Our Leadership

Avvinity was established as a Joint Venture between Horizon Discovery and Centauri Therapeutics therefore the leadership team consists of four Directors representing both organizations.

Darrin Disley, Avvinity

Dr. Darrin Disley
Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Discovery

Darrin is a parallel entrepreneur, angel investor and enterprise champion. He has been involved in the start-up and growth of numerous business ventures securing over $320 million business financing from grant, angel, corporate, venture capital and public market sources as well as closing over $500 million of product, service, licensing and M&A deals.

In 2012, he was named Business Leader of the Year at the European Life Science Awards, in 2014 was named biotech and pharma Executive of the Year by Scrip, in 2015 was named UK Quoted Company Entrepreneur of the Year, Cambridge Business Person of the Year and one of the 175 Faces of Chemistry by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and in 2016 was conferred with a lifetime-held Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion in the 2016 birthday honours list in recognition of his contribution to Life Science entrepreneurship.

Darrin holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Cambridge has been the author of numerous papers, patents and conference abstracts and has been an advisor on biotech commercialisation strategies around the world.

Mike Westby, Avvinity Mike Westby
Chief Executive Officer, Centauri Therapeutics

Mike has 15 years' experience in Pharma R&D, having worked for both Roche and Pfizer. Mike has worked across the Research and Development spectrum and whilst at Pfizer he helped successfully develop a novel therapy for treatment of HIV infection. Mike also headed up Pfizer's Opportunities for Partnership in Medicine (OPM) Research Unit and was a member of the Research Our Leadership Team at Pfizer's R&D UK Laboratories. Mike trained in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at University of Durham, obtained his PhD at Warwick University and then completed a postdoctoral research fellow at St George's Hospital Medical School.

John Moore, Avvinity Jon Moore
Chief Scientific Officer, Horizon Discovery

Jon spent 10 years at Vernalis culminating in a role as Head of Biology, where he was responsible for both cell biology and assay development activities. He also led the biology side of several innovative drug discovery programmes and managed a major research alliance with GSK. Jon’s research interests include cancer metabolism, signal transduction and, prior to making the move to industry, he gained extensive postdoctoral experience in the cell cycle control field working with first Sally Kornbluth at Duke and then Nobel Prize winner, Tim Hunt, at Cancer Research UK’s Clare Hall labs. He holds a PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and is a Fellow of the Society of Biology.

In October 2012 Jon joined the Company to lead its oncology target validation and drug discovery efforts, and has since expanded his remit to driving the Leveraged part of the business.

Nick Higgins, Avvinity Nick Higgins
Business Development Advisor, Centauri Therapeutics

Nick is a Director of Lizard BioConsulting, an independent consultancy specializing in business development for life science companies, which he founded in March 2013. He is also a non-executive director and Deputy Chairman of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. From 2010 he was Corporate Development Director of Consort Medical plc, a healthcare company focused on medical device technologies for drug delivery.

From 2005 until 2010 he was Chief Executive of Intercytex Group plc, a regenerative medicine company. Prior to that he was Chief Business Officer of Acambis, a leading producer of vaccines to treat and prevent infectious disease, until 2005.