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Maxion Therapeutics strengthens its Board with the appointment of Ian Tomlinson (Chairman), Tom Weaver (Non-Executive Director), and Aneesh Karatt Vellatt (Director)


Cambridge, UK - 4th May 2022 – Maxion Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing novel biologics that target ion channels and GPCRs, today announced the appointment of Ian Tomlinson, PhD, Tom Weaver, PhD and Aneesh Karatt Vellatt, PhD, to the board of directors. The new directors will be guiding Maxion in the next phase of its development, using its revolutionary KnotBody® technology platform to establish a portfolio of first-in-class therapeutic candidates against traditionally intractable targets.

Ian Tomlinson, PhD

Thomas Weaver, PhD

Aneesh Karatt Vellatt, PhD

Dr Ian Tomlinson, who will be chairing Maxion’s board of directors, has over 30 years of experience in life sciences, from academic research to biotech start-up to big pharma. Dr Tomlinson co-founded Domantis with Sir Gregory Winter, which was acquired by GSK in 2007 for $454 million. He then served as Senior VP, Head of Worldwide Business Development and Head of Biopharm R&D at GSK. He is also Founding Director and SAB Chair for Apollo Therapeutics (a unique venture dedicated to turning academic science into cutting edge medicines) and Chair of Start Codon (a life sciences venture builder based in Cambridge).

“I am excited to be joining Maxion at such an important time in their evolution”, said Dr Ian Tomlinson. “The KnotBody® platform has the potential to address a wide range of important therapeutic targets that have to date been off-limits to both small molecules and traditional antibody approaches. In doing so, we hope to create a series of novel drugs to address a number of significant unmet medical needs.”

Non-executive Director, Dr Tom Weaver, is an expert in technology development and scaling science platforms. He also has been involved in forming and growing companies, including Hexagen Genetics (acquired by Incyte), Geneservice (acquired by Source Biosciece), Congenica and Next Gen Diagnostics (both still private). Dr Weaver is currently also the co-founder and CEO of PetMedix, an antibody therapeutics company in animal health.

Dr Tom Weaver commented, “The underlying technology platform at Maxion will be transformative for human health, addressing some of the most important areas of unmet medical need. The team at Maxion brings tremendous experience, talent and determination that I believe will make a real difference by deploying this disruptive technology to create first-in-class drugs”.

Maxion’s Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder, Dr Aneesh Karatt Vellatt, has also been appointed to the board. Dr Karatt Vellatt holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cambridge and was previously co-founder of IONTAS Ltd. He has over 10 years of experience in antibody and protein drug discovery against challenging targets at AstraZeneca, the University of Cambridge, and IONTAS.

“I am delighted that Ian and Tom will join Aneesh and I”, said Dr John McCafferty, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Maxion Therapeutics. “Ian and Tom are distinguished leaders in biotech, and their counsel and expertise in building highly successful companies will be invaluable to us as we scale our R&D activities to establish a strong pre-clinical pipeline.”  



John McCafferty


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About Maxion Therapeutics

Maxion Therapeutics is developing novel biologic medicines for ion channels and GPCRs, critical cell surface proteins involved in a wide range of previously untreatable or poorly-treated diseases, including autoimmune conditions and chronic pain. It is applying its patented KnotBody® technology to generate potent, selective, and long-acting antibody-like target modulators. KnotBody technology combines the power of millions of years of cysteine-rich miniprotein (‘Knottin’) evolution with state-of-the-art phage and mammalian display technologies to address key challenges in drug discovery.

Based at the Babraham Institute, in Cambridge, UK, Maxion Therapeutics is driven by an experienced team with an excellent track record. CEO and co-founder Dr John McCafferty (previously co-founder of Cambridge Antibody Technology and IONTAS) and CSO and co-founder Dr Aneesh Karatt Vellatt (also co-founder of IONTAS) co-invented KnotBody technology. Dr McCafferty previously co-invented antibody phage display, which was the subject of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The company is currently developing its KnotBody pipeline, including candidates with significant potential to be first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics.

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