We have a talented, experienced, knowledgeable senior management team at Vernalis. They lead our commercial pipeline, manage our research programmes and oversee our partner collaborations. They also ensure that the company is well run at all levels. Key members of the management team include:
Ian Garland, Chief Executive Officer
Ian Garland became Chief Executive Officer in December 2008. From May 2007 until September 2008, Ian was CEO of Acambis plc. During this period he oversaw a series of important advances culminating in the company's acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis in September 2008 for £280m. From 2004 to 2007, Ian served as CFO of Arrow Therapeutics Ltd., a privately-held company engaged in the discovery and development of new anti-viral agents until its acquisition by AstraZeneca plc for US$150m in February 2007. Before this Ian was President and Chief Operating Officer of Celltech Pharmaceuticals Inc., which had a turnover of around US$300 million encompassing the US operations of Celltech Group plc. From 1988 to 1995 Ian worked at KPMG, specialising in the pharmaceutical sector, following qualification as a Chartered Accountant.
David Mackney, Chief Financial Officer
David Mackney was appointed as Chief Financial Officer on 2 February 2009. Prior to joining Vernalis David worked with Ian as Interim CFO at Acambis plc, working to successfully secure the US biodefence contract, the secondary financing and the acquisition of Acambis by Sanofi-Aventis. Prior to Acambis, David was CFO for a private equity-backed technology company and served as Group Financial Controller at Shire plc. From 1996 to 2001, David worked as a senior manager in audit and then in transaction services at Arthur Andersen. He is a Chartered Accountant.
Mike Wood, Research Director
Mike Wood became Research Director in February 2004. Since then, he has overseen the continued strengthening of capabilities in structure and fragment based drug discovery. Mike's focus has been on the pragmatic adaptation of the most effective methods for rapid assessment of therapeutic targets and driving projects to deliver clinical candidates. The current therapeutic focus for Vernalis research is oncology and in particular drug targets relating to cancer metabolism. Before becoming our Research Director, Mike was the Head of Pre-clinical Development for Ribotargets and prior to that Director of Biology at British Biotech. Mike started his industrial career at Smith Kline and French in 1986.
Kevin Kissane, General Counsel and Company Secretary
Kevin Kissane joined Vernalis in November 2010 as General Counsel and Company Secretary. From July 2007 until May 2010, Kevin was company secretary and group legal advisor of Antisoma plc. Prior to this, he was interim associate general counsel at UCB Celltech. Between 1990 and 2005, he held various posts within the legal department of Amersham plc (now part of GE Healthcare), the last being general counsel, Amersham Health. Following admission as a solicitor in 1979, Kevin worked until 1990 in private practice in the City.
Sandford Sommer, President and Chief Operating Officer
Sandford Sommer joined Vernalis in May 2016. Prior to joining Vernalis, Sandford gained considerable experience during his 24 years at AstraZeneca, including increasingly senior roles in sales and marketing, and general management. Most recently he served as President of AstraZeneca´s Colombia operations where the business experienced rapid growth during his tenure. Prior to Colombia, he served in a variety of leadership roles, including Global Vice President of CNS, Infection and Flu Vaccines. In the US he served as Executive Director for the Seroquel® Franchise, where under his leadership Seroquel XR® became one of the fastest growing atypical antipsychotics, and the team was recognized by Medical Marketing and Media as "Large Pharma Marketing Team of the Year." He has extensive experience building brands and has been instrumental in the success of some of the most successful brands in pharmaceutical history including Seroquel®, Nexium®, and Symbicort®. Mr. Sommer served on the Board of the UK Colombia Trade organization for the last two years. He began his career with sales and management positions at Astra/Merck.
Donna Radzik, SVP Pharmaceutical Quality Operations
Donna Radzik joined Vernalis in February 2014. She oversees all facets of technical operations, including quality, contract manufacturing, regulatory, supply chain and distribution. Donna has extensive experience managing drug substance and product technical development, commercial manufacture/supply chain and global quality systems. Prior to joining, Donna headed a consultancy providing pharmaceutical technical and quality support. Donna has also held senior leadership roles at Aveo Oncology, Sanofi Pasteur Biologics (formerly Acambis), UCB Pharma and Celltech/Medeva. Donna has a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University.
Pascal Borderies, MD, SVP Medical Affairs
Pascal Borderies joined Vernalis in September 2014. A physician by training who initially focused on clinical pharmacology, Pascal provides leadership and has oversight for all clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory and pharmacovigilance activities of the commercial and development portfolio of the company. Prior to joining Vernalis, Pascal held positions of increasing responsibility on both the R&D and the business sides in various pharma/biotech companies, managing prescriptions and OTC products in Primary Care and other Specialty markets. Most recently, Pascal was the Senior Director Clinical Strategy & Development in the Pharmaceutical Technologies division of Aptalis Pharma, Inc. Before, he was Director – Global Head Cough-Cold Respiratory, Pain and New Growth Opportunities and Director Search and Evaluate in the OTC Business Unit of Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., Senior Director Commercial Development Allergy, Respiratory, Primary Care and Women's Health at Schering-Plough Corp., Executive Director Commercial Development & Marketing/BD at Genaissance Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Director Marketing at Sanofi-Synthélabo Inc. Pascal earned his Medical Degree from the School of Medicine of the University Paris 12 Val de Marne in France.