Our Team​

Board of Directors

Andrew Sneddon
Chairman

John Montgomery
Executive Director

Richard Henfrey
Non Executive Director

Management Team

Joel Hardy
CEO and Co-Founder

Simon Pettinger
COO

Simon Harvey
CFO / Company Secretary

Medical Advisory Team

Dr Paul Glare
Medical Advisory

Dr Paul Nash
Clinical Advisory and Go to Market

Dr Richard Chye
Medical Advisory

Scientific Advisory Team

Rachel Palumbo
Genetic Licensing Program Manager

Dr Ian Paanenan
Plant Licensing (PBR) & Plant Health

Graham Brown
Head of Breeding Program  

Dr Matthew Turner
Research, Breeding & Genetics

Matt Cooper
Quality Assurance and Process Design

Dr Ivan Casselman
Extraction Advisory

Damian Solomon
Cultivation Advisor

f71aa7_f4fbcc704f2d4f21ba3c2f8044373109_mv2_d_3264_2448_s_4_2

Andrew Sneddon
Chairman

Andrew is the Chairman of Cymra 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.

f71aa7_3698109e3cc54dc58c5e470960e6388c_mv2

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, executive, portrait head & shoulders
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 encymraonment and distrbution channels for vitamin, mineral & nutritional supplements extremely well. He holds a Masters in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

©ProLensPhotography-PortraitPhotographer-SydneyAustralia4383
Joel Hardy
CEO and Co-Founder

Joel is the founder of Cymra. He started his journey into the cannabis sector in San Francisco and was one of the first to import cannabis products under SAS Cat B into Australia. An ambitious entrepreneur, Joel helped Cymra Life Sciences 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 Portrait 1 8x10 HI RES B&W

Simon Pettinger
COO & Co-Founder

Simon oversees Cymra Life Sciences facility operations, Tissue Culture services, and breeding programs. He also manages our horticultural research partnerships with Southern Cross University Before co-founding Cymra, Simon was the Managing Director of Australia’s largest plant tissue culture facility for over 10 years. 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.

Paul-Glare-2-bw-CROP

Dr Paul Glare
Medical Director

Paul is the Medical Director of Cymra 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.

Paul Nash-crop

Dr Paul Nash
Director of Clinical Research

Paul is Cymra 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.

f71aa7_dc2bb1aef4a745c2af0808a9cec8dafe_mv2

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.

Rachel-Palumbo-WEB-CROP

Rachel Palumbo
Genetic Licensing Program Manager​

Rachel has been working in the agricultural sector within Australia and globally for over 11 years, having held senior leadership roles within Monsanto and Bayer in the areas of general management, strategy, global marketing, product management and licensing. 

Rachel holds a degree in business majoring in business law and marketing, a graduate diploma in public relations, a masters in communication, and an Executive MBA through Melbourne Business School, where she was awarded the Egon Zehnder Leadership Prize.

Ian photo

Dr Ian Paananan
Plant Licensing (PBR) & Plant Health

Ian is an experienced horticultural scientist. He has experience  in commercial plant tissue culture, integrated pest and disease management, greenhouse and nursery management and Plant Breeders Rights intellectual property protection. 

As a director of an independent consulting business for the last 24 years he has protected nearly 1000 plant varieties from all plant industry groups. Ian has also consulted on plant health issues across a range of horticultural areas. Ian is well positioned to advise on integration of production aspects from breeding to propagation to production and protection.

Ian holds a Degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Sydney and is also well travelled in the world of Permaculture Design and training.

graham-brown

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.
Matt-Turner
Dr Matthew Turner
Research, Breeding and Genetics

Matthew draws on his molecular and conventional breeding experience to lead Cymra’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.

Matt-Cooper

Matt Cooper
Quality Assurance and Process Design

As Head of Quality for Cymra Life Sciences, Matt Cooper is responsible for building the Culture of Quality.  With a background of over 20 years as a GxP Consultant, he has supported Pharmaceutical Manufacturing in Europe, the U.K, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Australia and is a strong believer in Quality by Design as a vital part of the modern approach to Pharmaceutical Quality.  Matt enjoys a good Netflix binge but can also be found on long bike rides on hilly country roads.

f71aa7_7fe84d0c6b5a4357bd8893cdb9c6058e_mv2

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-Solomon

Damian Solomon
Cultivation Advisor

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.