Our Team

Board of Directors

Andrew Sneddon

Andrew is the Chairman of Vir Pharma. Prior to this he spent 33 years as a Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) where he lead the Technology and Life Sciences division, specialising in fast growth and emerging technology companies. Andrew is the former Chairman of clinical stage medical company Elastagen, as well as TGR Biosciences, a biotechnology company. He also served as a Non Executive Director of Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd.  

John Montgomery  
Executive Director

John Montgomery has 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry including the US, UK, Australia and major Asian markets including Japan. John was CEO of Alphapharm and Regional Director, Asia Pacific for Merck Generics, and then President, Mylan Asia Pacific for 11 years from 1999 to 2010. Alphapharm was and remains, the largest pharmaceutical company in Australia as measured by prescription volume. Since then, John was General Manager of Pfizer Established Products for Australia and NZ and now CEO of Montrose Pharma Pty Ltd. Before Alphapharm, he spent 20 years with Warner Lambert in a variety of roles including Vice President, Portfolio Management North America and Regional President Australia and NZ. He was Chairman of the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) for 6 years, representing the industry to government. 

Richard Henfrey
Board Advisor

Richard has been working with natural medicines and health products for over 10 yrs. He worked in a variety of positions before coming CEO of Blackmores Ltd the largest Australian health supplements company. Today, Blackmores is an ASX 200 company with a market capitalisation of $2 billion. He was on the board of Complementary Medicines Australia for 7yrs and president for 5yrs. Richard understands the go to market strategies, regulatory environment and distrbution channels for vitamin, mineral & nutritional supplements extremely well. He holds a Masters in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Management Team

Joel Hardy

CEO and Co-Founder

Joel leads innovation and investment at Vir Pharma, and has over 17 years experience in technology and sales. An ambitious entrepreneur, Joel saw Vir Pharma become one of the first companies to be awarded a cannabis licence. Most recently, Joel has held senior leadership positions in $20million revenue businesses for public enterprise SAAS companies and previously worked for some of the world’s largest technology businesses. Joel holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from UNSW.

Simon Pettinger  
COO and Co-Founder

Simon oversees Vir Pharma’s facility operations and horticultural research partnerships with the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and University of Newcastle. Before co-founding Vir Pharma, Simon was the Managing Director of Australia’s largest plant tissue culture facility, Simon has unrivalled experience in the commercial development of plants from indoor propagation. Simon holds a Bachelor of Business from UON and a Masters of Organisational Development from UTS.

Simon Harvey
CFO /Company Secretary

Simon is a Qualified Chartered Accountant with experience in corporate finance, real estate, mining, services and investment management.

Over 6 years’ experience as a CFO with extensive accounting and financial management experience. Capital transactions experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, property transactions, development, asset management and associated analytical, budgeting, modelling and reporting roles.

Previously CFO of ASX listed NuEnergy Gas Limited, an oil and gas exploration and production company and Smoke Alarm Solutions, a property services business. He was also an auditor at KPMG for 5 yrs.

Medical Advisory Team

Dr Paul Glare 
Medical Director 

Paul is the Medical Director of Vir Pharma, leading the company’s physician engagement strategy. Paul is a vastly experienced medical practitioner and motivated to continually explore new approaches to pain management. He is the Chair of Pain Medicine in the Northern Clinical School at Royal North Shore Hospital and also holds various posts at the University of Sydney including; Director of the Pain Management Research Institute, Head of Pain Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Master of Medicine in Clinical Epidemiology.

Dr Paul Nash
Director of Clinical Research

Paul is Vir Pharma's clinical research director and works to better understand the effects of cannabis for chronic pain sufferers. With a PHD in Neuroscience from the University of Sydney and a post doctorate from Stanford, Paul brings specialist pain management expertise into this newly legalised industry.  Experience assisting biopharma companies with questions and diligence including asset valuation, market opportunity assessment, product development and commercialization.

Dr Richard Chye
Medical Advisory

Richard Chye is Director of Sacred Heart Supportive & Palliative Care, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. He has worked in Palliative Care for more than 28 years, and has integrated community, inpatient, hospital consultative & private palliative care services. He is Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia & the University of Technology, Sydney; and Adjunct Assoc Professor of Medicine at UNSW.  
He was integral in the formation of the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine and was awarded the RACP’s highest award, the John Sands medal as his efforts led to the recognition of Palliative Medicine by the Australian government. He was awarded the inaugural Lyn Taylor Award for Leadership in Palliative Care by his peers for his efforts to develop Palliative Care professionally & operationally in New South Wales. 
He has significant patient experience with chronic and complex pain where cannabis could be used as a adjucnt therapy. Previously, he conducted a a clinical trial program at Sacred Heart including using vaporised cannabis to improve cancer anorexia. He is an inaugural member of the Australian Advisory Council of the Medicinal Use of Cannabis. 

Plant Science Team

Graham Brown
Head of Breeding and Genetics  

Graham oversees Vir Pharma’s breeding strategy to create and maintain unique genetics and chemotypes for producing pain medicines. Graham’s 20+ years experience in plant product development has allowed him to be recognised as a world class plant breeder. He is the Horticultural Development Manager for the University of Sydney Plant Breeding Institute and the current Chairman of Abundant Produce.  

Dr Matthew Turner  
Research, Breeding and Genetics 

Matthew draws on his molecular and conventional breeding experience to lead Vir’s research initiatives. With 20+ years experience in plant breeding across a range of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, Matthew is a hugely successful and recognised breeder. Most notably, he developed new and novel varieties of wheat as part of Value Added Wheat CRC. He has a PHD in Genetics from the University of Sydney.  

Dr Ivan Casselman
Extraction and Plant Science

•Dr. Ivan Casselman is an ethnobotanist, analytical phytochemist, and plant geneticist, with over 15 years’ experience working in the cannabis industry on a global scale.

•His experience in the development of pharmaceutical formulations and quality control gives him unique insight into the development of cannabis products.

•PhD in Plant Science, Southern Cross University, Masters Science, Ethnobotany.

Damian Solomom 
Head of Cultivation

•Mr Solomon has advised or is currently advising some of the largest cannabis companies in the world, including, Harvest Health, Tilray, Canopy and more.

•Experience of large-scale agriculture techniques to Vir’s cultivation operations. He spent nearly two decades in commercial grow

•His expertise includes Dutch-style greenhouses and various modes of plant nutrition, irrigation and fertilization systems.

Want to know more? 


If you are a physician or patient and you would like more information about our products or medical trials, please get in touch.

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