World Class Scientific Advisors


Our scientific advisors have significant expertise in the pre-clinical development, clinical development and manufacture of multiple therapeutic drugs including drugs for respiratory diseases.


Michael Foley PhD

CHIEF SCIENTIFIC OFFICER

Mick is the founding scientist of AdAlta and a key inventor of AdAlta’s lead i-body candidate AD-114. Upon completion of his PhD he was awarded a Wellcome Training Fellowship and worked at the world-renowned Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

In 1995 Mick was awarded a prestigious ARC QEII Fellowship where he established the phage display of antibodies and peptide technology as a means of answering fundamental questions of immunity to infectious diseases. Mick is an internationally-recognised leader in phage display, the technology used to screen the i-body library to identify new drug candidates. Having published over 70 scientific publications Mick has received funding from ARC, NHMRC and NIH (US).


Brian Richardson PhD

Brian was most recently a member of The Leadership Team and The Global Head of The Musculoskeletal Disease Therapeutic Area at The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research having previously held several other senior positions during a 42 year career in the pharmaceutical industry. Those positions included Deputy Head of Drug Safety, Head of Pathology and Experimental Toxicology, Head of Immunology, Inflammation and Respiratory Research as well as Senior Project Manager for the worldwide development of new therapies for metabolic, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases for Sandoz Pharma. Subsequently Brian was appointed Head of Pre-Clinical Research in Switzerland and UK and played a key role in the merger of the Sandoz and Ciba Research organisations that ultimately resulted in the creation of The Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. Research conducted in Brian’s laboratories has led to the discovery, development and introduction of several new therapies.

He has published more than 60 original peer-reviewed research papers and contributed many book chapters in the fields of pathophysiology, endocrinology and receptor pharmacology.


David McGibney PhD

David is an experienced clinical and pharmaceutical development professional and runs his own lifescience consultancy practice. He previously held senior R&D positions at Pfizer, including SVP and Head of European R&D 1998-2001 and VP and Head of European Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs 1992-1998.

During his tenure at Pfizer, David was instrumental in the successful development and registration of numerous medicines, including Amlodipine (Norvasc™), Doxazosin (Cardura™), Fluconazole (Diflucan™), Sertraline (Zoloft™), Sildenafil (Viagra™), Dofetilde (Tikosyn™), Eletriptan (Relpax™), Voriconazole (VFend™), Trovafloxacin (Trovan™), Ziprasidone (Geodon™), Darifenacin (Enablex™), Azithromycin (Zithromax™), and Donepezil (Aricept™).

From 2002-2004, David was Executive Director and Head of Drug Discovery and Development at Avidex Ltd. As a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, he works closely with biotechnology companies, lifescience investors, and non-profit healthcare organizations, including Medicines for Malaria Venture (Chairman of Expert Scientific Advisory Committee and Member of Global Safety Board and Access and Product Management Advisory Committee), NightstaRx (Chairman of Development Advisory Board), Convergence Ltd (Board observer), Vantia Ltd (Chairman of Development Subcommittee) and Kalvista Ltd (Chairman of Advisory Committee). He is a clinical and product development advisor to Heptares Therapeutics as well as to venture investors Imperial Innovations, Apposite Capital, Abingworth, MVM Life Science Partners, Syncona Partners and Radius Ventures.


John Westwick PhD

John has extensive experience in drug discovery in the Pharmaceutical Industry and as a Professor of Pharmacology. With over 14 years at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, John was responsible for the build-up and leadership of all aspects of drug discovery and early development from target validation to the completion of proof of concepts in the respiratory area, which included severe asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, and pulmonary fibrosis. During his period of leadership at Novartis Respiratory, John was responsible for five global launches (Xolair, Podhaler, Onbrez, Seebri, and Ultibro). In addition he had 13 positive proof of concepts in respiratory, which include a number of compounds and monoclonal antibodies which are now in phase III clinical trials.

John is currently visiting Professor at the NHLI, St Mary’s Campus, Imperial College London, working with Professor Peter Openshaw. In addition he works with pharmaceutical and biotechnoology companies in Europe as well as not-for-profit organisations such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Seattle), Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi) Geneva, and Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D), Capetown.


Steve Felstead MD

Steve retired from the position of Vice President, Head of Clinical Research, Pharmatherapeutics Division, Pfizer Inc in April 2014. He joined Pfizer in 1989, having qualified in Medicine at Leeds University UK in 1982. Dr Felstead was appointed Head of Clinical Research in January 2009 responsible for the disciplines of Clinical Development and Pharmacology, Translational and Molecular Medicine, Preclinical and Clinical Statistics.Clinical Research was responsible for research projects up to Proof of Concept (Phase 2a) in the following Therapeutic Areas: Neuroscience, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, Anti-Infectives, Pain and Regenerative Medicine.

During this time Dr Felstead led the Pfizer team that laid the groundwork for the NIH/NCATS programme for systematic evaluation of drug repurposing. From 2007 – 2008 Dr Felstead served as Development Therapeutic Area Head for Allergy and Respiratory medicines through to Phase 3b. Previously he held a number of project, line and administrative roles within drug development in the Sandwich, UK office over 15 years, and in Groton/New London, CT office for three years. These roles included Zithromax (azithromycin) clinical project manager in Europe, head of clinical development in Sandwich, Viagra (sildenafil) development team leader, Vfend (voriconazole) development team leader and Groton/New London development site head. Dr Felstead led the Viagra (sildenafil) team when the first pulmonary hypertension study was being designed, which led to the successful Revatio development program. From 2003-2007 he led the Celsentri/Selzentry (maraviroc) team through to successful transatlantic registration of this novel anti-retroviral medicine.

Since retirement Dr Felstead consults widely on various programmes for VC, Biotech, and Pharma. Dr Felstead has served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Stratified Medicines for Scotland and as a member of the Innovate UK, Biomedical Catalyst Late Stage Award committee.


Hans Kocher PhD

Dr. Kocher studied microbiology and biochemistry, and received his Ph.D., from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. As a post-doctoral fellow for three years at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, he investigated the primary structure of immunoglobulin D. On his return to Switzerland he became a Research Associate/Lecturer at the Department of Pathology and later at the Department of Medical Biochemistry at the University of Geneva.

After six years in Geneva, Dr. Kocher joined F. Hoffmann-La Roche to set up analytical processes for the characterization of recombinant interferon α-2a (“Roferon”). In 1986, Dr. Kocher moved to the newly created Department of Biotechnology at Sandoz in Basel as head of protein preparation and of the natural products fermentation and downstream processing pilot plant. When Sandoz merged with Ciba to become Novartis, Dr. Kocher assumed the leadership of the Biomolecules Production Unit in Novartis Research. The responsibilities included building and coordinating Novartis’ antibody and therapeutic protein activities up to clinical proof-of-concept. His team was involved in the development of a number of natural products and biopharmaceuticals, amongst them the immunosuppressive drug “Certican”, a natural product, and “Simulect”,“Ilaris” and “Cosentyx”, three therapeutic antibodies.

From 2010 until retirement from Novartis, Dr. Kocher was responsible for driving and implementing innovative and enabling technologies to increase the probability of success of the biologics portfolio as member of the leadership team of the newly formed “Integrated Biologics Profiling” Department. Currently he acts as consultant for technical development of therapeutic proteins for several start-up companies. Dr. Kocher was member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Bioprocessing Technology Institute in Singapore, and co-founder and co-organizer of the “Interlaken Conference on Advances in Production of Biologics” and the “Singapore Biologics Manufacturing Conference” conference series. He is author of 50+ scientific publications.