Our leadership team has a wealth of scientific and medical knowledge, a strong commercial mindset and a track record in raising finance and bringing therapies from bench to bedside.
We are driven to develop life-changing therapeutics for patients with fibrosis and cancer and to improve the success rate of discovery by harnessing the power of our proprietary human extracellular matrix (ECM) platform.
Dr Giuseppe Mazza
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Professor Giuseppe Mazza co-founded Engitix and has served as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) since the Company’s formation in 2016.
Engitix was established to build on and commercialise Giuseppe’s pioneering research which resulted in a proprietary human extracellular matrix ECM drug discovery platform. His foundational/initial research was carried out in the laboratory of co-founder, Professor Massimo Pinzani at the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health (ILDH), Division of Medicine, University College London (UCL).
As CEO, Giuseppe has led the company through significant growth including several rounds of financing and secured significant partnerships with Dompei, Takeda and Morphic, as well as establishing new cutting-edge bespoke laboratories and offices at WestWorks, White Park, London.
Previously, Giuseppe was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the UCL ILDH, where he was also responsible for operating the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Laboratory. He received his PhD in Tissue Engineering and Organ Regeneration from UCL. He still maintains an affiliation with UCL as Honorary Associate Professor. Giuseppe also served as a Director R&D at Promethera Bioscience from 2015 to 2017.
He has been involved in several international healthcare organizations, including serving on the Steering Committee of the non-profit European Haemophilia Consortium (EHC). In 2011, he founded the healthcare charity Associazione Icore ONLUS, where he served as President for six years.
Chief Financial Officer
David Dally joined Engitix as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in November 2018, having initially worked for the company as a consultant from 2016.
David has 30 years' experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, working in finance and general management across companies of varying size, financial ownership and geographical location, including in the UK, the US and Asia.
David is an experienced executive having held the position of CEO at MerLion Pharmaceuticals from 2013 to 2018, before which he was CFO from 2007.
During his career, David has been CFO for several companies including KuDOS Pharmaceuticals (which was sold to AstraZeneca for $210 million), Rhytec Ltd, and Dyson. He established his career as a financial leader through various roles at Amersham plc (now GE Healthcare), latterly as Vice President of finance, North America where he oversaw the merger of Amersham Life Science with Pharmacia Biotech.
David is a chartered accountant and holds a MA in Geography from the University of Cambridge.
Chris Stevenson, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Christopher (Chris) Stevenson joined Engitix in September 2023 as Chief Scientific Officer.
He has a strong track record of driving innovation and developing talented teams to propel science into novel therapeutic and diagnostic solutions for patients. Chris is responsible for leading Engitix’ scientific and translational strategy, which is focused on advancing a portfolio of novel therapies towards IND-enabling studies and eventually trials in patients with fibrotic diseases and solid tumours. He is also leading the company’s R&D Pharma partnerships centred on its novel platform technologies.
He joined Engitix from Johnson & Johnson, where he most recently served as Vice President, Global Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences for Interventional Oncology. In this role he was responsible for building a team to support discovery through early development programmes and delivering a portfolio of clinical-stage assets, which included multiple cancer immunotherapies and the licensing of NBTXR3 from Nanobiotix.
Prior to this role, Chris headed discovery and translational biology units at Respivert, Novartis and Roche. Over his career, Chris has led the discovery or contributed to the development of over 10 drug candidates aiming to treat fibrosis, inflammation or cancers, as well as authoring over 60 peer reviewed papers and patents.
He received his Doctorate and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.
Vice President, Fibrosis
Alan Holmes joined Engitix in 2021.
As VP of Fibrosis, Alan leads the fibrosis partnering and internal drug discovery programmes focusing on GI diseases.
He brings over 15 years’ experience gained in working across senior roles in the pharmaceutical industry.
Alan joined Engitix from UCB where he was Director, Drug Target Identification. Before this, he was Director within GSK’s Pulmonary Vascular Injury and Fibrosis DPU. Between 2011 and 2017 he worked at UCL, latterly as Head of Biology in the Drug Discovery, Translational Research Office and previously as a Group leader and Arthritis Research UK fellow in tissue remodelling and fibrosis. Prior to this, Alan was group leader at Novartis.
Alan has published over 30 peer reviewed papers and book chapters and maintains a strong academic interest in the mechanisms that drive the development of chronic diseases. He is currently honouree Professor of the Division of Medicine, at University College London.
He received his PhD from University College London (UCL).
Senior Director, Drug Development and Operations
Dennis Norman joined Engitix in 2020.
As Senior Director, Drug Development and Operations, Dennis is leading Engitix' drug development partnership with Dompe Farmaceutici, driving digitalisation and automation across the business.
Prior to Engitix, Dennis was at Kymab for five years, where he successfully led a team involved in the engineering of therapeutic antibodies and advancing drug discovery preclinical programmes in Immuno-Oncology. Most recently, these included, Amlitelimab SAR445229 (formerly KY1005) which is now being assessed in PhII studies for different immune disorder indications and Alomfilimab SAR445256 (formerly KY1044), which is being evaluated in several PhI/II studies for solid tumor indications. The success of these programmes played a key contribution to the acquisition of Kymab by Sanofi for > $1.1B in 2021.
Previously, Dennis spent 14 years at Argenta Discovery (now part of Charles River) in small molecule drug discovery, progressing client projects from target validation through to candidate nomination.
In his earlier career, Dennis carried out postdoctoral research in the Department of Endocrinology at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Queen Mary University London.
Dennis received a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Kent and his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Imperial College, London.
In Dennis’s spare time he is a keen motorcyclist and VW campervan enthusiast.
Luca Frenguelli joined Engitix in 2020.
As Director of Bioplatform, Luca leads on the preparation and characterisation of human extracellular matrix (ECM), and 3D in-vitro models development for target validation and drug screening. Previously, he held other scientific roles at Engitix including, Director of Biomaterials and Senior Scientist.
Luca received a BSc in Chemistry and Technology of Drugs from the University of Perugia, Italy and a PhD in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine from University College London.
Luca loves swimming, travelling and really enjoys watching sports events, in particular motorsports.
Director, People and Culture
Amelie Fortin joined Engitix in 2022.
Amelie is an experienced, People and Culture Leader with a strong ability to design and foster purpose-driven, high-performing, and collaborative cultures.
As People and Culture Director at Engitx, Amelie is combining her pro-active approach with strategic and operational expertise to build a diverse team that will enable Engitix to achieve its ambition of creating a healthier future for patients with life-threatening diseases.
Prior to Engitix, she has led people agendas internationally, within the UK, EMEA, USA and APAC regions and has experience across multiple industries including Deep tech, Fintech and Logistics.
Amelie received a Business Administration degree from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada.
Outside of work, Amelie enjoys exploring London on foot with her toy poodle Louis.
Senior Director, Intellectual Property
Guy joined Engitix in 2022.
Guy is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney with 28 years’ experience.
Before joining Engitix as Senior Director of Intellectual Property (IP), Guy was VP, IP and patent strategy at Summit Therapeutics, an anti-infectives company. Previously, he held patent attorney roles at Norgine, a specialist gastroenterology company and Mundipharma where he focussed on pain control and asthma therapeutics.
Prior to working in the biotech sector, he held various roles with the global pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Novartis where he specialised in biopharmaceutical IP, particularly antibody patenting.
Guy started his IP career in 1995 with medical devices manufacturer, Smith and Nephew.
Guy has a BSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Suss and Management of IP.
Lisa Longato joined Engitix in 2017 and was promoted to Director of Biology in 2021.
As Director of Biology, she brings her key areas of expertise in liver fibrosis and non-alcoholic/alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Previously, Lisa was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the UCL Institute for Liver and Digestive Health (ILDH), and was a research fellow in Gastroenterology at the Liver Research Center at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island in 2006-2007.
She obtained her PhD in Pathobiology from Brown University.
Director, Translational Biology
Thomas Gobbetti joined Engitix in 2022.
As Director of Translational Biology, Thomas leads Engitix internal drug discovery programmes, aiming to bring new antifibrotic treatments for liver diseases to patients in need.
Before Engitix, he was a group leader at GSK implementing preclinical translational strategies to support progression of novel therapies at different stages in the pipeline.
Previously, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher at Queen Mary University of London and INSERM, Toulouse, France. His extensive industry and academic experiences gave him a wide breadth of knowledge across pathophysiology of autoimmune chronic diseases as well as of all aspects of the R&D process from supporting the identification and validation of new targets to candidate drug nomination of small molecules and biologics.
Thomas received a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and a PhD in Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology, the University of Parma, Italy.
Amy Lewis joined Engitix in 2021.
As Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) programme, Amy applies her deep experience in clinical research, biomarker discovery, target identification and assay development to advance internal fibrosis programs as well as those partnered with Takeda.
Previously, for over eight years, Amy was a Senior Postdoctoral Research Associate at Queen Mary University London where she investigated the pathogenesis of IBD. She also carried out postdoctoral research at Imperial College London and was a Research Assistant at the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
Amy received a BSc in Biology with Microbiology and PhD in Molecular Medicine from Imperial College London.
Associate Director, Biospecimens and tissue-based assays
Athiva Shanker joined Engitix in 2020.
As Associate Director, Biospecimens and tissue-based assay, Athiva leads on validating disease targets for novel therapies in fibrosis and cancer, clinical biospecimen acquisition, and liaising with KOL’s.
Athiva brings rich and varied experiences to her role at Engitix gained from working and interacting with a diverse range of stakeholders across the healthcare sector.
Previously she worked as a Target Validation Scientist at Immunocore, a Clinical Trials Monitor, covering a range of different therapeutic indications, at IQVIA (formerly Quintiles), and as a General Dental Practitioner in India.
Athiva leads the biospecimen acquisition and tissue-based assay development efforts at Engitix.
Athiva received a PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Dundee, Scotland.
In her spare time, Athiva enjoys travelling to new places to explore culture, art and local markets, cooking for family and friends and going on long walks in the countryside.
Director, Computational Biology
John Prime joined Engitix in early 2021.
John joined Engitix as Director of Computational Biology, bringing over 12 years’ experience working in Bioinformatics, having worked across the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, academic and public sectors, starting out originally as a lab scientist.
John’s most recent roles include Senior Bioinformatician with Horizon Discovery, Chief Bioinformatics Officer and Co-founder with the DeepLyTx research group and bioinformatics consultant.
Before that he was Head of Oncology Research Biomics with MedImmune for six years, where his research supported preclinical antibody drug conjugate (ADC) and Immuno-oncology drug development projects.
Prior to that he was with KuDOS Pharmaceuticals for seven years where he rose to be Head of Biomics.
He received his PhD in Liver cancer genetics from Oxford Brookes in 2000.
In his spare time, John enjoys fencing, representing GB and England at International Veterans competitions, and also appreciates Contemporary and Modern art, as well as reading.
Director, Medicinal Chemistry
Calum MacLeod joined Engitix in 2022.
Calum is primarily responsible for managing Medicinal Chemistry for Engitix’s Drug Discovery programmes, working in partnership with external collaborators.
With a 20-year industrial career, Calum is an experienced medicinal chemist and project leader having worked on small molecule programmes across a diverse range of therapeutic areas including roles at Argenta Discovery (now a part of Charles River), CRL Early Discovery and Pharmaron UK. He has been involved in delivering over 6 preclinical development candidates, including inavolisib (GDC-0077) which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for PIK3CA-mutated breast cancer.
Earlier in his career Calum was awarded an industrial post-doctoral fellowship to carry out research with Adolor Corporation in Pennsylvania, USA.
Calum received BSc and PhD degrees in Chemistry from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Interests Outside of work, Calum enjoys football, road cycling and hiking, as well as travelling (when time and global pandemic restrictions permit!).
Maria Giovanna Vilia
Associate Director, Oncology
Maria Giovanna Vilia joined Engitix in 2019.
Maria has held various senior research roles at Engitix and is now an Associate Director for the company’s Oncology programme, where she is responsible for leading preclinical studies, including target identification and validation.
Previously, Maria worked in academic research at Fondazione San Raffaele in Milan on projects examining molecular events that regulate activation and signaling in normal and malignant cells. Her studies included investigating the role of B-cell receptor (BCR) and Toll-like receptors signaling in leukemia and lymphoma.
Maria holds an MSc degree in Molecular and Cellular Medical Biotechnology from the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy and a PhD in Translational Medicine from the University of University of Cagliari,Italy.