Robert is originally from Palo Alto and moved to London with his family as a child and has resided permanently in the UK since the 1980s. He has more than 30 years of experience in the natural products industry in the United States, Europe and China. His interest in medicinal plants came about through his personal experience of having been successfully treated for a debilitating chronic disease with traditional Chinese medicine. After this experience he changed careers and became one of the pioneering entrepreneurs in plant-derived healthcare products. Robert has a particular interest in China where he has spent more than 25 years developing commercial and academic collaborations. In December 2013 he was a member of the British business delegation that accompanied David Cameron on his first Trade Mission to China.
David Lee MBA BSc
Chief Financial Officer
David is a United Kingdom, Australian and New Zealand Fellow Chartered Accountant, he trained with KPMG before moving on to PricewaterhouseCoopers where he worked in their Transaction Services team for many years in the UK and overseas. Outside of professional services, David was the Integration Director for the merger of two Supermarket Companies into a £6bn revenue Retail Group, and a CFO for a Private Equity sponsored business that grew from £10m to £110m revenue in less than 4 years. David also holds a BSc in Biochemistry from Southampton University and an MBA from Warwick University.
Jerome Theobald PhD
Chief Operating Officer
Jerome has 25 years of experience in Life Sciences, starting his carrier as development engineer for innovative pharmaceutical and natural food ingredients extraction and purification processes. Building on this technical background, Jerome has then held leadership roles in business development, sales and marketing to promote fast growth in multicultural and international environments. Over the past 10 years, Jerome has served at C-Level positions in CDMOs, distribution and consulting companies. He has developed a good level of pragmatism to better serve large industry players in highly regulated markets with flexibility and reactivity. Jerome holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry awarded with Distinction from the University of Lorraine (France).
Wouter Claerhout LLM MA
Chief Marketing Officer
Wouter brings 20+ years of B2B experience in sales, marketing, commercial management, strategic supply contracts, innovation management and communication. Before joining Phynova, Wouter was head of global marketing – Human Nutrition and Health (HNH) at Royal DSM, a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. The role included ownership of the HNH innovation pipeline. From 2010 until 2014, Wouter was based in Singapore as DSM’s Marketing Director HNH APAC. Partnering with customers to make their brands succeed was Wouter’s pride and joy. From 1995 to 2010, Wouter held roles in commercial management, project management and sales in Belgium, The Netherlands and Switzerland. Wouter has academic qualifications in Law, Marketing and Business Administration.
Chief Financial Officer
Keith qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG. He was COO and CFO at Phytopharm plc where he successfully re-structured the business and enabled the company to close a £25 million fundraising. He has helped guide a number of international healthcare businesses including: On Medica an international E-detailing business, Verigen, a German based multinational tissue engineering business, and Vision RT, a business utilising 3D surface imaging technology to improve the efficacy of radiotherapy treatment.
Hongwen Yu MSc
Executive Vice President
Hongwen was a lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy, Shanghai University. She has gained extensive experience with plant-based medicines from “field to final dosage form”. She has prepared initial Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) documents for submission to ethics committees and regulatory bodies for clinical trial approval and has successfully managed several development programmes from concept to products in clinical phase. As a pharmacognosist, she is experienced in the authentication and quality assessment of natural products.
Xiaofei Gao MSc
Regulatory Affairs Manager
Xiaofei, or Fei for short, manages in-house regulatory affairs for Phynova, specialising in the registration of traditional Chinese medicines as OTC drugs in Europe. She comes from a background of University based systematic reviews, where she worked for the University of Leeds and University of Warwick as a systematic reviewer for evidence synthesis projects. Prior to this she worked as a pharmaceutical sales rep, where she was awarded ‘top salesperson’ of Tanabe China. Fei holds an MSc in Health Technology Assessment from the University of Birmingham and a BSc Pharmacy from Jinan University in China.
Alice Lyon Dip. Phyt. MNIMH RCHM
Alice is a qualified medical herbalist in both Western and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. She is a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) and the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (RCHM). As well as training in the UK at the School of Phytotherapy she was one the first western students to study at the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Guangzhou, China. For several years she held practices in London and Oxford and managed the East West Herb Shop and Clinic in Neal’s Yard, Covent Garden. She also worked as a senior consultant herbalist at Sen Health Care in London. She co-authored ‘’The Chinese Herbal Cookbook, Healing Foods from East and West’’.
Natalie Clayton ACCA BA Hons
Natalie is responsible for the day to day running of the finance processes including production of monthly management accounts, managing the year end statutory accounts and completion of audit. She has 6 years accounting experience across different industries including Travel & Tourism, Manufacturing & Construction and Transport Logistics. Natalie holds a BA Hons degree in Accounting and Finance from Oxford Brookes University and is a qualified ACCA Chartered Accountant.
Steph Melzack MBIFM
Steph joined Phynova with over 12 years’ of experience in the healthcare industry under her belt having previously worked for Roche Diagnostics UK Ltd in a number of roles, including Site Services Manager and more recently as Customer Care Contact Centre Manager. She is a Member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management and has responsibility for some of the key organisational systems and infrastructure at Phynova, providing operational support to the business. She enjoys the variety of being an Office Manager and supporting the wider team.
Zhong Zhong BSc
Chief Executive Officer Botanic Century (Beijing)
Zhong Zhong is CEO and co-founder of Phynova’s Chinese subsidiary, Botanic Century. His career has been spent in botanical product industries. His previous appointments include MD of Hunan Hill Natural Pharmaceutical Ltd., Head of TCM Department in Beijing Union Bio-Technique Institute, Deputy General Manager of the National Centre for Reference Compounds Research, and Manager of IMPLAD’s Development Company. He has broad experience in product development, manufacturing, international trade, marketing and regulations for botanical products. Zhong Zhong is based in Beijing, China.
Chen Xie PhD
Chief Scientific Officer
Chen is the co-founder of Phynova’s Chinese subsidiary, Botanic Century, and has over 18 years’ experience in botanic drug and product development. She holds her MSc degree from Peking Union Medical University and her PhD in plant chemistry and bioactivities from King’s College, University of London. Prior to Botanic Century, she worked for IMPLAD, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences serving as Professor and Head of the Phytochemistry Department. She has successfully led several new drug development programs and has extensive experience in Chinese regulatory affairs. Chen is based in Beijing, China.
Andrew Gallagher MSc MBA
Director Business Development – Asia Pacific
Andrew has been developing healthcare products (Rx, OTC and consumer healthcare) from plants for over 13 years. He has a deep understanding of the science behind Phynova’s products and is focused on their market entry and commercialisation in Asia Pacific Region. He previously held roles in business development for the clinical research organisation Kendle (acquired by INC Research) and as biochemistry lecturer at the University of Natal (South Africa). Andrew holds an MSc (Biology) from the University of Natal and an MBA (Finance) awarded with Distinction from the University of Leicester. Andrew is based in Melbourne, Australia.
Stefan Wypyszyk MBA BS
Managing Director, North America
Stefan has over 20 years of experience in B2B ingredient sales to the dietary supplement, pet food, and food and beverage industries. He is an innovative problem solver with broad-based expertise in strategic business development, product development, brand ideation, marketing, and sales. Before joining Phynova, Stefan was President of Sales and Marketing at Azile where he developed deep market presence for supply partners based on value and solutions selling over multiple channels, with a focus on branded, clinically-backed ingredients. He has held management positions with the Martin Bauer Group, Zuellig Group NA, and Theo Chocolate. Stefan earned his BS from Purdue University and an MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. In addition, he has served as a Board of Trustee member with the American Herbal Products Association. Stefan is based in Seattle, USA.