Ajan Reginald was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka. When Ajan was five his family emigrated to England because Ajan’s father got a job as doctor in NHS. His father is a Medical school lecturer (Warwick Uni) and his mother is a clinical psychotherapist. The family settled in Coventry and Ajan first gained entrance to King Henry School and then won a scholarship to Rugby School. For University he studied Dental Surgeon at University of London and graduated in 1996. During school and University Ajan played hockey in England, Holland and Germany including England Premier National League. While playing hockey Ajan suffered a significant visual injury that led him to voluntarily retire from dentistry in 2002. Unfortunately before being diagnosed, he had unwittingly made clinical errors and he lost his dental licence in 2005. (See Ajan Reginald Dentist)
After retiring from Dentistry, Ajan started to re-train in Business and Management and was awarded the UK Fulbright Scholarship in 2002. He graduated with a MBA from Kellogg Business school, Northwestern University in 2004 having won the Biotechnology Scholarship. He joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a summer intern in 2003 and continued to work part-time through Business school to fund his education.
At BCG, Ajan specialised in Pharmaceuticals and Intellectual property development working across the US and Europe. His last client was Roche Pharmaceuticals based in Basel who asked Ajan to join in the Partnering (Licensing) division. As a deal making Ajan excelled culminating with winning the Roche Gold Olympiad in 2007. He was then promoted to become Global Head of Emerging Technologies for Roche Group Research with the remit to identify the most important new medicines including stem cells and other breakthrough technologies.
After ~5 years of retraining, Ajan also started the slow process of playing hockey again and started to coach junior players. He won European qualification with GH Zurich and the forebands leaguer in Germany.
In 2007, Prof. Sir Martin Evans and Ajan both spoke at a conference in Hyderabad and started a friendship that led to their founding Cell Therapy Ltd (CTL) together in 2009.
King Henry VIII, Coventry. 1983 – 1988.
Rugby School. 1988 – 1990.
University of London. BDS in Dental Surgery. 1991 – 1998.
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management. Master of Business Administration (MBA), Biotechnology.
Fullbright Schoolarship, Business Administration and Management.
University of Oxford. Master of Science (MSc), Experimental Therapeutics.
The Boston Consulting Group. 2003 – 2005. Zürich Area, Switzerland; Chicago, USA.
Business Development Director. Ajan Reginald Roche Pharmaceuticals. 2005 – 2007. Basel Area, Switzerland.
Global Head of Emerging Technologies. Hoffmann – La Roche. 2007 – 2009.
Executive Director, Co-Founder. 2009 – Present.
Ajan Reginald is Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Celixir, the innovative regenerative medicine company that he founded with with Nobel laureate, Professor Martin Evans.
Celixir, which incorporates Cell Therapy Limited, invents and develops Regenerative Medicines. These are breakthrough cellular medicines that treat life threatening / life changing diseases.
In 2014, Celixir completed Phase II clinical trials in End-stage heart failure. The company’s pipeline also consists of disease specific products in Phase II trials for Orthopaedic and Dermatology indications, and there are further areas Celixir is working in.
Ajan is an inventor of Celixir’s core technology and tissue specific regenerative medicine products and leads the company’s commercial and operational activities.
His early education developed in King Henry VIII School in Coventry and afterwards in Rugby School. In 1996 was awarded a BDS in Dental Surgery from the University of London, and in 2004 he received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Kellogg Business School, Northwestern University where he was awarded the Biotechnology scholarship.
In 2002, Ajan was awarded the UK Fulbright Scholarship. In 2016, Ajan gained a Master of Science (MSc) from the University of Oxford targeted in Experimental Therapeutics.
In 2007, Ajan was working for Roche as its Global Head of Emerging Technologies, overseeing the identification, acquisition and development of the next generation of breakthrough Biopharma technologies and products. Ajan originally joined Roche two years before as Business Development Director in Roche Pharma, where he led M&A teams and major licensing transactions including the $1.3Billion licensing transaction with Alnylam.
Prior to Roche, Ajan was a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group. For Ajan, these roles were perfect preparation for his future, providing challenging yet world classg training that made him able to perform critical operations under high stress and taught him the most hard-won skills.
From this background, Ajan founded Cell Therapy Limited (now Celixir) together with Professor Sir Martin Evans, a Nobel Laureate, who first isolated and grew embryonic stem cells at Cambridge University in the 1980’s.
Ajan and Sir Martin personally invested in their start-up business started in 2009, working side-by-side to experiment with stem cells as a way to fix damaged heart tissue.
In those days, anyone ringing Cell Therapy Limited may have had a Nobel prize winner answering the phone. In 2016, Sir Martin as Chief Scientific Officer and President and Ajan as Chief Executive Officer oversee a company with 30 employees that holds more than 100 patents and is affiliated with laboratories and professionals at leading universities all over the world.
In 2016 the company rebranded to Celixir.
Celixir has identified a way to treat people with the most severely damaged hearts, whose only hope is to receive a transplant, and they have already completed successful clinical trials.
Celixir is delivering Ajan’s ambition of marrying cutting edge science with world class business acumen and practices.
Great science enables regeneration of damaged organ through a unique approach, working with heart-specific stem cells. Celixir is now positioned within the fast-growing high-tech stem cell market that is projected to reach about $20 billion in five years.
The company proves how science for the benefit of society is an exciting investment proposition, since it was able to run an external crowdfunding campaign that raised £1 million in only 10 days.
Ajan is the Chief Executive Officer that understands science and connects it with the biotech business, but the company has an exceptional board and executive team. In addition to Sir Martin Evans, Celixir’s leadership team boasts other prominent figures, including Rhodi Morgan, a former first minister of Wales, Mubasher Sheikh, a former transplant surgeon and the current head of Permira health care, and Lord Digby Jones, a former UK minister of state for trade and development.
Ajan’s success with CTL mirrors his hockey and professional career that’s he’s rebuilt from scratch with great friends and great team. Ajan proudly represents England playing Masters hockey including the 2016 World Cup and Home Nations where he scored five goals and won silver medals.
Through playing and coaching elite international sports team, Ajan learnt the importance of building and nurturing a high-performing team. The CTL team that Ajan leads works synergistically to achieve monumental medical breakthroughs. Ajan says “Our aim is to save 25 million lives by 2025. It’s an unprecedentedly goal but one that fits our world-class team and our profound desire to win this battle against heart disease.”
Ajan is married with a young son and lives in Warwickshire. He is an avid athlete training every day
England Hockey Masters Player August 2014 – Present
Hockey for Heroes Director Charity raising money to rehabilitate wounded service personnel
Ajan Reginald Hockey
Royal Society of Medicine
European Society of Cell and Gene Therapy
Royal Academy of Arts
Oxford and Cambridge Club
Married with an eighteen month-old son.
Ajan’s Executive Assistant is Julia Greenslade who can be contacted by email (email@example.com) or by telephone (01789 269838).
IN THE MEDIA