THE BIOPACIFIC TEAM
Our team are trained and experienced in both science and business, with a broad range of expertise across various industries including life sciences, food and agriculture. Acting as an independent partner, we utilise our extensive skills to provide you with the capability & information you need to achieve your goals. Reach out to our team to discuss how we can best work with you.
Aki von Roy
Venture Partner at BioPacificVentures since 2005. Previous roles include: President, Europe for Bristol-Myers Squibb; Schering AG (now Bayer Pharma) in the UK, NZ, Sweden, USA and Germany; Founding CEO of Proacta and CoDaTherapeutics. Entrepreneur and angel investor in the life sciences.
Aki spent 30 years working in big pharma and is the former European president of pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb, responsible for US$ 2.2 billion in sales, more than 7,500 employees and some 40 subsidiaries. In 1997, he retired from BMS to establish RvR Associates, a private investment firm specialising in health and related matters.
Aki has been involved for over 12 years in biotech – including 18 start-up or merger ventures as director and/or investor. He is well known in the New Zealand biotechnology community for his role in leading a $12 million Series A fund raising for Proacta.
Aki is currently the Executive Chairman of CuroNZ, and Director of Biomatters.
Clients include Coca Cola, GSK, Reckitt Benckiser, P&G, Abbott, Unilever, and Bayer. Past President Australasian Industrial Research Group, Advisory Board Australian Synchrotron, Fellow of Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering, and of Institute of Engineers. Now with Capstone, a firm specialising in technology commercialisation.
As founding director of Invetech, Alexander has been working in the field of process and product development and related R&D, for clients ranging from high tech start-ups to “smoke-stack” industry global companies, for nearly 40 years.
This has provided an exceptional base of practical experience on what it takes to progress new technologies to commercial success. He was part of the management team that led Invetech firstly to public listing (as Vision Systems Ltd) and then to its acquisition by the US Danaher group for over $800M. Alexander is now Principal at Capstone Partners, an Australian management consultancy specialising in the commercial application of technology.
Alexander is a Past National President of the Australasian Industrial Research Group, a Past National President of the Australia-Malaysia Business Council, and a Governor of the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering.
Dr Andrew Kelly
Executive Director & Co-Founder of BioPacific Partners. PhD with management training and dedicated to bringing world-class innovation to address major unmet needs. Broadly experienced & networked across food & agriculture over a 35-year career spanning the spectrum from discovery science to commercial success.
Andrew’s long and unusual career has been focused in equal measures of research, commercialisation and investment.
Starting with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree in the late 1970s, Andrew engaged in life science R&D in Australia & Canada, including Masters and PhD degrees, during the 1980s. He then led three separate research institutes – the Pastoral & Veterinary Institute (1992-1996), the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture (1997) and Invermay Research Centre (1998-2002). In the early 2000s Andrew led Product Development for the large New Zealand R&D organisation, AgResearch including deep engagement with start-ups and fund-raising.
In 2005 Andrew co-founded BioPacificVentures, the first specialist venture fund focused on food, agriculture and health in Australia & New Zealand, which he led for 10 years. In 2014 Andrew co-founded BioPacific Partners, partnering with some of the largest global companies investing and engaging with local innovation.
The integration of these experiences means that Andrew has considerable skill in how to navigate innovation through the difficulties of product development and commercialisation to address unmet needs, especially in food, health & agriculture. His skills are widely recognised now by the number of high level engagements he is receiving such as Ausbiotech’s National Committee on Agricultural, Industrial & Environmental Biotechnology (which he has chaired); the Investment Committee of New Zealand’s national network of R&D providers, KiwiNet; the National Advisory Board of NZBIO; and numerous other institutional, university and government advisory roles.
Finally, Andrew is an excellent communicator with a real passion for sharing his knowledge and has been a popular speaker and educator in several forums.
Bruce has been associated with BioPacific for over a decade now, initially in his role as Board member for Nestlé Ventures which oversaw their investment in the BioPacificVentures fund #1.
His experience is deep in corporate & business development as well as Intellectual Property across FMCG and nutrition. Most significantly, Bruce was on the founding management team of Nestlé Health Science when it was formed in 2010, building it from a team of five to the $2 billion giant it is today, including a major program of growth by acquisition.
Bruce currently helps start-ups to grow and achieve proof-of-concept and is also head of Business Development at Danish company Glycom, a human milk oligosaccharides company in which Nestlé has a strategic stake. Prior to Nestlé Health Science, he was head of licensing & business development for Nestlé Nutrition, and head of intellectual asset management for Nestlé globally. In those roles he was responsible for corporate and innovation strategy, accessing technologies and innovation for the Nestlé group through investments and licenses, and driving key innovation initiatives and projects. He also managed the patent & competitive intelligence teams.
Prior to this Bruce was involved in business development in Sandoz Pharma and various consultancy roles. He has a law degree from the University of South Africa, a Master of Science from the University of Witwatersrand, and an MBA from London.
Extensive experience in Australian & New Zealand agriculture including a 23 year career with Monsanto involving development of Roundup and introduction of Australia’s first genetically modified crops. CEO and Director of start-up agbiotech companies, Chair of Ausbiotech’s Food & Ag National Committee.
David Hudson has extensive experience in Australian agriculture, including a 23 year career with Monsanto. David was actively involved in leading Monsanto’s efforts to develop conservation tillage and the introduction of Roundup Ready® canola and Ingard® (Bt) Cotton into Australia.
Since 2005 David has provided consulting services to clients in Australia and globally. His expertise has been sought by clients to assist in the development of strategies and business plans for the introduction of a range of innovative technologies applicable to pastures, grains, horticulture, sugar, cotton, livestock and the seafood industry. He has successfully participated in negotiating a number of R&D collaboration and commercialisation agreements with leading multinational agbiotech companies.
For three years, David was CEO of Leaf Energy, an agbiotech company which focuses on the development of plant based proteins and biofuel production in sugar cane. Recently David has established a new company with a colleague, PTM Solutions, which is focused on facilitating access to the infrastructure (e.g. regulatory, laboratory, glasshouse and field trials) required to progress agbiotech technologies along the pathway to market.
David is currently chair of the AusBiotech Agriculture, Environment and Industrial committee and a member of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia, Grain Trade Australia Market Access Committee and the Australian Seed Federation Plant Breeders and Marketers Committee. David has been an active contributor to the development of industry policies related to the stewardship of, GM crops and pastures within Australian agriculture.
Grace’s role includes acting as the point of contact for all employees, providing administrative support, and managing BioPacific’s general administrative activities.
Grace is currently completing a Bachelor of Science at The University of Auckland majoring in Chemistry and Biology. More specifically in the areas of spectroscopy, green chemistry and phytology. Grace has also studied a small amount of Computer Science. Her past experience includes general administration and finance administration in the transport industry.
Grace is the youngest team member of BioPacific and helps keep the team updated with the latest millennial trends. Some of Grace’s interests include avocados, Sci-Fi and OCD organisation.
Dr Ian Boddy
Principal of his own technology consultancy and on the boards of numerous start-up companies, as well as being a Director at Terax Ltd. Strong background in commercialisation and intellectual property management, including roles such as Senior Research Leader at Schering AG, and General Manager for IP with Celentis, the former commercial arm of AgResearch. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and The Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand, and has a PhD in organic chemistry.
Ian Boddy is the principal in his own technology consultancy, IKBConsulting, and works across a range of commercial areas including intellectual property (IP) management and commercialisation.
He has a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Auckland, was a Research Fellow at Cambridge and a Senior Research Leader with the large German agrochemicals company, Schering AG.
Before establishing his own consultancy he was with the New Zealand Crown Research Institute AgResearch limited as GM Commercial, prior to that he was General Manager for IP with Celentis, the former commercial arm of AgResearch.
He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and The Licensing Executives Society of Australian and New Zealand. He has been on the Board of a number of start-up companies and is currently chairman of HoneyLab Limited and a Director on the board of Terax a waste minimization company based in Rotorua.
Venture Partner (Europe & NZ)
Professor Joerg Kistler
Educated at ETH Zurich and University of Basel, former Chair in Cellular & Molecular Biology, University of Auckland, over 100 published articles, Fellow of the Royal Society New Zealand, ex-Director of the School of Biological Sciences, founding Director of the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (life sciences incubator).
“Being part of the BioPacific team takes my passion of developing strategic partnerships to the international level, connecting global technology companies with leading Australian & New Zealand innovators.”
-Professor Joerg Kistler
Joerg emigrated from Switzerland to join the University of Auckland in 1984. His early career was devoted to hands-on research science, specialising in molecular ophthalmology and amassing over 100 published articles. This prodigious contribution to his area of research led to Joerg’s election as a Fellow of the Royal Society New Zealand (FRSNZ) in 1997. In 2001 he was appointed as the Director of the School of Biological Sciences, and held the post until 2010.
While overseeing the science innovation taking place at the University of Auckland for over 25 years, Joerg was inspired to establish an innovation hub within the School of Biological Sciences – the Institute for Innovation in Biotechnology (IIB) – which would foster early-stage innovation, and help develop the business networks and acumen needed to see world class science through to a worldwide market.
Having seen his vision to fruition, Joerg retired from the University in 2013 to become a consultant with his own company, BIO INC Ltd, where he continues to foster networks between academic and commercial groups.
Professor Joerg Kistler spends his time in New Zealand & Europe, and represents BioPacific Partners predominantly across these regions.
Dr Lesley Stevenson
Lesley is a specialist in strategic innovation and R & D within the Food & Beverage and dietary supplement industries. Most recently with Abbott Nutrition, Fonterra and GSK Nutrition, she has worked on many different categories in Europe, China, South East Asia and Australasia.
Lesley has worked on brands and products ranging from paediatric, mass market, to foods for special medical purposes. She has supported many launches in different geographies providing input into go-to-market communications, guidance and preparation of product registration dossiers and how to commercialise science and bring it to life within a brand.
She is co-inventor on several patents and is author of 60+ international scientific papers, editorials, and chapters in international books. Lesley has presented at industry trade shows and given talks at many international conferences over the course of her career.
Lesley completed her undergraduate degree and PhD in Edinburgh. She also has a Masters in Management from Southern Cross University in Australia.
Margot Bethell is co-founder and Executive Director of BioPacific Partners, and has broad experience in education, industry liaison, incubators and innovation hubs across Australia and New Zealand.
“I am passionate about the potential for biotechnology and life sciences to contribute to the world’s well-being. I want to see responsible products of the research in this sector thrive.”
Previously Margot was the Programme Director of the Bioscience Enterprise programme at the University of Auckland – a multidisciplinary science, business and law degree, with a core focus on the commercialisation of science.
Margot was the Auckland Director of NZBIO (the New Zealand biotechnology industry association), and has been a Director on hospital and community health boards.
Dr Mel Bridges
Deeply experienced technology & life science investor & company builder with a demonstrated track record in transitioning companies and leading them to liquidity events for shareholders, including trade sales, mergers & IPOs.
Mel has over 30 years’ experience building successful, international lifescience, diagnostic and medical device companies and commercialising a wide range of Australian technology. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Doctorate from the Queensland University of Technology. Mel is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and is also on their Council. Mel is responsible for numerous commercial and M&A transactions and liquidity events exceeding $1 billion. He has raised over $400 million in biotech investment capital.
Mel has received numerous prestigious national and state business awards including the 2005 AusBiotech Chairman’s Industry Medal and 2004 Queensland Entrepreneur of the Year. Mel has successfully founded and exited veterinary and human lifescience companies, including the recent sale of Peptech Animal Health to Virbac in 2011, and Catapult Genetics to Pfizer Animal Health in 2008.
Mel is currently Chair of Anatara Lifesciences (ASX:ANR), director of ASX100 company ALS (ASX:ALQ), and a director of Tissue Therapies Ltd, where he is also the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.
After completing his undergraduate degree in Biology and Marine Science, Michael spent two years working for the Ministry for Primary Industries. His work for MPI involved independent research for DOC, NIWA and other groups related to fisheries and conservation in New Zealand.
Michael is currently working part-time for BioPacific Partners while studying for a Master of Bioscience Enterprise, a multidisciplinary course across both the business and science faculties at the University of Auckland.
Professor Peter Andrews
Bioentrepreneur, academic and promoter of knowledge-intensive industry development in Australia. Founder, CEO and Chairman of a string of life science companies; ex-Chief Scientist to the State of Queensland.
Professor Andrews is an eminent scientist and bio-entrepreneur. He was appointed as Queensland’s first Chief Scientist in 2003, retiring in December 2010.
Professor Andrews completed his PhD in the pharmacological applications of quantum chemistry at the University of Melbourne in 1969. He has since led multidisciplinary scientific teams at several Australian universities, and has been at the forefront of the development of the Australian biotechnology industry as a founder or board member of more than 10 scientific companies.
In 2000, together with Professor John Mattick AO, Professor Andrews founded Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience – the first of several world-class biomedical research institutes established under the Queensland government’s Smart State Strategy.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2004 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Sheree graduated with an Honours degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Otago before gaining commercial R&D experience at a Dunedin based Biotechnology company.
In 2017, Sheree completed a Masters in Bioscience Enterprise. Through this she developed practical experience in accounting and finance, marketing, market analysis, IP, regulatory and business development elements of research commercialisation.
She is also part of the industry facing team of Chiasma, a student-led non-profit organisation that focuses on connecting academia and industry in order to foster science innovation and entrepreneurship.
Stephanie is a Senior Consultant at BioPacific Partners. She has a broad level of experience in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries, having most recently spent the past 5 years working in Market Access for the pharmaceutical sector for a global, London-based consultancy.
She has previous experience in early phase clinical research as well as in clinical/marketing for a humidification medical device. Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a Master of Bioscience Enterprise, which is a multidisciplinary program in research commercialisation, marketing, intellectual property and product development for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.
Venture Partner (US & Australia)
Dr Steve Meller
US company liaison for BioPacific Partners, to both new companies & technologies entering the US and to our multinational partners based there. PhD neuroscientist followed by a life-long career in innovation, including leading Open Innovation at P&G. Deep networks in Aust/NZ. Special experience in taking disruptive innovation into international markets.
Dr. Meller spent 18+ year career at P&G. He held various R&D roles in Health Care and was ultimately responsible for the Global Health Care Technology and Clinical organizations during the first half of his tenure. For the remaining 9+ years, he was the Chief Innovation Catalyst.
Dr. Meller is currently the managing Director of Creating Dots, LLC, where he has built a portfolio of sustainability companies with a strong focus on the developing world and disruptive approaches to change the world in which we live for the better. He is either the Founder, or sits on the board or advisory board of each of these companies, which all address markets that are well in excess of $10 Billion today.
Originally from Adelaide, South Australia, Dr. Meller received his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Adelaide and studied as a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Iowa, on the research faculty in Pharmacology.
Dr. Meller is Senior Advisor to the CEO of The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the federal government agency for scientific research in Australia.
Tim has worked in the public sector helping companies in the biotech, food, and nutraceuticals sectors grow into international markets. He has worked in the private sector with bioscience and technology start-ups, as well as not-for-profits and industry associations.
Tim is also a regular contributor to the business section of the New Zealand Herald and has a keen interest in innovation and entrepreneurship – and strong coffee.
Tim has a Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences & Statistics) and a Master in Bioscience Enterprise (Hons) from the University of Auckland, with a research focus on business models employed by the New Zealand biotech industry.
Zoe leads BioPacific Partners’ pharmaceutical and animal health activities and client relationships.
Zoe works closely with BioPacific’s multinational clients in pharmaceuticals and animal health, as well as local innovators in Australia and New Zealand. Her role involves identification and assessment of opportunities.
Zoe has completed a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a Master of Bioscience Enterprise with a research thesis looking at relationships between industry and universities.
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