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The Highbury Team

Our mission is to enable you to successfully protect and commercialise your innovations, new products and technologies, and to maximise their value.

Highbury is headed by business development specialists Christi Mitchell and Robert Looker. The team are based at Highbury Ltd, our global headquarters near London, which services Europe, the Americas, Africa, New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific regions.

In addition to its in-house value-creation experts, Highbury also works closely with specialist associates from a range of legal and other disciplines. This ensures that every project is supported comprehensively and effectively. In this way Highbury brings to bear all the talent and expertise required to create maximum value from your innovation.

Christi Mitchell, Intellectual Property (IP) Director, founded Highbury as an independent consultancy specialising in product and technology commercialisation and business development across a wide range of technical fields. Christi’s academic background includes Human Genetics and Molecular Biology alongside Business. She has over 25 years worldwide licensing and commercialisation experience with both early stage and late stage life science technologies and consumer healthcare products and is also involved with spin-out funding and strategic IP commercialisation. Christi also specialises in patent portfolio development, management and valuation.

Sharon Finch had more than 15 years business development experience in industry before starting work as a consultant.  In this capacity she has worked on an extensive range of partnering assignments for multinational, national and biotech companies.  These projects have included advising on licensing, co-promotion and co-marketing deals. As well as working as an associate with Highbury, Sharon is also CEO of Medius Associates and is highly experienced at negotiating and implementing commercialisation deals with both multinational pharmaceutical companies and biotechs.

Robert Looker, Director Business Collaboration is a leading UK Commercial and Social Franchise, Licensing and replicatory growth specialist. Rob was the British Franchise Association’s (BFA) first Accreditation Manager, responsible for membership and exhibition accreditation, he established the BFA’s national franchisee and franchisor workshop programme that still runs to this day and has been attended by well in excess of 1,000+ individuals / businesses. He also led on the BFA’s redevelopment of its Dispute Resolution Procedure implementing its Mediation programme.

Jill Ogden, Jill has over 28 years’ commercial and R&D experience in the biopharmaceutical, healthcare and drug delivery industries both in-house and more recently as a consultant. She has a successful track record of concluding a wide range of transactions, including a corporate acquisition and technology and product licensing deals, establishing partnerships and negotiating a wide range of commercial agreements on a global basis. Jill has worked in both public and private companies from biotechs and university spin-outs to mid-caps, including Elan, pSivida and Quadrant Healthcare. Until recently she was a Board Director and VP, Business Development for Warwick Effect Polymers playing a leading role in its acquisition by PolyTherics (now Abzena).

Dr Sheila Shilton-Brown, Technical Director, has strong skills in the pharmaceutical and agrichemical fields, specialising in identifying potentially valuable products from academic research, managing development of early stage research products, licence and partnership negotiations, and, assisting start-up ventures. Her early career in the international pharmaceutical industry, with both research and development experience, was followed by 13 years at the technology transfer organisation, BTG plc in London.

Raja Sengupta, Finance and Valuation, has worked in the area of Intellectual Property and licence management and compliance for considerable time. He is a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax adviser. In the area of licence royalty management, he has assisted in realising significant revenues (£M) for his employers and clients.
Raja works as an associate of Highbury Ltd. and also in an accounting practice, Equal IP. Raja assists Highbury on valuation and other financial aspects relating to the value of IP.

Richard Malczyk, Marketing and Business Development, has over 25 years business development experience in commercialising leading-edge innovations. Prior to moving into consultancy he was CEO of a hi-tech start-up interactive TV technology business. In his corporate career, he worked for News Corp on the rollout of Digital Satellite TV globally where he was responsible for market development and worldwide licensing of digital TV technology to broadcasters, semiconductor and consumer manufacturers. In his consultancy role he specialises in investment readiness and preparation of entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses for growth. He helps businesses obtain early stage funding (Government grants, loans, and private equity) to finance R&D projects and business development for leading-edge innovations. Services include advanced business planning, commercial market assessment, market research and marketing development to achieve superior results from innovations.

Dr Roman Cholij is a registered UK and European Trade Mark and Design Attorney and runs his own practice. He is accredited before the Intellectual Property Office in the UK, the Irish Patent Office, and the European Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) in Geneva. He is also co-chair of the Brands committee of LES Britain & Ireland and a committee member of the International Trademarks Association (INTA). He frequently lectures and has written regularly for the Journal of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys of which he is a member.

Brendan Magee, Head of Corporate Finance, runs an accountancy practice specialising in advising aspirational business which are too small to employ a full-time FD.  Brendan assists Highbury with valuations and related advice for client companies.  As an experienced non-executive director Brendan has a particular interest in working with companies which aspire to public floatation. His work covers a range of growing biotechnology and healthcare companies including spin-outs from Imperial College, Bristol and Birmingham Universities.

Bruce Savage, Marketing. After 6 years of pharmaceutical research for Roche he moved into Roche Diagnostics which started his career in the medical diagnostics business. In 2001 he started a molecular diagnostics business called Cytocell where he raised £8.0m and built up a team of 54 with sales of £1.1m. This was split up and sold off by the investors but it was the basis of a career as a serial scientific entrepreneur. He has co-founded 5 bioscience businesses covering pharmaceuticals, an analytical CRO and a number of diagnostics businesses. His particular interest is working with academics to create and finance early stage businesses. In addition he is a special professor at the University of Nottingham and honorary fellow at the Cass Business School where he lectures on commercialisation of intellectual property and on marketing of technologies. He has a certificate and diploma from the Institute of Marketing.

Nick Visick, Web Developer. With over 18 years experience of digital graphic design and web design, specializing in company branding and dynamic web systems development. He has worked as a software and hardware reliability engineer for Xerox, is a contributing member of the Internet Engineering Task Force and his thesis was commended for demonstrating his own unique flavor of web design that delivers rich content to low bandwidth web browsers. Nick has worked to support, promote and grow hosting companies, Intellectual Property law networks, pharmaceutical researchers, BBC sports journalists and independent attorneys. He works freelance and provides a flexible, all-in-one, personal service to develop a clean and professional company image and bespoke web services with comprehensive IT support.

Naomi Mitchell, Illustration and Graphic Design BA student at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Naomi works part-time with Highbury and has produced promotional material and designs for magasines and books where Highbury has written articles. Naomi has also taken on the task of redesigning all the Highbury data sheets, brochures and the web site.

Tom Warren, runs an Agricultural & Rural Consultancy business, and is a Royal Agricultural University graduate, a Member of the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants and a Member of the Institute of Agricultural Management, with particular interests in business collaboration, sustainable agriculture, rural planning and knowledge transfer across the rural sector. Prior to retraining in 2011, he had 15 years’ experience within the foodservice and management sector.

Hugh Penfold, PhD specialises in providing hands-on support to SMEs, start-ups, spinouts, individual entrepreneurs and commercially-minded academics in the health sciences sector with all aspects of intellectual property management and strategy, as well as more general business and management advice. He was Commercial Development Manager at the Oxford Academic Health Science Network during 2014-15, and Deputy Director, Technology Transfer at Imperial Innovations Limited, the technology commercialisation company of Imperial College London, from 2005 to 2013. His previous career of over twenty years in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology business development spans large and small companies (Medeva, Amersham, Celltech, Avidex), and the public sector (British Technology Group). He has also worked in the non-profit sector, improving access to healthcare in developing countries. His experience of business development and IP licensing includes small molecule drugs, biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical devices and drug delivery technologies. Whilst at Amersham International (now GE Healthcare) he established several profitable international collaborative ventures with Russia in the areas of healthcare and radioisotopes. His business experience includes Eastern and Western Europe, North America and Japan. Dr Penfold has an MA and PhD from the University of Cambridge in genetics and molecular biology, postdoctoral research experience from Canada, and worked in industrial yeast genetics research before entering the business world.