Dr. Jonathan Knowles, Chairman

Jonathan Knowles

Dr Knowles has been a Non-Executive Director of Adaptimmune since 2010 and became Chairman in November 2013. He was formerly President of Group Research and a Member of the Executive Committee at F.Hoffman-LaRoche Limited, Basel, Switzerland for 12 years. Dr Knowles also served as a Board member at Genentech Inc. for over ten years and was a Member of the Board of Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining Roche in 1997, he was Research Director, Glaxo Wellcome Europe.

Dr Knowles has also served as Chairman of the Hever Group and the EFPIA Research Directors Group. He was instrumental in creating the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and was the first Chairman of the Board of IMI (a 2 Billion Euro Joint Undertaking with the EU Commission). He is a Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) at the University of Helsinki, Finland, holds a visiting chair at the University of Oxford, and is a visiting scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

James Noble, Chief Executive Officer

James Noble

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.

David Mott, Non-Executive Director


David Mott is a General Partner of New Enterprise Associates and head of its healthcare investing practice which typically comprises around $750 million to $1 billion of healthcare venture investments every three to four years. The firm is a leading investor across all healthcare sectors. David joined NEA in September 2008.

David was formerly President and Chief Executive Officer of MedImmune, subsidiary of AstraZeneca Plc, and Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca. He joined MedImmune in 1992 and served in roles including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer as the company grew from a venture-backed start-up, founded in 1988, into one of the top five biotechnology companies in the world. He led the sale of MedImmune to AstraZeneca in 2007 for $15.6 billion. Prior to joining MedImmune, David was a Vice President in Health Care Investment Banking at Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., Inc.

He is currently Chairman of 3-V Biosciences, Ardelyx, Cydan, Mersana, Prosensa, TESARO, and Zyngenia and a director of Edimer Pharmaceuticals and Epizyme.  He was formerly a director of MedImmune, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Ambit Pharmaceuticals, Omthera Pharmaceuticals, Rib-X Pharmaceuticals and Conceptis.

David Mott joined the Board of Adaptimmune on the closing of its Series A financing in September 2014.

Dr Elliott Sigal, Non-Executive Director

Elliot Sigal

Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D is a former Executive Vice President of Bristol-Myers Squibb, and served as Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D from 2004 until 2013. He was instrumental in increasing R&D productivity, developing the company’s strategy in biologics and acquiring external innovation in Bristol’s String of Pearls initiative.

Under his leadership, fourteen new medicines came to market including Abilify (Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder), Reyataz (HIV/AIDS), Erbitux (Colon Cancer), Baraclude (Hepatitis B), Orencia (Rheumatoid Arthritis), Sprycel (Leukemia), Atripla (HIV/AIDS), Ixempra (Breast Cancer), Onglyza and Kombiglyze (Diabetes), Nulojix (Transplantation), Eliquis (Anticoagulant), Yervoy (Melanoma), and Forxiga (Diabetes). Among his accomplishments in various therapeutic areas was building BMS research into a lead position in the promising area of immuno-oncology. In 2012, Dr. Sigal was named the best R&D chief in the pharmaceutical industry by Scrip Intelligence.

Dr. Sigal serves as a board member for the Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and the Melanoma Research Alliance. He also serves as a senior advisor to the healthcare team of NEA and consults for select biotechnology companies. Dr. Sigal received his M.D. from the University of Chicago in 1981 and trained in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Prior to medical school he studied engineering at Purdue University, where he received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.

Elliott Sigal joined the Board of Adaptimmune on the closing of its Series A financing in September 2014.

Dr Ali Behbahani, Non-Executive Director

Ali Behbahani

Ali Behbahani joined NEA in 2007 and is a Partner on the healthcare team. He specializes in investments in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare services sectors. Prior to joining NEA, Ali worked as an intern and later as a consultant in business development at The Medicines Company, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing acute care cardiovascular products. He previously held positions as a Venture Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and as a Healthcare Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers. He conducted basic science research in the fields of viral fusion inhibition and structural proteomics at the National Institutes of Health and at Duke University.

Ali earned his MD degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his MBA degree from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. He joined the Board of Adaptimmune on the closing of its Series A financing in September 2014.

Dr Peter Thompson, Non-Executive Director

Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson, M.D., is currently a Private Equity Partner with OrbiMed who brings over 25 years of industry experience. He co-founded and was CEO of Trubion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TRBN), co-founded Cleave BioSciences, serves on the boards of several public and private companies and was a senior executive of Chiron Corporation and Becton Dickinson. Dr. Thompson is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awardee, an Affiliate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington, an inventor on numerous patents, and a board-certified internist and oncologist. He was faculty at the National Cancer Institute following his internal medicine training at Yale University.

Peter Thompson joined the Board of Adaptimmune on the closing of its Series A financing in September 2014.