About SalvaRx Group

SalvaRx Corporate Strategy and History

The SalvaRx Group is a drug discovery and development company focused on immune-oncology; SalvaRx invests in novel cancer immuno-therapies and provides its portfolio companies with operational support ranging from direct operation of subsidiaries to advisory or part-time involvement in more established companies. The SalvaRx Group was founded by Drs. Ian Walters and Rob Kramer, two former Bristol-Myers Squibb drug developers with a history of championing immune-oncology and developing immune-oncology therapeutics. SalvaRx has a mandate to assemble and develop a portfolio of differentiated immune-oncology therapies for the treatment of late-stage cancers. SalvaRx provides its portfolio companies with operational support in addition to capital, sometimes operating its portfolio companies directly and sometimes augmenting the current team.

In 2015, SalvaRx made its first investment in iOx Therapeutics, a University of Oxford spin-out that is developing a compounds that stimulate Natural Killer T Cells.  SalvaRx Limited was acquired by 3Legs Resources in 2016, being readmitted to AIM in March 2016.  SalvaRx made a further investment in Intensity Therapeutics in April 2016.  In Spring 2017, SalvaRx made two additional investments, one a Series A investment into Rift Biotherapeutics, and another into a joint venture with Nekonal SARL to explore immuno-oncology applications of their technology.  SalvaRx continues to review additional early stage opportunities in cancer immunotherapy


SalvaRx Board of Directors and Senior Management

  • Jim Mellon

    Non-Executive Chairman, aged 58
    Jim Mellon is an investor with interests in several industries. After leaving Oxford University, where he studied PPE, he worked in Asia and the United States in two fund management companies, GT and Thornton, before establishing his own business in 1991. This now has two components: a listed fund management company, Charlemagne Capital Limited and an Asian investment group, Regent Pacific Group Limited. In addition, Jim is a controlling shareholder and a director of Manx Financial Group, an Isle of Man based bank and a controlling shareholder of Webis Holdings plc. He is also a co-founder of Uramin and Red Dragon Resources, both mining groups. Burnbrae, his private company, is a substantial landlord in Germany and in the Isle of Man, and it owns outright the hotel chain, Sleepwell Hotels Limited. Jim is the co-chairman of FastForward Innovations Limited and a director of Portage Biotech Inc.. His book ‘Cracking the Code’, which was published in 2012, focused on investment opportunities in the life sciences sector. Jim is an honorary fellow of Oriel College, Oxford University.
  • Ian B Walters, MD, MBA

    CEO and Executive Director, aged 48

    Ian B. Walters, M.D., M.B.A., is the Entrepreneur in Residence at Mediqventures and is part-time CMO of Intensity Therapeutics, Inc. Over his 16 year career, he has demonstrated both leadership and expertise in drug development, including the advancement of multiple cancer compounds from research stages through approval.

    Ian specialises in the evaluation, prioritization, and the innovative development of new therapies for the treatment of severe diseases. He has worked at PDL BioPharma, Inc., Millenium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., leading corporate development, translational medicine, clinical development and medical affairs.

    Ian spent seven years at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he managed physicians overseeing the international development of more than eight oncology compounds (including Nivolimab (anti-PD-1), Ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4), brivanib (anti VEGF/FGF), anti-IGF/IR, VEGFR2 biologic, Elotuzimab (antiCS1), as well as biomarker and companion diagnostic work. He was a core member of Bristol- Myers Squibb’s Strategic Transactions Group evaluating and executing licensing agreements, mergers and acquisitions, clinical collaborations, and the company’s immuno-oncology strategy.

    Before entering the private sector, Ian was a lead investigator at the Rockefeller University and initiated advanced immunology research to understand the mechanism of action of several compounds. Ian received his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and an MBA from the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

  • Kamlesh Shah, CPA

    CPA (Canada), CPA (US), CGMA(US), Chief Financial Officer and Director, aged 65
    Kam Shah is a senior finance executive with over 25 years of financial and management experience across a range of industries and companies with significant operating scale and complexity. Kam is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant of the American Institute of CPAs and a Chartered Professional Accountant of the Canadian Institute of CPAs. He has experience in all aspects of corporate finance, including audits, SEC/OSC reporting, forecasting, and business plan development.

    Over the past 15 years, Kam has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary of Bontan Corporation Inc., a publicly-listed group of companies engaged in biotechnology and oil and gas exploration.
  • Richard Armstrong

    Non-Executive Director, aged 68
    Richard Armstrong is a former equity analyst and corporate broker. He has extensive experience in reconstructing and raising capital for turnaround situations, especially in the quoted microcap sector, for example Weatherly International plc, K P Renewables plc (now IGas Energy plc), Future Internet Technologies plc (now Artilium plc) and Mobilefuture plc. In most cases, he has joined the board of these companies and has played a major role in helping them to acquire or establish operating businesses.
  • Greg Bailey, MD

    Non-Executive Director, aged 60
    Greg Bailey, M.D., is chairman of Portage Biotech, Inc. a publicly traded drug development company and was previously managing partner of Palantir Group, Inc., a merchant bank specialising in biotech and intellectual property. He has over 15 years’ experience in investment banking and has founded several companies. Along with comprehensive experience in healthcare, finance and medicine, Greg brings to the Board an extensive involvement in corporate governance. He has served on multiple public company boards of directors, was a practicing physician for ten years and holds a M.D. degree from the University of Western Ontario.
  • Colin Weinberg

    Non-Executive Director, aged 66
    Colin Weinberg is a former stockbroker with some 40 years’ experience with a range of firms including Durlacher plc and Walker Crips Weddle Beck plc. He is a former director of Peckham Building Society and is currently a director of Associated British Engineering plc, a listed company.
  • Robert Kramer, PhD

    Chief Scientific Officer of SalvaRx Group PLC
    Rob has 24 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is the former Head of Oncology Discovery Research at both Bristol-Myers Squibb and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of the Johnson & Johnson group of companies. He has been responsible for enabling the transition of 35 drugs from discovery into the clinic. Rob championed immunotheraphy at Bristol-Myers Squibb, resulting in the acquisition of Medarex, Inc. in 2009 and its portfolio of immune therapeutics that included Ipilimumab and Nivolumab. He received his PhD in pharmacology from the University of Vermont and undertook his post doctorate studies at the US National Cancer Institute. Rob held an Assistant Professorship at the Harvard Medical School.