Biotech Discovery | Cath Rock

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OneFour Discovery is a pre-college spinout, incubated within the prestigious London University, Imperial College. Using novel technologies, they have generated a platform allowing one to identify the starting point of drug discovery. The Founders aim to develop first-in-class and best-in-class medicines to address unmet clinical needs within oncology, changing the way targeted covalent inhibitors are designed using their proprietary Quantitative Irreversible Tethering platform. After receiving positive feedback from the Imperial Enterprise team on their platform technology, the Founders were looking to appoint a Chair with Biotech industry experience to drive OneFour Discovery through the next phase of its journey.


Whilst the Founders have established the scientific foundations and expertise with the Quantitative Irreversible Tethering platform, it was crucial to appoint a Chair to continue the focus on scientific innovation, as well as commercial execution. The Chair would be responsible for guiding and collaborating with the Founders to develop the business strategy of OneFour, as well as advising the Founders on their platform execution strategy from Imperial College. Charity councils and college grants have funded the research and development efforts thus far, and the Chair appointment was integral to the seed funding strategy moving forward. Due to Hunter’s previous successful appointments for Imperial College spinouts, the Associate Dean of enterprise approached Hunter to assist on the recruitment of OneFour Discovery’s Chair.


As we embarked on recruiting for the Chair, we were aware of the financial limitations that we had to contend with. We ensured we were adaptable and responsive and were able to agree to a fair pricing structure. This was no ordinary search, as the Founders had not yet fully disentangled themselves from Imperial, and as a result, it was imperative that we secured Imperial College’s endorsement for the appointment of an industry Chair. Additionally, the Founders had no prior experience with search partners, which made it all the more crucial for Hunter to establish a sense of trust and confidence.


At every step of the way, we attentively listened to the Founders requirements and concerns when identifying potential candidates, ensuring that our consultancy services were tailored to their needs. And, despite the spinout’s lack of resources to compensate a Chair, Hunter’s collaborative approach allowed us to provide sound advice, ultimately agreeing on a package that satisfied the Founders and the appointed candidate.

Cath Rock


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