North East Pharma will act as the coordinator and collective voice of the sector

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We will aim to strengthen already productive relationships and partnerships within the sector and serve as a vehicle to receive funding to facilitate the delivery of the vision.

It will be governed by its partners and led by a board elected by them to provide business led leadership. The company’s aim is that its partners will secure tangible benefits from the work undertaken by the company.

An initial leadership group has been established which is leading the first phase of this work and an Interim Managing Director has been appointed.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Five members of the Leadership group have agreed to act as a Board of Directors.

Martin Inskip

Martin Inskip has had a career in pharmaceutical secondary manufacturing primarily in a plant in the North East England, part of a global supply division for a USA based major research innovator company.

Experience of oral solid dose high volume production and packaging, technical and project management, lean manufacturing methods and site leadership.

A director of NEPIC and was part of the MMIC front end study and design team.

Kevin Cook

Kevin has over 28 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He started working life with Robinson Brothers as an Assistant Plant Manager before progressing to Senior Plant Manager.

Kevin then joined Boots Pharmaceuticals with responsibility for commissioning activities on a new pharmaceutical plant. In 1993 Kevin joined Sterling Organics and has supported the site through several mergers and acquisitions over an 18 year period. In that time, he has held positions as Operations Director for Chirex, Industrial Director for Rhodia Pharma Solutions and President of Shasun Pharma Solutions.

In 2010 Kevin joined Aesica Pharmaceuticals as the Managing Director for the API business unit with a clear focus on growth through increasing the customer and product portfolio. Kevin returned to Shasun Pharma Solutions in 2013 to take responsibility for all commercial activities relating to the pharmaceutical service business and having overseen the launch of Sterling Pharma Solutions as an independent CDMO, he was appointed as CEO,  President and Board Member.

Michael Whitaker

Michael was educated in Cambridge and moved to the North-East of England in 1994 via a chair at University College London.

From 2000, Michael was closely involved in forming and delivering the North East regional strategy in the Healthcare and Life Science areas, particularly in the areas of ageing, stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. He coordinated the regional pharma manufacturing initiative, First for Pharma.  He has been active nationally at the Wellcome Trust and has acted as secretary of the British Society for Cell Biology. 

He is a Fellow of the Society of Biology, the Marine Biological Association, the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.  In addition, he has been a board member of Centre for Excellence in Life Sciences (Bionow), the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and is a trustee and Fellow of the Marine Biological Association. 

He is a member of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Centre for Process Industries, a subsidiary of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. He also holds directorships in three companies in the energy sector and a life sciences consultancy.

Michael is emeritus Professor of Physiology in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University.

Richard Baker

Richard is Strategy and Policy Director at North East Local Enterprise Partnership. He is responsible for the strategy, policy and analysis functions of the North East LEP.

The team he leads is responsible for the ongoing development of the North East Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and other key regional strategic documents and projects, and for the North East LEP’s research and evaluation, economic analysis and public policy activities.

He is Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Business and Law at Northumbria University

Prof. Neil Watson

Professor Watson is the Clinical Director of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation at The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Co-Director of the Northern Alliance Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre

He is also currently Chief Operating Officer for the North east and North Cumbria COVID Vaccination Programme.

Philip Aldridge

Originally from Leicestershire, Philip moved to the North East to work as the Production Manager for Glaxo at their large scale Penicillin production facility near Blyth.

He is a Biochemical Engineer and has extensive experience in the use of biotechnology for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

His experience include time at the Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences (CELS) where he assisted companies and Universities to exploit biotechnology, particularly the commercialisation of stem cell science.

Philip has performed Business Development roles for a number of SMEs and international project management in California, leading a project to produce biopharmaceutical clinical trial material.

He joined NEPIC in 2012 to help deliver the Business Acceleration SME assistance programme and has enjoyed helping SMEs sell into the process sector with the invaluable help of their diverse membership. Currently CEO at NEPIC helping 300 member companies grow in the region by embracing decarbonisation, innovation, and the Tees Freeport opportunity.

Other Leadership Group Members

Roger Kilburn

Michael Whale

Paul Found

Our mission is to support North East pharmaceutical sector businesses and manufacturers to grow their employment, skills, investment, exports and supply chains through business-led collaboration.

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