Cancer Research Horizons appoints two investors-in-residence to support its Ventures team

Published date:
November 28 2023

Jonathan Tobin, a partner at life sciences venture capital firm Brandon Capital, and Genghis Lloyd-Harris, a senior advisor at life sciences investment firm, Abingworth, have joined Cancer Research Horizons’ Ventures team as advisory investors-in-residence. Jonathan and Genghis will also join the Investment Committee for Cancer Research Horizons’ £30m Seed Fund*, set up to support the formation of new companies that offer cutting-edge cancer-beating ideas and discoveries.

Cancer Research Horizons, Cancer Research UK’s innovation engine, has access to over £400m of cutting-edge cancer research every year which it helps reach cancer patients by translating breakthroughs into new treatments, diagnostics and technologies. 

But not enough of the promising new ideas and innovations cancer researchers make reach patients because there is a funding gap between academic research and taking drugs and treatments to the market. Cancer Research Horizons’ specialist Ventures team helps bridge that gap by investing its new Seed Fund in identifying and validating breakthrough opportunities and supporting new oncology companies to form and progress to being ready for further investment. This year alone the team has agreed to provide early-stage funding to eight new ventures.

Jonathan Tobin and Genghis Lloyd-Harris will bring a wealth of venture capital experience to the Ventures team, helping grow the number and quality of the companies the Seed Fund supports – from scouting for opportunities to scrutinising the selection process for funding and building networks of other experts to support new company development. 

Tony Hickson, Chief Business Officer at Cancer Research Horizons, said, “The Ventures team is tackling the translational funding gap head-on to prevent breakthrough ideas stalling in their early phases. Our new investors-in-residence will have a huge impact by helping us find more opportunities, ensure their quality and advise on building scale and capabilities. They have deep understanding of what will make a new company likely to succeed, ultimately enabling treatments to reach patients.”


Notes to editor

Jonathan Tobin biography

Jonathan is a partner with Brandon Capital where he heads the London office, and serves on the boards of Brandon portfolio companies Astronautx, Pheon Therapeutics, Myricx Bio, NRG Therapeutics, and Catalym. Prior to joining Brandon, Jonathan was a managing director at Arix Bioscience, a UK- and US-based biotech venture firm, where he helped build the team and portfolio, and sat on the boards of a number of companies. Prior to Arix, he was a principal of Imperial Innovations/Touchstone Innovations PLC and helped create and build several university spinouts.

Jonathan has a degree in biology from the University of Oxford and a PhD in molecular medicine from UCL focusing on rare genetic diseases. He carried out postdoctoral research on cancer cell signalling at the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (now the Francis Crick Institute) before gaining an MBA with distinction from Imperial College London. He serves as a trustee on the board of the Autism Centre for Excellence in Cambridge and is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the KHAN drug discovery fund in Germany.

Jonathan Tobin


Genghis Lloyd-Harris biography

Genghis is a physician-scientist and investor with over 30 years of transatlantic industry experience in finance and venture capital, across biopharmaceuticals, clinical co-development, life science tools and medical devices.

Genghis is a managing partner at leading life sciences investment firm, Abingworth, where he identifies and invests in new businesses and supports portfolio companies. He focuses on exits of venture investments via mergers and acquisitions and IPOs. Genghis’ current and past board positions include Avillion, GenSight Biologics, Healthcare Brands International, Nouscom, Novexel, Solexa, Synosia, Syntaxin and Wilson Therapeutics.

Genghis joined Abingworth in 2004 from Credit Suisse First Boston where he was managing director in the European Equity Research Group based in London responsible for coverage of the European biotechnology industry. 

Genghis was a paediatrician in Melbourne, Australia, and holds a medical degree from the University of Liverpool, a PhD in clinical pharmacology from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Genghis Lloyd-Harris

About Cancer Research Horizons

Cancer Research Horizons is the innovation engine of Cancer Research UK – the world’s largest charitable funder of cancer research. We bring together the best minds, bold ideas and the right partners to bridge the gap between academic research and taking drugs to market. We focus on the tougher, more profound ideas that can lead to true innovation, translating them into effective treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients. 

To date we’ve played an instrumental role in forming over 70 startup companies. We’ve helped bring 11 cancer drugs to market, borne out of Cancer Research UK’s pioneering research. Through these drugs, we have enabled in excess of 6 million courses of treatment for cancer patients worldwide.

With access to Cancer Research UK’s network of 4,000 exceptional researchers, and over £400m of annual research spend, we’re a powerful partner in the fight to conquer cancer. By uniting our commercial partnerships and therapeutic innovation capabilities, Cancer Research Horizons is uniquely placed to support translational funding, entrepreneurial development, licensing and collaboration, start-up creation, and offer a full spectrum of drug discovery and clinical capabilities. 

Every penny we make goes back into funding the next bold steps, to help bring forward the day when all cancers and conquered.

*About the Seed Fund

Cancer Research Horizons’ Ventures team manages a £30m Seed Fund (comprising £15m from Cancer Research UK plus a philanthropic donation target of £15m) which offers a range of support to startups including proof-of-concept, pre-seed and seed investment to validate the research and demonstrate its commercial viability to industry, entrepreneurial skills development and business set up support, and follow-on-investment through access to a well-developed external investor network.

The Seed Fund is not-for-profit, with proceeds from seed investments made by the fund reinvested into the fund to support future innovations.


Tim Bodicoat
Content Manager
Cancer Research Horizons
[email protected]