Jess Hearn-Messenger

Principal, PhD

Jess is a pharmaceutical & biotech consultant with industry experience working across the drug development pipeline in academic, contract research, biotech, big pharma and regulatory agency roles.

Professional Background

Jess is a Principal with over 12 years of consulting experience across the drug development value chain in academic, contract research, biotech, big pharma and regulatory affairs. Her expertise in translational science is the foundation for her consulting focus in technical and commercial due diligence, forecasting and valuations, and product planning across a broad range of indications and technology types.

Prior to joining Alacrita, Jess held positions at GlaxoSmithKline and Quintiles (now IQVIA), as well as at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). She holds a PhD and MSc in Systems Biology from The University of Warwick and a MChem in Biological Chemistry from The University of Leicester and has authored multiple peer-reviewed publications in leading scientific journals.

Due Diligence Expertise

Jess manages due diligence on behalf of investors and biotech/pharma clients and covers both technical and commercial review of diligence materials. She directs and co-ordinates multi-functional teams, manages direct interactions with and between the investor/industry partner and the target company and summarizes due diligence findings, highlighting areas of high-risk in an investment or partnership together with any potential mitigation measures. Jess manages over 25 due diligence exercises per year at both triage/pre-due diligence and full/in-depth due diligence levels. Recent technology areas have included:

Full due diligence projects:

  • Inhaled therapies for chemotherapy induced anemia, atrial fibrillation, infectious disease and CNS disorders
  • Radiopharma CDMO business
  • Novel T cell therapies for NHL and Melanoma
  • Addressing hypoxia in respiratory diseases
  • Plasma-fractionation business
  • Fatty acid therapeutics in orphan neurodegeneration disorders
  • Small molecule for Neurodegeneration in lysosomal storage disorders
  • Microbial product for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Oncolytic adenoviral vaccine for advanced solid cancers
  • Chemokine-targeting antibody for inflammatory disorders
  • PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor for Alzheimer’s
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells as R&D toxicity tools
Triage/Pre-due diligence projects:

  • Biannual academic grant funding due diligences on early-stage technologies
  • Antibody in left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Oligo technology for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2
  • Antibiotic therapy in urea cycle disorders
  • Clinical-stage products in short bowel syndrome
  • Small molecule radio- and chemo-sensitizer for SCLC
  • Clinical-stage small molecules in irritable bowel syndrome

Valuation and Forecasts Expertise

Jess leads valuation exercises using Alacrita’s risk-adjusted Monte Carlo model and contributes to the ongoing development of the model. In addition, she builds revenue forecasts to support due diligence exercises. Recent projects have included:

  • Valuation of a potential neuroprotective agent in stroke & TBI
  • Valuation of protein fragment in multiple oncology indications
  • Valuation of a novel agent in osteoporosis
  • Valuation of an antibody in ovarian cancer
  • Market assessment, competitive landscape & valuation in RSV
  • Forecast for an antibody in necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Multiple forecasts for preclinical oncology assets
  • Forecasting antibody sales in inflammatory bowel disease

Product Positioning and Commercialization Strategy Expertise

For several companies and Universities Jess helps develop roadmaps for clinical positioning and commercialisation for their technologies. She identifies unique selling points, assesses scientific rationale and explores the competitive landscape to map out the most viable route-to-market. Recent areas of commercial planning have included:

  • Commercial development plan for a T cell therapy
  • Mesenchymal stem cells in treating graft-versus-host-disease
  • 3-in-1 cell verification/contamination assay
  • Novel high-throughput RNA array in drug discovery
  • Synthetic DNA primer technology
  • Phage product for use as an antibacterial agent
  • Two-component system screening in antibacterial drug development
  • Acquisition and licensing landscape for technologies in fertility and women’s health

Asset Scouting Expertise

For various pharmaceutical companies, Jess searches for, and evaluates, worldwide companies and institutes to identify in-licensing and partnering opportunities. She evaluates each opportunity for its merits with respect to novelty, development stage and commercialisation potential. Scouting projects have included identifying:

  • Therapeutics against inflammation and fibrosis in preclinical and early-stage clinical development
  • Antibodies against fibrosis and cancer in preclinical development
  • Small molecule therapeutics targeting the DNA damage repair pathway in oncology
  • Clinical assets supported by medical and charitable foundations


Contact Jess

For more information on her background and expertise, please reach out.