Executive Committee

Dr Satu Vainikka

Chief Executive Officer

Satu has many years experience of the biotechnology industry, including extensive first hand experience of equity financing, business management and developing life science technology into commercial enterprises. Prior to her current role as CEO of Valirx, she was a founder, director and CEO of Cronos Therapeutics Limited.

In her past roles, Dr Vainikka has developed and exited successful business models, negotiated corporate and academic transactions, and raised funding for a number of companies. (Member of Remuneration Committee) Dr Satu Vainikka has gained the following qualifications and awards:

  • MBA at Imperial College Business School 2000.
  • PHD in signal transduction in oncology, University of  Helsinki 1996.
  • Prestigious “embo” fellowship for Postdoctoral research, at the imperial cancer research (Now CRC).

Dr George Morris

Chief Operations Officer

George has over 25 years’ experience in biological and medical research, and financial services. In the past he has worked for Guy‘s hospital medical school department of medicine, King’s college and University College London. As a Research Scientist, he is an author of numerous books and articles on refereed papers, approximately 70 abstracts, short reports and posters, and an inventor of multiple patents.

George was a founding member of the expert advisory panel, the ‘Biotechnology and Finance Forum’, set up jointly between the European Commission and the European Association of Securities Dealers. George involved in a number of conferences and workshops with the EU research and agricultural directorates and is an ‘expert’ to the Commission, and has been invited into several policy discussion groups.

George has worked with a variety of commercial, governmental organisations and financial institutions in the US, Europe and Australia and many consultancy projects covering various biotechnology and financial activities. He is regularly asked to chair or participate in conferences in his areas of experience, including acting as a ‘Venture Academy’ mentor. Has undertaken numerous continuing professional development courses covering finance and general management as well as in specific areas related to science & technology, statistics.

Mr Gerry Desler

Chief Financial Officer

Gerry is a chartered accountant, who qualified in 1968 with a City firm, before becoming a partner in 1970. Between 1985 to 1990 he was the Senior Partner. During his time in the City, he has specialised in consultancy work, much of it involving funding and venture capital.

He was involved in one of the first joint ventures in what was then the People’s Republic of China in 1980. Gerry is also the Finance Director of Premier Management Holdings plc, an AIM listed company and is on the board of a number of private companies. (Member of Audit Committee)