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30 July, 2020 - 12:48 By Tony Quested

Qkine bolsters top team in first phase of scale-up

Qkine – a Cambridge-based specialist developer and manufacturer of proteins for stem cell, organoid and regenerative medicine applications – has begun scaling following its recent fundraising round.

It has made key hires with the appointments of Rob Nixon as head of Commercial to its management team and Dr Cassie Doherty, investment director at Parkwalk, to its board.

With years of experience working with fast-growing biotechs and life science reagent suppliers, these appointments will be key to supporting the scale-up of Qkine’s commercial operations globally and expansion of its product development pipeline. 

Nixon will implement the scale-up of the company’s commercial strategy globally whilst building and leading Qkine’s growing commercial team. He has extensive commercial experience in the life science sector, having worked for world-leading global life science reagent companies Merck Millipore and GE Healthcare Life Science, as well as emerging, fast-growing startup Jellagen. 

His experience in building and coaching highly successful sales teams, implementing go-to-market strategies and developing global distributor networks across the stem cell, organoid and regenerative medicine markets will accelerate the expansion of Qkine’s commercial operations across both existing and new markets.

Nixon said: “There is a clear need in the stem cell culture and organoid research space for innovation. Customers are looking for expertise to improve growth factor biochemical quality, allowing for more reproducible and scalable manufacture of these core proteins to address the tremendous growth of these areas of research.”

Dr Doherty becomes a non-executive director following Q Kine’s £1.5m series A investment round in June, which was led by Parkwalk. Her background in biochemistry and molecular biology, combined with over 10 years of extensive experience in life science investment, will be key to Qkine moving forwards – as will her active style when it comes to supporting portfolio companies; advising on strategy, technical and commercial plans as Qkine continues to scale. 

To date, companies Dr Doherty has worked with have cumulatively raised over £50 million in investment and she has been involved in many M & A and licensing deals.

She said: “Qkine’s products fill a market need for high-quality protein reagents and clearly address problems that I have seen in companies working in the regenerative medicine, organoid and stem cell space.”

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