New animal health company Anifera announces experienced board

Published Tuesday, 8th December 2020

London/England, 7 December 2020 – Anifera, a new animal health company which aims to be the innovator and leader in researching and developing solutions for adjunct therapy with antibiotics, has announced an experienced line-up for its board.

The board comprises Tony Benitz, Mark Heffernan, Malcolm Thomas and Simon Wheeler, each of whom has worked extensively in the animal health and pharmaceutical sectors.

Stonehaven Incubate Venture Partner, Dr. Gwynneth Thomas, said: “We’re very pleased by the strong team we’ve assembled to lead the business. As well as their extensive experience, they possess a range of complementary skills. They are excited by the opportunities Anifera’s technology provides in the livestock and companion animal industries and are looking forward to leading the company to success.”

About the board:

Tony Benitz

Tony is a Senior Advisor at Stonehaven Consulting. He retired from Boehringer-Ingelheim after a 35-year career in animal health. Tony served in senior roles in research and development in several companies, including Global Head of R&D for Pharmacia Animal Health and Novartis Animal Health. He played a key role in the integration of the R&D organizations following the acquisitions by Pfizer Animal Health and Elanco, respectively.

His experience includes bringing a range of new therapeutics and vaccines for animals to the market, and working closely with regulatory agencies in many international markets, including the Center of Veterinary Medicine, and the Food and Drug Agency in the U.S.

Mark Heffernan

Mark is the CEO of Stonehaven Incubate. He has had a career spanning nearly two decades as co-founder and CEO in private and public companies, including the animal health monoclonal antibody company Nexvet Biopharma plc, which was sold to Zoetis in July 2017. For Nexvet he and his team raised over $80m during 2011-2017, including a Nasdaq IPO.

His experience spans both human biotechnology start-ups and animal health R&D companies, and he has raised over $150m in private and public capital raisings and built successful global teams to execute drug discovery and development. He has a PhD from Monash University.

Malcolm Thomas

Malcolm is the CEO of Agile Sciences. Prior to this he was president and CEO of Arbovax, a biotechnology company commercialising a unique and innovative platform technology that can be used to make vaccines against insect-borne viral diseases.

Prior to Arbovax he was Vice President of Operations for StemCo Biomedical and before that, was Director of International Marketing for Bayer Biologicals and Vice President of Pacific Rim Operations for Becton Dickinson Biosciences. During his tenure with Becton Dickinson as Vice President for Asia Pacific he lived in Singapore for five years. He started his working life as a research scientist in the biochemistry department of the Wellcome Research Laboratories in the UK.

Simon Wheeler

Simon is a veterinarian and strategic leader with over 20 years’ experience of the global animal health industry. He has previously held strategic, technical, marketing and innovation roles in various companies, including Pharmacia and Novartis.

He also reached senior positions in clinical veterinary academia in the UK and US, lecturing at international meetings and conducting research, as well as publishing three books and over 125 articles and chapters, and mentoring trainees. He has received several awards for teaching and contributions to veterinary surgery.

Simon is the CEO of animal diagnostics company, Vetsina and has recently held several consultancies, including Chief Operating Officer of Roslin Technologies, an Edinburgh-based biotech start up, and he was commercial consultant to Advanced Anaesthesia Specialists. He has supported various biotech companies as well as holding several board positions.


About Anifera

Anifera is a new company which aims to be the preferred adjunct therapy for antibiotics; improving their efficacy and ultimately reducing their use. Anifera was officially launched in November 2020. It was formed by Stonehaven Incubate and Agile Sciences, Inc.

About Stonehaven Incubate

Swiss based Stonehaven Incubate was formed in February 2018 and is a dedicated, animal health group committed to creating new companies de novo applying disruptive human technology. Stonehaven Incubate works with innovators and builds strategies for new, stand-alone animal health companies. It finds experienced management teams and sources the required capital, leaving no stone unturned in its quest to bring human innovations to animal health.

Agile Sciences, Inc.

Agile Sciences, Inc. is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical company based in Raleigh, NC USA. It is pioneering an entirely new mechanistic approach for the treatment of antibiotic resistant and life-threatening infections.

It was founded in 2007 by Dr. John Cavanagh, previously at the Department of Molecular & Structural Biochemistry at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Dr. Christian Melander, George & Winifred Clark Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Notre Dame University. 

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