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.
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.
Get in touch with Margot:
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.
Get in touch with Andrew:
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.
There is a lot of great innovation happening in Australia and New Zealand. Being immersed in the ecosystem, and helping it to grow and connect to global markets is incredibly rewarding
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.
Get in touch with Tim:
Dagmar is an experienced commercial executive who excels in product commercialisation and strategic marketing in for healthcare assets. Recently returned to New Zealand from 10 years in the UK, primarily with GSK Pharma, she brings her scientific background, broad commercial expertise and global perspective. She thrives on the challenge of shaping great science into a unique value proposition with a winning strategy.
After a BScHons (Biochemistry) and BCApSc (Nutrition, Marketing) her first role was with a small life sciences consultancy firm, before moving into the pharmaceutical industry. After ‘carrying the bag’ as a sales representative in both the primary and secondary care settings, she then moved into marketing management.
On completion of her executive MBA she moved to the UK and joined GSK, where she held a series of marketing and commercial strategy roles of increasing seniority over 10 years, initially in a local affiliate and latterly in the global group. During this time, she led commercial work on assets across all stages of pre-clinical and clinical development, as well as the crucial launch phase and post-launch optimisation.
In her global roles, she worked closely with teams based in each of the major markets – with specific focus on the US, Japan, and the EU. Her last posting was within GSK’s prestigious Future Strategy Group in the Office of the CEO, helping plan and manage a global corporate development initiative.
Dagmar has built her reputation over the years as someone who can navigate between the scientific/medical and commercial sides of the business, as a strong strategic thinker, and importantly as someone who delivers.
Get in touch with Dagmar:
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.
Get in touch with Ian:
Dr Ipshita Mandal-Johnson
Ipshita is passionate about building inclusive, innovative and sustainable systems. She has worked with academia, corporates and ministries in biotechnology, health, deep technology and financial services. She has led strategy, policy and implementation projects in policy development, capacity building, business development, fundraising and transformation. Ipshita started her career in New Zealand and has since worked in the US, UK and India amongst others.
Bio innovation from Australia and New Zealand is highly regarded globally. I am excited to work with our clients to build on our unique strengths and to deliver real outcomes to wellbeing and sustainability challenges.
Ipshita started building start-ups in college and is currently working on her 12th venture builder fund (previous 6 operational for profit companies/ CIC/ charities, 1 exit- Nanna Therapeutics). She has been involved in companies with market leading fundraises/valuations/financial returns with a strong impact focus. One of her career highlights was co-founding the Global Biotech Revolution / GapSummit – the world’s first inter-generational platform for the bio-economy. To date the summits have brought together 600 Leaders of Tomorrow from 72 countries to debate with 300 Leaders of Today, building 18 companies that have raised independent funding. In addition, she has worked in McKinsey in the India and NY offices primarily worked in the technology, healthcare and public sector practices. She has led the development of Government of India’s “Digital India 2.0” strategy and was also the Chief of Staff for a M&A deal valued at over 50Bn USD.
She currently serves on the boards of Global Engineering Futures and Chiasma NZ, is a Judge on Mass Challenge and iGEM, is a Visiting Lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health and University of Cambridge, and is a member of the UNAIDS HIEx Investors Council.
She has received multiple awards including thrice being listed in the 50 Movers and Shakers in Bio Business, St Gallen Leader of Tomorrow and an inaugural 40 under 40 for University of Auckland. She has written or been interviewed on Nasdaq, Nature Careers and The Economist Intelligence Unit and been a speaker at Foreign Policy, Global BioEconomy Summit and Graduate Women in Science amongst others.
She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and a BTech (Hons) from the
University of Auckland.
Get in touch with Ipshita:
Melissa has broad experience in the New Zealand science and business commercialisation sectors. Her knowledge spans across multiple industries, having worked in the New Zealand government science sector and private and public companies both in New Zealand and overseas. She is the New Zealand Chair of Licensing Executives Society, an international network to educate and identify best practices for intellectual property. Licensing Executives Society is a global organisation with 33 country chapters with members from over 90 different countries. The Australian-NZ chapter (LESANZ) has over 350 members. In 2021, she developed a series of New Zealand and Australia workshops on protecting indigenous intellectual property and rights.
I am passionate about building and uplifting the science community, and unravelling complex ideas to form elegant solutions that deliver pragmatic outcomes. I believe that innovation in the Life Sciences is a force of positive changes, moving us toward a better world.
Melissa studied science and technology through the University of Auckland, and has brought this scientific knowledge to her work across multiple Life Sciences sectors, including agritech, renewable fuels, environmental water quality, and biotechnology.
Bachelor of Technology (Biotechnology) – University of Auckland
Postgraduate Diploma in Bioscience Enterprise – University of Auckland
Master in Science (Microbiology) – University of Auckland
Get in touch with Melissa:
Dr Sandhya Badrinarayanan
Sandhya is a pharmaceutical and consumer health specialist, with a strong background in technology development and commercialisation. She brings a track record of expertise in the research sector to the BioPacific team, as well as extensive and specialised scientific training.
BSc(Hons) – Medicinal Chemistry, University of Auckland
PhD – Chemistry, University of Auckland
Get in touch with Sadhnya:
Creative Content & Communications
BSc (First Class Hons – Molecular Biology) and BMus (Composition), Robin has over a decade of experience crossing between biological science research and creative industries. He is an international award-winning playwright and composer with work in the intersection of genetics, music and storytelling.
I am inspired by creative individuals, cutting-edge research science, and art that explore our humanity. Life science innovation in general, and BioPacific Partners in particular, sit at the cross-section of those passions.
Robin continues his interdisciplinary work within and alongside BioPacific Partners, contributing a creative approach to design and marketing with a focus on Narrative Storytelling and Design Thinking.
Get in touch with Robin:
Billie’s passion and expertise lies in biopharma, and she focuses on the Multinational Pharmaceutical companies in the BioPacific portfolio. She assists Australasian Start-ups, Institutes and Universities, to get their research to a global market. She has worked in the private sector, with experience in a business development and strategy role in a late clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. She has also spent time in an NZ bioscience tech start-up.
I am interested in science and health in particular from a business perspective, and am excited to work in this environment with BioPacific Partners
Billie holds a Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry) from the University of Canterbury, a PGDip (BioSciEnt) from The University of Auckland. She is in the final stages of a Masters in BioSciEnt with a research focus on the evolution of innovation scouting within multinational pharmaceutical companies.
Get in touch with Billie:
Hai En Tan
Masters of Bioscience Enterprise student with a BSc in Physiology, working closely with NZ start-ups at various stages of their growth story. Primarily focused on market and scientific research.
I believe that only innovation breeds success however simple it may be, so I am excited to contribute to Australasia’s growing biotech sector.
Get in touch with Hai En:
Masters of Bioscience Enterprise student with a BSc in Physiology, working closely with NZ start-ups at various stages of their growth story. Primarily focused on marketing and consumer health.
My position at BioPacific Partners allows me to integrate my passions for health with real business experience, and the opportunity to enter new and exciting markets.
Get in touch with Benj:
Venture Partner (Australia)
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.
Get in touch with Alexander:
Venture Partner (Australia)
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.
Get in touch with David:
Venture Partner (Australia)
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 $400 million in biotech investment capital.
Mel has received numerous prestigious national and state business awards including the 2005 AusBiotech Chairman’s Industry Medal and 2004 Queensland Entrepreneur of the Year. Mel has successfully founded and exited veterinary and human lifescience companies, including the recent sale of Peptech Animal Health to Virbac in 2011, and Catapult Genetics to Pfizer Animal Health in 2008.
Mel is currently Chair of Anatara Lifesciences (ASX:ANR), director of ASX100 company ALS (ASX:ALQ), and a director of Tissue Therapies Ltd, where he is also the Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee.
Get in touch with Mel:
Venture Partner (New Zealand)
Aki von Roy
Venture Partner at BioPacificVentures since 2005. Previous roles include: President, Europe for Bristol-Myers Squibb; Schering AG (now Bayer Pharma) in the UK, NZ, Sweden, USA and Germany; Founding CEO of Proacta and CoDaTherapeutics. Entrepreneur and angel investor in the life sciences.
Aki spent 30 years working in big pharma and is the former European president of pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb, responsible for US$ 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.
Get in touch with Aki:
Venture Partner (New Zealand)
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.
Get in touch with Lesley:
Venture Partner (USA & 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.
Venture Partner (Australia)
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.
Venture Partner (Switzerland)
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.
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