Global Entrepreneurship Week
Commercialising university research – the Renovo story
Dr Sharon O’Kane Biography
Sharon is the co-founder and until February 2010 was the Chief Scientific Officer and a Main Board Director at Renovo Group plc. Renovo is a specialty biopharmaceutical company based in Manchester and a leader in the di...scovery and development of drugs to reduce scarring (www.renovo.com). The company was founded by Sharon and Professor Mark Ferguson in October 2000 raising £8m from venture capital investors, a second round of financing ($23m) followed in 2003, and the company floated on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in 2006 raising a further £67.5m. In 2007, Renovo signed a licensing deal with Shire for their lead drug Juvista, worth up to $825m plus royalties. It currently employs over 100 people and has a market capitalisation of £57M (4/10/10).
Before co-founding Renovo, Sharon had a 15-year career based in academia, with many industrial collaborators, publications, invited speaking engagements, large peer-reviewed grants, and numerous international research awards and was latterly at the University of Manchester as a Senior Research Fellow. Sharon is an inventor on all of the company’s broad IP portfolio, and continues to publish in high profile journals. She has a PhD and BSc (First Class) Honours degree from the University of Ulster.
Sharon delivers various masterclasses on spin-out company formation, entrepreneurship, and the role of women in business and in science. She is a judge of the BBSRC Young Entrepreneur competition final, reviews PhD studentship awards for the MRC and applications for the L’Oreal Women in Science Awards. She is a member of the MRC’s Immunology and Infection Steering Group.
Sharon is currently on the Board of a start-up drug development company, TPP, and is the Entrepreneur in Residence to UMIP, the University of Manchester intellectual property company.
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Lancaster University is organising a programme of activities to support our students to be more enterprising, to learn new skills which will be important in the job market, and to find out more about being self employed or starting your own business.
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Lancaster University How To...
‘How To’has been organised by Lancaster University to help our students develop skills and behaviours that will give them the edge in the future. ‘How To’ is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012, a worldwide movement encouraging people from all walks of life to be more enterprising in all that they do.
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