Mike Leek of TC Biopharm wins Entrepreneurial Business Leadership Award

Published: 3 February 2017

Mike Leek of TC Biopharm, with offices at Pentlands Science Park, wins Entrepreneurial Business Leadership Award at the 17th Scottish Life Sciences Awards ceremony, attended by over 700 people from across the life sciences community.

Since incorporation in March 2013 Mike Leek, CEO, has taken TC BioPharm from a concept to a high profile early stage life sciences company embarking on successful clinical trials with real global market potential in 2015. The company are now progressing phase IIb clinical trials with phase III planned for late 2017.

TC BioPharm is a pre-revenue immunotherapy company with a cell-based product pipeline capable of treating a variety of disorders including cancer and severe viral infections.

Their primary technology branded ImmunoCell uses patients’ own immune cells grown in culture to target cancer, and has a safe history based on the treatment of numerous patients in Japan. TCB has obtained Scientific Advice from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency which has provided a clear roadmap to clinical studies.

MHRA licence for this adaptive clinical trial was awarded in January 2015. Under expert guidance from Principal Investigator, Professor Jeff Evans of the University of Glasgow, TCB started to treat the first cohort of patients in 2015, working alongside established cancer clinics in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Southampton, New York. A Specials Manufacturer’s licence was granted in February 2016 which enables the clinical trial to evaluate other cancer indications.

Mike has driven the funding strategy for the business and has secured equity from 2 Japanese investors initially Medinet and most recently Nipro where both high profile companies bought into the vision of this entrepreneurial CEO.

Other investors in TCB have included employees investing to show their loyalty, commitment and belief in Mike’s vision as well as angel syndicates UK wide where SIB have co-invested with local angels.

Mike has formed an amazing clinical and scientific advisory board as well as a company Board and senior management team with a strong track record in the Life Sciences sector with success in global markets which has assisted the company to raise circa £8M since inception with plans to raise £20M+ from VC’s in 2017 enabling the company to prepare for potential IPO in 2018.

During the course of developing the business Mike has shown Entrepreneurial Business Leader qualities:

Mike shares his vision and ambition to succeed enthusiastically with everyone he meets, it is apparent to all that meet him that business is important, making money is important but what success looks like to Mike and the team he manages at TCB is actually treating patients. He truly does live and breathe the vision of being able to treat cancer and other severe viral infections across the globe and giving people a better chance of betting these diseases and he recognises the importance of growing an expert team to deliver this.

Starting as a small team of one Mike has grown his team to 40 very experienced life science professionals. Mike has inspired the team by his vision and values for the company making it a company that has built a high profile within Scotland’s Life Sciences community and set the company on the global stage for immunotherapy where the profile is strong in Japan, Europe and the US. TCB pride themselves on their commitment to the Business Pledge, Youth Employment through Graduate opportunities and working with local schools, colleges and universities to share opportunities for high value life science jobs in Scotland, pioneering research and the opportunity to build globally competitive sustainable companies.

Since the partnership agreement with Medinet and the licence to use Medinet’s patented cell therapy technology TCB have engaged proactively in developing a broader IP portfolio for the company and have been awarded SMART feasibility and SMART R&D funding to accelerate and enhance patient experience in key components of the clinical trial. Latest developments include securing collaboration funding from Nipro for £2M to develop car-T immuno-oncology products.

A real factor in all of this is the timeline in which all of this has been achieved, from incorporation in 2013, fund raising and lab building in 2014, investing in R&D, building an expert team, commencing clinical trials in 2015 and continuing to raise equity investment during 2014/15/16.

Mike continues to show his appreciation of the all the support he has had to date, and singled out Scottish Enterprise as an invaluable support, recognising that as CEO he has built a highly effective team.

Many congratulations to Mike and the team from Midlothian Science Zone.


About the Scottish Life Sciences Awards

The awards recognise the success and achievements of Scotland’s internationally-renowned life sciences sector in areas including innovation, investment, community engagement and collaboration. The awards also focus on the ongoing work of Scottish Enterprise and its partners to grow and develop a sustainable, globally-competitive life sciences sector in Scotland.

Scotland's life sciences industry already contributes more than £4.2 billion a year to the Scottish economy with some 700 organisations employing in excess of 37,000 people. It is globally recognised for its high levels of innovation - translating ideas and research into novel treatments and world-leading therapies.

View all winners of this year's awards


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