Board of directors

It takes clear, alert leadership to direct companies operating in the highly competitive, high-risk biotech sector. For a company of our size, we believe we possess some of the most able and best-qualified directors.

The Vernalis board comprises a set of individuals with strong, complementary skills and experience in the management and growth of successful drug development companies. Current board members are as follows:


Peter Fellner, Non-Executive Chairman

Peter Fellner was appointed as Chairman in April 2003. Peter was Chairman of Celltech Group plc until its acquisition in mid-2004, having previously served as its Chief Executive Officer from 1990 to 2003. Before Celltech, Peter was Chief Executive Officer of Roche UK, from 1986 to 1990. Peter is also Chairman of the medical technology company Consort Medical plc and of the biotechnology company, Ablynx nv. In addition, he is Chairman of Mereo Biopharma Group plc, which was listed on AIM in June 2016.  He was Chairman of Optos plc from 2010 to 2015, until its acquisition by Nikon Corporation, and served as Chairman of Biotie Therapies Corp from 2010 to 2014. He was a Director of the global biopharmaceutical company, UCB S.A from 2005 to 2014, and was also a member of the UCB Science Advisory Board. He was also a member of the Novo A/S Advisory Group from 2010 to 2016. Peter was previously Chairman of Acambis plc and of Premier Research Group plc, until each was acquired during 2008 and was Vice Chairman of Astex Pharmaceuticals Inc. until its sale in October 2013. Peter served as a director of Evotec AG, from 2005 to 2011, and QinetiQ Group plc from 2004 to 2009.

Ian-Garland-HeadshotIan Garland, Chief Executive Officer

Ian Garland was appointed as Chief Executive Officer on 29 December 2008. From May 2007 until September 2008, Ian was CEO of Acambis plc. During this period Ian oversaw a series of important advances culminating in Acambis’ acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis in September 2008 for £280 million. 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$150 million in February 2007. Prior to 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-headshotDavid 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.

Carol-Ferguson-headshotCarol Ferguson, Non-Executive Director

Carol Ferguson was appointed as a Non‑Executive Director on 1 September 2003, having joined the Board of Vernalis Group plc as a Non-Executive Director in May 2002. Vernalis Group plc was acquired by Vernalis plc (then called British Biotech plc) in September 2003. Carol was appointed Chairman of the Audit Committee on 21 January 2004 and Senior Independent Director of the Company on 21 July 2011.  Carol is a former partner and lead oil analyst at stockbrokers Wood Mackenzie, was Finance Director of a textiles company and was a Non-Executive Director of Monks Investment Trust. Carol is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Black Rock Greater Europe Investment Trust plc and Invesco Asia Trust plc and is a Non-Executive Director of Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust plc. Carol is a graduate of St Andrew’s University and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.


Nigel Sheail, Non-Executive Director

Nigel Sheail was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 3 August 2011. Nigel is Head of Business Development and Licensing for Novartis.  Prior to this he was Head of Business Development and Licensing at Bayer Healthcare and before that Head of Group M&A at Roche and Head of Licensing for their Pharma division. Nigel has been responsible for a broad range of deals from research and technology collaborations through to commercial product opportunities. Academically trained as a molecular biologist, Nigel is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has held a number of functions within the Pharmaceutical industry with Bayer, Roche and GSK. Nigel has also worked as the global controller for research and was finance director responsible for the establishment of Roche’s operations in China which included five joint venture operating companies and a holding company. Nigel was the founding treasurer of the Swiss Pharma Licensing Group.


Ian Gilham, Non-Executive Director

Ian Gilham was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 1 July 2015. Ian was appointed Chairman of the Remuneration Committee on 1 July 2015. Ian has international experience in the research, development and commercialisation of diagnostic and pharmaceutical products. Ian is Non-Executive Chairman of a number of UK and European companies including Epistem Holdings Limited, Concepta Diagnostics Limited, Horizon Discovery Group plc, Multiplicom NV, and Biosurfit SA. Ian was formerly CEO of Axis-Sheild plc, a FTSE listed global diagnostics company which was sold to Alere Inc for £260 million in 2011. Ian also previously worked at GlaxoSmithKline as Vice President - Pharmacogenetics and before that held international general management, marketing business development and R&D positions with Abbott Laboratories, Celltech and Amersham. Ian holds a Life Sciences PhD from the University of Bath. 


Lisa Schoenberg, Non-Executive Director 

Lisa Schoenberg was appointed by the Board at its meeting on 23 July 2015 as a Non-Executive Director with effect from 1 September 2015. Lisa has extensive marketing experience of pharmaceutical products in both primary and secondary care in the US. She is a pharmaceutical marketing consultant. From 1993 until 2013 Lisa worked for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals (US) in a number of senior marketing and general management positions, culminating as VP Sales & Marketing, Growth Brands USA. Lisa graduated from the University of Michigan in 1988 and completed an MBA at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, specialising in Healthcare Management and Marketing, before joining AstraMerck in 1993.


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F: 0118 938 0001

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To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Vernalis Therapeutics, Inc. at 1-855-705-9546 and or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or