16 Jan 2024

News 2024

David Llewellyn and Antibodies

Young Pauline Dr David Llewellyn, in College 2006-09, graduated from Sydney University in 2010 with BSc(Advanced Studies)(Honours) and was a NSW Rhodes Scholar for 2010. He went on to do a PhD at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute in 2010.  He worked to develop vaccines and research malaria and with another like-minded student, Dr Joe Illingworth, went on to pitch new ideas for the use of immunology to make antibody drugs. Eventually this idea landed them grants and they began a biotech startup under very strict protocols and industry rigor.

Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to recognise and neutralize harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses.

Their work continued in Oxford in humble surroundings using second-hand equipment until their success and momentum with their proprietary HEPTAD platform landed a take-over deal worth $255 million. Today David is managing director of DJS Antibodies which is part of the multi-national pharmaceutical R&D company AbbVie which employees 29,000 people globally. “DJS was built on the principles of scientific curiosity and an aspiration to discover clinically meaningful innovative medicines. We’ve been privileged to grow the company within the world-class scientific and entrepreneurial community of Oxford, from an initial concept through to a successful biotech comprising an extremely talented team,” said David Llewellyn and Joe Illingworth in 2022.

In May 2023 they were honoured with admission to the “20 under 40 in Biopharma” by Endpoints News for their international success.

The College community congratulates David and his team for their innovation which is very inspiring for current Paulines.