Novabiotics - a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company
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About Us

A leading clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on leveraging its novel immunology platforms to design and develop first-in-class therapies to address difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases.


Board and Management

NovaBiotics is led by a highly experienced Board and Management team with a wealth of experience and an impressive track record of business development and product commercialisation in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

Dr Deborah O’Neil OBE FRSE

Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Scientific Officer

Deborah trained as an immunologist in internationally acclaimed laboratories (University College London, UC San Diego, University of Ghent) before moving to Aberdeen and spinning NovaBiotics out of the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Research Institute. Deborah is a Director of the UK’s BioIndustry Association, sits on the Advisory Board of the Scottish Life Sciences Association and is chair of the Life Sciences board of Opportunity Northeast. Deborah chairs the UK Medicines Discovery Catapult-Cystic Fibrosis Trust syndicate on antimicrobial resistance. In 2019, Deborah was named amongst 20 women leaders in European Biotechnology and in 2018, amongst the 30 female Leaders in UK healthcare. Deborah was named as Ernst & Young’s UK Healthcare Products & services entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. Deborah was made OBE in the Queen’s 2020 birthday honour’s list for services to biotechnology, industry and charity.

Ian Townsend

Chairman of the board

Ian joined NovaBiotics Board in 2011 and recently was appointed Chairman. Ian has over 30 years’ experience in the medical device sector, co-founding orthopaedic manufacturing business, Eurocut Plc, which went on to become The Medical House Plc and was floated on AIM in 2000. After many years as the Chief Executive Ian became Chairman where he remained until the successful sale of Medical House Plc to Consort Plc in 2009. Ian qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976 and worked with KPMG until 1979 when he set up his own practice in Harrogate. Ian is the founder and Chairman of Townsend Investments Ltd Townsend Estates LLP and Townsend Family Investments LLP. He is also Chairman of Reset Compliance Systems Ltd, a contractor and competence systems provider working predominantly with the NHS. Ian has experience in the direct-to-consumer market including direct response TV through High Street TV where he once was a significant investor.  Ian is also Chairman of our Audit Committee.

Bryan Bodek

Non-executive director

Bryan joined NovaBiotics Board in 2009 serving as Chairman until November 2023. He was previously CEO of Airline Services Ltd and brings more than 30 years’ experience of advising public and private companies in all aspect of their business. Bryan’s background is in corporate finance/company law, and he has served on the boards of three public companies. He has significant experience in leading successful health care licensing/marketing deals and was a long serving Board member of the University of Manchester’s new technology spin out company. Bryan was 2011 Ernst & Young U.K. Entrepreneur of the year for business-to-business goods and services.

Dr Trevor Phillips

Non-executive director

Trevor joined the board in August 2023. Trevor is a biotechnology leader who previously held board and C-level roles in pharma and Biotech in Europe and the US, managing both private and public companies. Trevor’s experience in business strategy, research and development, product commercialisation and corporate development, including, fundraising, IPO, M&A, and licensing, further strengthens the NovaBiotics’ board as the company looks to sell/licence its RX products.

Grant Ellis

Non-executive director

Grant joined NovaBiotics Board in 2013. He is a serial entrepreneur and Chartered Insurance Broker; most of his working life being in the insurance and financial services sectors. Grant led the successful AIM listing of Broker Network Holdings Plc in 2004 and its subsequent sale to The Towergate Partnership in 2007. Grant remains a Non-executive Director of the Ellis Bates Group of companies, which he co-founded in 1980. He also serves as a mentor to several small companies. 

Dr Malcolm Barratt-Johnson

Non-executive director

Malcolm joined NovaBiotics Board in October 2020. Malcolm is a UK trained GMC qualified medical doctor and a consultant pharmaceutical physician with over 25 years’ experience in Government and industry roles. This includes senior roles in the Medical & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as a Licensing and Clinical Trials Assessor for the UK Government. Specialising in Product Development and Regulatory Strategy he has extensive experience within both Industry and Government Agencies – National and International, leading decision making in the Medical and Marketing Departments of seven of the top ten Pharmaceutical Companies plus Medical and Regulatory Advisory roles to the Biotech and Generic Pharma sectors.

Margaret Scott FCMA

Chief financial officer and company secretary

Margaret is an experienced finance professional and has been part of the NovaBiotics team since 2008. She is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) with experience across various sectors including healthcare and life sciences, aviation and engineering.  Margaret has extensive experience in financial and commercial leadership of change through application of an extensive skill set acquired in finance, complex contract management, HR, facilities and IT management.


NovaBiotics is a global leading, privately held clinical stage biotechnology company.  To date, the business has raised over $40 million in funding.

The Company’s portfolio and robust and risk-diversified pipeline comprises immune derived compounds that have been derived from NovaBiotics’ proprietary peptide platform (NP213, NP339 and NP432) and aminothiol platform (NM001 and NM002).

NovaBiotics’ experienced board and management team remain focused on high-value opportunities and the delivery of commercial success from the Company’s solid technology base.

The Company has a strong, wholly-owned IP portfolio with multiple patent families granted and pending, protecting NovaBiotics’ technology worldwide.

To find out more about investment opportunities, contact us.

Corporate Social Responsibility

NovaBiotics believes that our continued success is dependent on creating a sustainably innovative culture within the business. Our staff, the environment and the community are central to this and therefore components of the Company’s core operational values.

Safety, Regulation and the Environment

As a minimum, we will meet or exceed all relevant legislation as we carry out the research (and administrative) tasks required to deliver the Company’s drug design and development plans. Where no legislation exists, appropriate internal standards, benchmarked against and beyond best practices elsewhere, have been developed and implemented and are components of a fully auditable quality management and policy system.

NovaBiotics is fully committed to minimising any impact its operational activities might have on the environment and through ongoing internal review and external audits actively looks for opportunities to improve its activities wherever possible.

Education and the Local Community

NovaBiotics is actively engaged in a number of programmes promoting biomedical research and commercial-academic links with both of Aberdeen’s universities as well as some further afield.

Through our links with local Academies and various education programmes, we promote the science career opportunities available to local pupils; both through site visits (virtual in recent times) to NovaBiotics and going to visit schools.

We remain passionate about developing the next generation of local science talent in what is a key, emerging employment sector in the North East of Scotland. To further enhance this, members of NovaBiotics staff are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical) Ambassadors actively inspiring young people in science.