10 October 2016: Abingdon, UK -  OBN, the membership organisation supporting the UK’s innovative life sciences companies, announced today that it had appointed Mark Anderson, Brian Hargreaves and Ross Sommerville to its Board of Directors. Between them they add considerable sector experience to the Board, bringing legal, investment, commercial and general management expertise.  OBN also announced that due to the demands of their respective roles outside of OBN, Stewart Sharpe and Steven Lee have stepped down from the Board.

Sally Waterman, OBN’s Chairman, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark, Brian and Ross to the Board.  Each of them has provided support for life science companies of all types and sizes during their careers and we look forward to having their input into how OBN can best support the development and growth of innovative R&D companies.  On behalf of the OBN Board, I would also like to thank Stewart Sharpe and Steven Lee for their valuable input, advice and guidance during their tenure and wish them every success for the future.”

John Harris, OBN’s CEO, commented: “As part of our commitment to our members, sponsors and supporters, we feel it is important to review the structure of the Board from time to time in order to maintain fresh perspectives from individuals who are specialists in their chosen field. We are confident that Mark, Brian and Ross and the experience that they bring will contribute effectively towards our overarching strategy.”

Biographies and quotes Mark Anderson: Mark is the founder and managing partner of a 12-lawyer firm of solicitors based in Oxfordshire that specialises in intellectual property and commercial transactions. He has advised clients in the life-science sector since 1987. He is the chairman of the Board of Directors of BioLaw Europe FmbA, a Danish not-for-profit association, and chairman of the Intellectual Property Law Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales. He is a visiting professor at University College London and the convenor of an annual, 5-day course on IP transactions for practitioners that has won a UCL Provost’s Teaching Award.

Mark said: “OBN has gained an excellent reputation for supporting life-science organisations and for organising its flagship event, the annual BioTrinity conference. I look forward to contributing to the Board’s work as it develops and oversees the organisation’s future activities.”

Brian Hargreaves: Brian is an independent advisor to Private Equity firms. His career in Healthcare spans academia, Pharma, Venture Capital and Private Equity.  Following his early career as a Lecturer in Pharmacy at Manchester University, he had a series of commercial and international marketing roles with Smith Kline and French, Mundipharma, Wellcome, Glaxo Wellcome and with Astra Hässle where he led the commercialisation of the blockbuster product, Nexium.  In 1997, he moved to 3i plc in the innovative growth period of biotech Venture Capital.  More recently he has originated several significant Growth Capital and Buyout deals. He currently advises selected Private Equity firms and spends a proportion of his time in the charity sector.

Brian said: “OBN’s focus on bringing together life science companies with investors is an area close to my heart and I am delighted to have the opportunity of bringing my experience of both sectors to OBN and its members.”

Ross Sommerville: Ross is a business mentor and executive coach to companies in the life science sector.  He has held senior commercial roles within MedTech; at ResMed Inc. where he ran business teams across a wide range of European countries and, before that, at Baxter Healthcare Inc. where he was European VP Marketing for its Blood Transfusion business.   In 2015, Ross spent 8 months as Interim CEO of OBN where he helped review the strategy of the organization and recruit the current CEO.  His background and early career is in economics where he worked for the government in Australia as well as the OECD in Paris.  He holds an MBA from the AGSM (Sydney) and a Diploma in Executive Coaching from the Academy of Executive Coaching (London).

Ross said: "OBN performs an invaluable role in helping to create an environment where emerging UK life science companies can prosper and grow.  I had the privilege to work with OBN in 2015 as Interim CEO and am of course delighted to have this opportunity of continuing my involvement as a Non Exec Director to better serve its members.”