Meet Our Team

Team and Resources

The team has extensive experience in technology development, commercialisation and company building. It includes two directors from Unilever, one of whom is R&D Director – Biotechnology & Biosourcing at Unilever and behind most of the patents for the technology. Our non-executive chair is Homecare R&D Head of Clean Future Science and Technology at Unilever. In January 2022, Penrhos Bio appointed a CEO and Head of Business development as full-time employees.

Penrhos Bio R&D activities are supported by the Unilever team based at the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF), at the University of Liverpool.  This team has extensive anti-biofilm expertise and world-leading resources to help accelerate the Penrhos Bio product development cycle with our commercial partners.

Core Team:

Dr Jonathan Hague

Chairman

Jon joined Penrhos Bio from its inception. Jon is R&D Head of Clean Future Science and Technology in Unilever’s Global Homecare Business. Prior to that Jon built and led Unilever’s Open Innovation capability, building partnerships with many of the world’s leading academic institutions and corporations. Jon also leads on the Unilever Clean Future initiative, has a PhD in Materials Science from the University of Sheffield and over 30 years of experience in Industrial R&D. Outside of Unilever duties, in addition to the role with Penrhos Bio, Jon is Chair of the Innovation Board for the Liverpool City Region, and is also Chair of the Innovation Committee of the UK Chemistry Council.

Dr Richard Hammond

Chief Executive Officer

Richard joined Penrhos Bio as a full-time employee in February 2022 having helped develop the original business model. As a veterinarian, Richard has a broad experience across commercial, academic, and veterinary clinical sectors for which he has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contributions to the profession. He has worked as part of the commercial operation of a major pharmaceutical company, was part of the leadership team taking a new major Veterinary School (Nottingham) from concept to delivery and, as Head of School for Bristol University, delivered major organisational and strategic change with significant financial benefit. Notably, Richard grew the business of a small commercial veterinary enterprise from 60 staff and a breakeven position to over 280 staff and a turnover of circa £22m in the 7 years prior to joining Penrhos Bio. Richard is Professor Emeritus at the University of Bristol.

Dr Neil Parry

Technical Director

Neil is a biologist with a PhD in Industrial Biotechnology, specialising in protein engineering. Neil has worked within Unilever for over 25 years and has held a number of roles across the organisation, including within then Unilever antibody subsidiary, Unipath. Neil has held the role of Research Programme Director – Biotechnology & Biosourcing since 2012, leading the team developing new biotechnologies and green chemistries for Unilever’s product portfolio. Neil is a member of a number of advisory boards and is a non-exec Director on the National Biofilms Innovation Centre where he Chairs the Industry Advisory Board.

Dr Steve Howell

Commercial Strategic Director

Steve is a serial entrepreneur within the health care sector, having set up over a dozen companies who have raised over £100m of investment capital. He has been involved in M&A activities for both SMEs and large corporates, five on the sell-side and two on the buy-side. In 2006, he founded the life sciences investment and partnering business Innova Partnerships Ltd after a successful career in the diagnostics industry. He is currently visiting Professor of Commercial Innovation at Kings College London.

Paul Foulger

CFO

Paul is a qualified certified accountant and seasoned CFO with substantial strategic, entrepreneurial, and commercial experience at Board level within both start-up biotech companies as well as large corporates. He has been CFO at NovaBiotics Ltd, Venn Life Sciences plc, and Elsevier Science, amongst others. Paul has experience in managing a broad range of corporate transactions including lead roles in several IPOs on the AIM market, two management buy-outs, over £100m of fund-raising and a number of acquisitions both in Europe and the US. More recently he was Group CFO at EKF Diagnostics plc, the £200m+ market cap global point-of-care and central lab devices and tests medical manufacturer. He is currently CFO of GENinCode plc, the risk assessment specialist for the prediction of Cardiovascular disease, as well as CFO for PredictImmune Ltd, the personalised treatment provider for immune-mediated diseases.

Dr Andrew McNair

Operations Director

Andy has more than 25 years of experience working in the life sciences sector across a number of roles. A chemist, Andy has a PhD in hydrogel polymers and drug delivery. He has held senior management and directorial roles in a number of start-up and early-stage companies, as well as spending time as a commercialisation director in the university sector. In addition to the role with Penrhos Bio, Andy is Innova Partnerships Managing Director.

Paul Foulger

CFO

Paul is a qualified certified accountant and seasoned CFO with substantial strategic, entrepreneurial, and commercial experience at Board level within both start-up biotech companies as well as large corporates. He has been CFO at NovaBiotics Ltd, Venn Life Sciences plc, and Elsevier Science, amongst others. Paul has experience in managing a broad range of corporate transactions including lead roles in several IPOs on the AIM market, two management buy-outs, over £100m of fund-raising and a number of acquisitions both in Europe and the US. More recently he was Group CFO at EKF Diagnostics plc, the £200m+ market cap global point-of-care and central lab devices and tests medical manufacturer. He is currently CFO of GENinCode plc, the risk assessment specialist for the prediction of Cardiovascular disease, as well as CFO for PredictImmune Ltd, the personalised treatment provider for immune-mediated diseases.

Dr Yvonne Davies

CCO

Yvonne joined Penrhos Bio full time in November 2021 as its first employee and since then has been leading the development of the company engagement and BD strategy. Yvonne has over 15 years of business development experience within fast growing start-ups, academic centres and established multinational organizations. She also has over 10 years senior management experience, including holding CEO positions within several technology start-ups. With highly developed commercialization skills, she is experienced in raising growth capital, licensing of intellectual property, knowledge transfer from external collaborators to internal R&D teams, leading contract negotiations and the identification and development of international strategic commercial partners. Yvonne also has product development experience in life sciences, physical sciences, paper industry and thin film industries.

Nicola Oxenham

Business Support Manager

Nikki is an Analytical Chemist with 10 years of professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having worked in various companies ranging from startup to global enterprises.

Nikki graduated in 2013 with an honours degree in Forensic Science from The University of Abertay Dundee. Since then, she has worked in both human and veterinary pharmaceutical fields and areas including Quality and both API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) and finished product manufacturing.

Nikki has been heavily involved in the technical and investigative aspects of the work and has been SME (Subject Matter Expert) for various methods/techniques.

Primarily, Nikki has been involved in NPI (New Product Introductions) and verification of analytical methods and systems associated with the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) testing of small molecule drug compounds and most recently has acted as a project lead in these areas

Dr Gianluca Trifirò

Technical Innovation Manager

Gianluca an analytical chemist with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh with over 10 years of experience in projects focused on food control, environmental science and materials science. Since graduating in Chemistry from the University of Rome “Sapienza” in 2011, Gianluca has lead different research programs in several well renowned research institutes and Universities. Gianluca has more recently worked as analytical laboratory supervisor in a company involved in testing polymers by using a wide range of analytical techniques. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Italian Researches Association in Scotland.

Duncan Gunn

Technical Manager

Duncan has a degree in Chemical Engineering and a strong background in technical functions within regulated manufacturing industries including nonwoven textiles, medical devices, and packaging. He has extensive experience working as the technical lead to develop new products while building relationships with partners to identify and implement value, quality, and efficiency improvements across a range of markets.

Dr Gianluca Trifirò

Technical Innovation Manager

Gianluca an analytical chemist with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Edinburgh with over 10 years of experience in projects focused on food control, environmental science and materials science. Since graduating in Chemistry from the University of Rome “Sapienza” in 2011, Gianluca has lead different research programs in several well renowned research institutes and Universities. Gianluca has more recently worked as analytical laboratory supervisor in a company involved in testing polymers by using a wide range of analytical techniques. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Italian Researches Association in Scotland.

Bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on surfaces represent an increasingly serious societal problem from economic and health perspectives.  Hospital surfaces & equipment, medical devices, household surfaces & appliances as well as everyday items such as clothing and banknotes are constantly challenged by microbial contamination.  
 
Biofilm formation begins when free-floating micro-organisms such as bacteria or fungi come in contact with a surface and begin to adhere.  Following adherence, biofilms then start to develop and can grow into complex 3D structures through biological communication mechanisms.
 
Penrhos Bio is developing innovative naturally derived products that are active in solving bacterial and microbial problems in the marine, textile, paper, household cleaning and medical industries. 
 
Our vision is a world free of harmful biofilms.
Bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on surfaces represent an increasingly serious societal problem from economic and health perspectives.  Hospital surfaces & equipment, medical devices, household surfaces & appliances as well as everyday items such as clothing and banknotes are constantly challenged by microbial contamination.  
 
Biofilm formation begins when free-floating micro-organisms such as bacteria or fungi come in contact with a surface and begin to adhere.  Following adherence, biofilms then start to develop and can grow into complex 3D structures through biological communication mechanisms.
 
Penrhos Bio is developing innovative naturally derived products that are active in solving bacterial and microbial problems in the marine, textile, paper, household cleaning and medical industries. 
 
Our vision is a world free of harmful biofilms.