James has over two decades of experience in biotechnology, having served on public and private boards of companies in the UK, the USA and Germany.
At the executive level, he served as CFO of British Biotech plc from 1990 to 1997, where he was responsible for raising over £300 million in equity capital from the UK, USA, Japan and continental Europe and for the simultaneous listing in London and on NASDAQ. James was the CEO of Avidex (the predecessor company of Adaptimmune) from 2000 and 2006 when the company was sold to MediGene AG, where James joined the supervisory board. James was responsible for the spin-outs of both Immunocore and Adaptimmune from MediGene in 2008 and served as CEO of both. In March 2014, James relinquished his position as CEO of Immunocore in order to focus exclusively as CEO of Adaptimmune, although he remains a non-executive director of Immunocore.
At the non-executive level, James has served on a number of boards including: Oxford Glycosciences plc, Curagen Inc, PowderJect Pharmaceuticals plc and was the founding chairman of Biovex. He is currently Deputy Chairman at GW Pharmaceuticals plc, a NASDAQ and AIM-listed biotech company.
Prior to his involvement in the biotech industry, James graduated from Oxford in 1980 and qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1983. He then spent seven years at Kleinwort Benson Limited, reaching Director in 1990.