The Company and Key Personnel
SpheriTech Ltd. was founded by Dr Donald A. Wellings in April 2009 to provide consultancy and laboratory- based contract research and development to a range of industries. This business has grown organically and has provided the revenue to support the current research and development activities and intellectual property base. SpheriTech is based in Runcorn, Cheshire, on one of the UK’s leading Science and Technology Parks.
Don Wellings is an internationally recognised authority on peptide synthesis, polymer design, and chromatography with over 30 years’ experience of working in major organisations having held senior scientific posts in ICI, Zeneca, Avecia, and Polymer Laboratories. Prior to founding SpheriTech he founded Chromatide where he worked as Chief Scientific Officer for 3 years and was credited as the sole inventor of all of the Company’s intellectual property.
With a track record of innovation, he is the main inventor on 19 patents and the sole inventor on all patents filed by SpheriTech to date.
As the founder and Managing Director of SpheriTech Ltd and as the principal in a SME, Don leads on all scientific, managerial and operational matters. In this endeavour he is supported by a small highly experienced group of scientists who have worked with him for many years both in SpheriTech and other companies.
In addition, SpheriTech benefits from the experience of an advisory management team:
Mr Chris Harris, Director of Business Development (part-time): Former healthcare professional with over 35 years’ senior management experience in the medical device industry; an advocate of health technology innovation, especially in relation to start-up and early stage businesses in the life science sector.
Dr Paul W Sheppard, NED: Scientist, entrepreneur, businessman and investor with some 40 years’ experience within the life science industry.
Dr Ian M Varndell: Scientist, entrepreneur, businessman and investor with 40 years’ experience within the life science industry and academia.
Mr Stephen Geary (IP adviser): Patent attorney with Bawden and Associates.
The SpheriTech management team is supported by a panel of professional advisors drawn from both academia, healthcare and life science industry.
The company has a vast network of contacts in both academia and industry providing access to a broad range of specialist expertise. The current Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of individuals highly respected for their contributions to the industry.
Scientific Advisory Board
Dr Brian Adger the chairman of the SAB is a consultant with over 30 years industrial experience within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and fine chemical sectors working with companies including Smith Kline French (now GSK), Sterling Organics, Great Lakes Chemical Europe and Chiroscience in senior research and development positions. He started a consultancy business in 1997, providing expertise in complex organic synthesis and chiral technologies and is chairman of the SAB of Johnson Matthey Catalysis and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Dr Eric Atherton is a consultant with over 30 years experience in peptide chemistry, who together with Dr Bob Sheppard, developed Fmoc-solid phase peptide synthesis methodologies which have revolutionized the solid phase manufacture of peptides. Eric was a senior scientist at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology from 1972 to 1985 before joining CRB as Technology Director. He has also held senior management positions at Avecia, Zeneca and ICI and currently acts as a peptide synthesis consultant.
Professor Nigel Slater (Professor of Chemical Engineering at Cambridge University) with research experience of bioproduct manufacture, acquired over 25 years in industrial and academic laboratories. After lecturing in Chemical Engineering at Cambridge University Nigel worked for Unilever and Wellcome, becoming Head of Bioprocess Development and gained experience of therapeutic protein production by mammalian cell culture and key issues related to manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. His recent research at Cambridge University has been conducted collaboratively with Glaxo-Wellcome, Xenova, Nycomed Amersham, and Cobra Therapeutics as well as with leading clinical laboratories at Kings, St Bartholomew’s and Birmingham Hospitals.
Professor John Wade is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Howard Florey Institute and a Professor of Biological Chemistry at the university’s School of Chemistry. He obtained his PhD in 1979 at Monash University, Melbourne, and has since acquired over 35 years of experience in peptide synthesis chemistry from the time he commenced a postdoctoral research position in the laboratory of Bob Sheppard at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. He presently heads the Howard Florey Institute’s Peptide and Protein Chemistry Laboratory which undertakes structure-function relationship studies on insulin-like peptides. An additional primary research focus has been the development of improved solid phase methods for the successful synthesis of still more complex and larger peptides. John has been and continues to be a member of the organizing committee of a number of international peptide and protein conferences (including the preeminent European Peptide Symposium) and of the executive committees of international peptide and protein societies. He is on the scientific advisory board of four peptide drug design and development companies and is also the editor of five international peptide journals and a member of editorial board of a sixth. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Dr Ian Varndell is a biologist with 40 years experience of developing and manufacturing life science research products. In 1983 he was appointed Lecturer in Histochemistry at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London (now part of Imperial College’s Hammersmith campus), and later joined Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB) to work within the Contract Research Group. After CRB’s acquisition by ICI Biological Products he formed Affiniti Research Products Ltd in 1991, and co-founded BIOMOL International LP in 2004 which was itself acquired by Enzo Life Sciences in 2008. Ian has published almost 60 scientific papers and book chapters, and holds several UK directorships. He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology.