Simon Turner

Managing Partner - PhD, FRSC

Simon has more than two decades of experience managing and advising on strategic and product development issues.

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Simon has almost three decades of experience managing and advising on strategic and product development issues in life sciences, and over the past 15 years has focused on commercialisation of technologies in early-stage life science companies, as entrepreneur, executive, venture capital investor and advisor.

Simon joined Alacrita in 2011 through a merger with his own consulting company, Canopus Management. Previously, Simon was Chief Executive of Biotica Technology, an early stage venture-capital backed drug-discovery company based on a microbial synthetic biology platform, which he led for five years, raising two rounds of VC funding to develop a discovery pipeline focussed on oncology targets.

Before Biotica, he spent ten years as a management consultant, first at Arthur D Little and latterly at Andersen Consulting, specialising in the pharmaceutical and life science industries. His clients included many big pharma and agrochemical/agbiotech companies, specialising in business strategy and planning.

Simon Turner holds an Honours degree in Natural Sciences and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

His management consulting experience includes business and organisational strategy, technology evaluation and market appraisal, financial planning & capital raising, and economic impact assessment, much of this leveraging his earlier experiences both as VC investor and as start-up CEO.

Recent projects he has conducted or directed include:

Product development support

  • Reviewed early stage developmental products in academia and biotech as potential disease-modifying therapeutics for a set of orphan genetic diseases as prospective in-licensing opportunities
  • Developed a development strategy and costed plan for discovery & early clinical development of small molecule inhibitors of a novel oncology target in advanced prostate cancer
  • Evaluated the market potential for a predictive diagnostic for immune suppression withdrawal in liver transplantation
  • Conducted a strategic review of the market and competitive environment for label-free binding technologies and the market potential for a novel detection platform
  • Conducted an evaluation of the commercial potential of novel technology for short-term preservation of mammalian cell cultures during transportation and/or storage under ambient or cold-chain conditions
  • For a leading UK university, developed a business plan for the establishment of a spin-out CRO in specialist pre-clinical and clinical testing
  • Conducted a review of an early stage internal University translational research fund to evaluate its success in attracting commercial licensing partners or leveraging further translational research investment
  • For an early stage VC-backed biotech company, completed a review of the research strategy, portfolio and the intellectual property position in the context of business strategy and finances and development of a revised strategy, technology plan, reporting formats and investor presentation

Strategy & organisation

  • For a late-clinical stage biopharma company, led a cross-functional team to develop the US and European outline commercial and supply chain strategy and infrastructure and go-to-market plan for a therapeutic for an orphan indication
  • For a leading UK University Technology Transfer Office, directed a team to revise the strategy and redesign the technology transfer function to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation;
  • For the corporate partners in a bioscience park/incubator business, conducted a review of its operations, structure and governance arrangements. Whilst concluding that the business strategy was broadly correct and operations efficient, a number of recommendations were made to bring in external bioscience sector expertise, improve stakeholder communications and co-ordination and raise profile
  • For an Arms-Length Body of the UK Department of Health, conducted a review of its draft 10-year research strategy, identifying weaknesses and recommending appropriate changes

Financial analysis & valuation

  • Conducted an economic impact assessment of the activities and research output of a leading UK academic research institute, including rNPV valuations of the institute’s contributions to fundamental and translational research embedded in current and pipeline therapeutics
  • Developed an rNPV valuation of a preclinical oncology therapeutic, modelled the terms associated with in-licensed IP and provided valuation support in a prospective merger
  • For an economic development charity, developed an rNPV valuation, incorporating Monte Carlo simulations, of the economic return for smallholder farmers from an agronomic trait in a major field crop from the charity’s research investment
  • Developed an rNPV valuation for an early stage developmental therapeutic for a topical infection indication

Due diligence

  • Conducted KOL & clinician research in the US & Europe on the prospective competitive position of two developmental blood plasma products as part of the due diligence for a VC investor
  • Conducted a 'Reality Check' on an in-licensing opportunity in neuropathic pain, involving review of the product profile, pre-clinical and clinical results to date and the competitive environment
  • For a VC investor, conducted due diligence on an established clinical stage therapeutic company, focussing on its ongoing Phase II clinical trial in an autoimmune indication, and the prospective market opportunity and competition in this indication
  • For a consortium of investors, conducted a review of the research portfolio and project plans for an early stage industrial biotech company, as well as reviewed the options for value-adding mergers with candidate companies
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