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Sir Chris Evans backs scientists to lead world out of COVID gloom

The sheep shed pioneer who everyone follows hails role of Cambridge life science cluster

DAVID BOYES5 June, 2020

BRITAIN can remain at the vanguard of the biotechnology industry, despite the threats of Brexit – with a potential stock market collapse – and the coronavirus pandemic, says life sciences pioneer and long-time Media House client Sir Christopher Evans.

And Sir Chris – who founded the Cambridge biotechnology cluster 35 years ago – believes scientists will lead the world out of the global gloom caused by COVID-19.

Speaking to Business Weekly, he said: “Never before in my working life, have I seen such commitment and energy being applied by governments and pharma and bioscience companies. It is the scientists who will lead us out of the COVID darkness and I expect Cambridge to be in the vanguard.

“Cambridge is brilliantly placed to play a leading role in the race to find vaccines and drugs that will help combat COVID-19. ”

Sir Chris, who has been a client of Media House for 15 years, looked back fondly on the humble beginnings of the Cambridge cluster in a couple of prefabricated sheep sheds (below).

Sir Chris Evans' Enzymatix HQ in sheep sheds

He added: “Enzymatix was my first great venture, and in  only a few years, our company had flourished into a dynamic presence in a fledgling and innovative biotech community.

“Among our discoveries, was our work using cabbages and eggs to mass-produce phospholipids which were used in surfactants to help very premature babies breathe.”

Sir Chris, who went on to establish a host of biotech companies as well as funding organisations to support them, is now concentrating on cancer treatments.

He said: “One of the major issues is the clinical trials process. It can move too slowly for those who have been diagnosed with the disease.

“I have founded Ellipses Pharma to make a difference – working with Cambridge scientific entrepreneur Dr Rajan Jethwa, a great team and renowned oncologists around the world, we are committed to finding the most promising new cancer treatments and progressing them at speed and scale through a trials process specifically designed by some of the world’s most renowned cancer specialists.”

Over the years, the team at Media House have worked hard to raise the profile of Sir Chris’s many and varied ventures which have included not just life science-based activities but charitable ones too.