Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Chair steps down due to illness

Allan Baxter has stepped down as Chair of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) due to an unexpected deterioration in a long-standing health condition.

John Cooper, the Wellcome Trust’s nominated Director of SBC has taken over as Interim Chair of the company with immediate effect. 

Allan had chaired the company since SBC’s launch in 2010 and played an inspirational role in steering the business through its construction and early operational phases to its current thriving position as the UK’s first Open Innovation campus. 

SBC’s Chief Executive Martino Picardo said: ‘We are all extremely sad that Allan has had to step down from the Board. We are fortunate to have sufficient strength in our Board and team to deal with this unexpected event and we have an excellent successor in John.‘

John joined the Board in 2010 as our Wellcome Trust (stakeholder) Director. John also originally served as the Construction Director for Phase 1 build (2011). Over these past three years, the Board and the entire executive team have benefited from John’s wealth of experience, insight and understanding of SBC’s unique open innovation culture and business.

He added: ‘On behalf of the company and its shareholders I would like to thank Allan for his outstanding contribution to the company since he was appointed Chair. Allan has provided an invaluable combination of extensive experience, personal wisdom, strong leadership as well as being my personal mentor and great friend. He has played a key role in leading SBC to be the successful thriving campus it is today.  Our thoughts are with Allan and his family at this time, and we hope he continues to make good progress in his recovery.’