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Dr. Hentschel is a molecular biologist and co-founder of The Ulysses Advisory Group. He has had pioneering and often transformative leadership roles in the biosciences in the public sector (MRC Technology Transfer UK), the private sector (Celltech, UK; Centocor, USA), in Public-Private Partnerships (MRC Collaborative Center, UK; Medicines for Malaria Venture, Switzerland) and latterly as partner and Chief Scientist of Bio Istanbul, where he worked with Dr. Levey and Dr. Güney. Dr. Hentschel has been a non-executive Board member of several philanthropic non-profits including currently the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI, Seattle, USA) and the Public Health Alliance for Clinical Trials (PHACT, Carlsbad, USA). He retains a stake in the for-profit sector as a Director of MSM Protein Technologies, a Boston-based early drug development company founded by Mr. Farmer and with proven expertise in antibody drug discovery against integral membrane proteins.
A biochemistry graduate from King's College London, he started his career as an academic researcher at the National Institute for Medical Research (London, UK) where his post-doctoral studies focused on the role of RNA polymerases in the control of gene transcription in rapidly differentiating tissues. This led to him gaining a series of research fellowship first in London as an Imperial Cancer Research Fund Fellow, then as a European Molecular Biology Fellow at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), and finally as a Fogarty Fellow at the National Cancer Institute (NIH, Bethesda, USA).
Dr. Hentschel’s entry into the emerging biotechnology industry started at Celltech, where as Head of the Molecular Genetics Department, he built a team that developed several recombinant protein products based on prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems, including Europe’s first recombinant human growth hormone (HGH). The expression system he co-invented was used for HGH (later licenced by Serono, Geneva, CH) and has been transferred to numerous blockbuster products including antibodies, the fastest growing therapeutic class today.
In 1987 he was recruited to head up the Medical Research Council’s Collaborative Centre (MRCCC), a pioneering public-private partnership whose mission was to add value, both financial and societal, to MRC inventions and know-how through technology transfer collaborations with industry. The deliverables of this initiative include discovery stage companies and several products, both small molecules and antibodies. The striking success of this early initiative led on to the formation of ‘MRC Technology,’ one of biosciences most successful technology transfer organisations.
After a decade at the helm of MRCCC, Dr. Hentschel returned to the private sector to head up R&D at Centocor, where he stayed until it was acquired in 2000 by Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Several antibodies including the anti-TNF antibody Remicade were developed during this period and it was its second registration for a blockbuster indication (rheumatoid arthritis) that led JNJ to make the then record $5bn acquisition offer.
Commercial success allowed Dr. Hentschel to refocus his subsequent efforts in biomedical R&D. He concentrated on increasing its effectiveness in the larger and more challenging arena of global public health. The Geneva based public-private partnership he founded, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), and led until 2011 remains the most successful of a new breed of partnerships that have registered high quality biomedical products for the 'bottom billion,' the poorest of the poor, who cannot incentivise normal profit-based R&D.
Dr. Hentschel is a native of London and currently resides with his wife in the Cotswolds (UK) and Tuscany (Italy).
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