide, ranging from start-ups to multinationals, on a variety of venture capital and private equity investments, M&A transactions, tech transfers and licensing deals.
With a technical background in biological sciences, including immunology and molecular biology, Sakura has held several key roles in intellectual property, commercial and VC investment. She joins Start Codon from Merck KGaA, where she headed up business development operations in the European life sciences sector and was involved in sourcing and evaluating technologies for in-licensing and acquisitions. Previously, Sakura was Investment Analyst at OneVentures Pty Ltd, an Australian VC firm focussed on investing in clinical stage assets in the therapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics fields. In addition to leading various deals, she was responsible for IP diligence across the healthcare team and acted as IP advisor to OneVentures’ portfolio companies. Prior to this she was IP counsel at Benitec Biopharma Ltd, Head of Commercialisation for RNAi technology at The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Director of IP at Cephalon Australia Pty Ltd (now Teva Australia), where she developed internal IP strategies and contributed to diligence activities during various in-licensing and M&A activities.
Dr Jason Mellad, CEO at Start Codon, said: “The appointments of Daniel and Sakura form part of our ambitious plans and mission to provide a new model of life science and healthcare business accelerator, with a world-class team to create maximum value for us, our investors and our investee companies. Daniel and Sakura’s industry experience and expertise will be invaluable to the companies joining our acceleration program. I look forward to working with them in our next phase, as we identify the most exciting life science and healthcare companies from around the globe.”
The first cohort of five companies is now being recruited. Start Codon is looking for companies with disruptive innovations that will revolutionise modern healthcare and platform technologies underpinned by strong intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on novel therapeutics, diagnostics, medtech and digital health.
Enquiries from potential candidates and investors should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org