Dr. Deborah O'Neil
CEO at NovaBiotics
A biotechnology entrepreneur and immunologist by training, Deborah has over two decades of experience in drug discovery and development. Deborah studied at University College London and then worked in postdoctoral positions in internationally acclaimed laboratories in San Diego and Ghent before moving to Aberdeen (to the Rowett Research Institute, now part of the University of Aberdeen) where she founded NovaBiotics in 2004. The business has since become a leading global biotechnology business, developing a portfolio of first-in-class therapy candidates for a number of life-threatening and life-limiting conditions including treatments for inflammatory, infectious and respiratory disease. The company’s lead candidate, NM002, is currently in a phase 3 clinical trial for community acquired pneumonia caused by COVID-19, influenza and bacterial infections.
Deborah is a Board member of the UK’s BioIndustry Association, a Director and founding member of the BEAM Alliance (Biotechs of Europe innovating in Anti-Microbial Resistance). Deborah also Chairs the UK’s Medicines Discovery Catapult-Cystic fibrosis (CF) Trust’s AMR Syndicate, was a member of the Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group and is a board member of the Scottish Life Sciences Association. Closer to home, she is Chair of the Life Science Board of Opportunity Northeast. Deborah is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. Named as one of the 20 women leaders in European biotech in 2019, one of the 30 top female leaders in UK Healthcare in 2018. In 2020, Deborah was made OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, for services to biotechnology, industry and charity.