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28 January, 2019 - 11:17 By Kate Sweeney

Armour strengthens Phico’s growth proposition

Phico Therapeutics, a Cambridge biotech developing a novel platform technology as the basis of a new generation of antibiotics to overcome antibacterial resistance, has announced three key appointments.

Andrew Armour has been taken on as financial director while Professor Mark Wilcox and David Beadle have become non-executive directors. 

The appointments have been made to support the progression of Phico’s lead product SASPject™ PT3.8 through clinical trials and the financing of the company’s planned clinical-grade manufacturing facility.

SASPject PT3.8 has been developed for the intravenous treatment of hospital infections due to the bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, using Phico’s SASPject platform, which utilises unique antibacterial small acid-soluble spore proteins to target and deactivate bacterial DNA.

Andrew Armour is a chartered accountant with experience in the healthcare industry, particularly in financial restructuring, equity fundraising and corporate acquisitions and disposals. 

He previously held positions at Grant Thornton and Deloitte, working on restructuring and corporate finance assignments, before becoming the FD of Colchester Hospital. 

Armour works with the FD Centre and joins Phico as FD on a part-time basis, bringing a wealth of experience in strategic financial management to support the company in its upcoming fundraising activities and partnering negotiations.

Professor Mark Wilcox has held several positions at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals and is currently a consultant microbiologist and head of Research and Development in Microbiology, and Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Leeds. 

He has abundant clinical experience in infectious diseases and advises Public Health England and NHS England on diagnosis, prevention and development of infection prevention and control products and new antimicrobial agents to target healthcare associated infections. 

Professor Wilcox has been involved with Phico for a number of years from representing the Wellcome Trust (WT) as its expert on Phico’s two WT Awards, and will now further support the company in progressing SASPject PT3.8 through clinical trials in his new role as an NED.

David Beadle has over 25 years’ experience within healthcare and finance, having worked in marketing and strategic development at Schwarz Pharma and Schering AG before moving into investment banking.

There he built and led highly ranked healthcare equity research teams both globally and across Europe for more than 10 years. He is specialised in consulting on scientific, corporate finance and business development strategies within the healthcare and biotechnology space. He will primarily advise on strategies for business development.

Dr Heather Fairhead, CEO at Phico, said: “The collective experience that Mark, David and Andrew have in clinical and business development will help us to deliver upon our strategy of developing an antibacterial therapy to help overcome the global problem of antimicrobial resistance. I am thrilled to welcome them to the team.”

Andrew Armour added: “I look forward to working with Phico at this time to support with fundraising for its planned clinical-grade manufacturing facility, which will deliver not only Phico’s drugs for clinical trials but also generate a revenue stream by providing a manufacturing service to other companies.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Andrew Armour, Financial Director at Phico Therapeutics

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