Cambridge, UK;  9th October 2020.

Dr Nermeen Varawalla (MD, PhD, MBA) joins Atlantic Healthcare plc (Atlantic Healthcare) as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Head of Clinical Development.

Dr Varawalla is a pharmaceutical industry veteran with deep expertise in global clinical development having held senior leadership roles within international Contract Research Organisations, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

She is recognised for the execution of well-designed, focused and cost-effective global clinical development programmes. Prior to joining Atlantic Healthcare, Dr Varawalla served as Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development at BTG International PLC where she led clinical development of the speciality pharmaceutical and medical device portfolios, until BTG’s acquisition by Boston Scientific Corporation for $4.4bn.

She joins Atlantic Healthcare which owns the exclusive worldwide rights to alicaforsen and renzapride and is focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing therapeutics that address unmet patient needs.

Dr Nermeen Varawalla explains: ‘I am excited to join Atlantic Healthcare because of its late stage clinical assets backed by robust safety data; that have a compelling potential to treat unmet medical need in patients with gastrointestinal disorders.  Moreover, alicaforsen has a topical, gut selective mode of action without systemic immune suppression, which is relevant for the treatment of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease in a pandemic setting.’

Dr Varawalla completed her medical training at the University of Mumbai and then received a Rhodes Research Fellowship for her doctorate at the University of Oxford. After completing her MBA at INSEAD, Nermeen transitioned to her industry career by setting up a pioneering clinical trial business that she sold to PRA Health Sciences, a global Contract Research Organisation.

Dr Varawalla has also worked in a number of advisory volunteer positions including six years as Trustee of the Malaria Consortium, a charity that delivers disease control programmes in emerging countries, and is currently a member of the International Advisory Council of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development.

Dr Varawalla’s immediate focus at Atlantic Healthcare is to progress its six planned late stage clinical programmes for the treatments of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and rare disease gastrointestinal mobility disorders for alicaforsen and renzapride.

Toby Wilson Waterworth, CEO of Atlantic Healthcare said: “The fact that Nermeen, with her impressive academic, clinical and entrepreneurial achievements has decided to join us is further endorsement of Atlantic Healthcare’s vision and approach. We are delighted to welcome her to our senior team.”

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About Atlantic Healthcare

Dr Nermeen Varawalla

Atlantic Healthcare plc ( is a specialist pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring, developing and commercializing therapeutics that address unmet patient needs and rare diseases.

The Company owns the exclusive worldwide rights to alicaforsen, a novel antisense drug in development for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, and renzapride, which has the potential to address the unmet needs of multiple patient groups suffering gastrointestinal motility disorders, including patients with Cystic Fibrosis and Systemic Scleroderma.

Led by an experienced international Board and Leadership Team who have deep roots and a proven track record in the pharmaceutical industry, Atlantic Healthcare plans to commercialize its products itself in the U.S. and Europe and through partnerships and licensing with established pharmaceutical companies in the rest of the world.

Forward Looking Statements

While Atlantic Healthcare believes any forward-looking statements in this press release are accurate, the statements represent Atlantic Healthcare’s beliefs only as of the date of this press release. A number of factors could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. In addition, risks and results in clinical trials may not be indicative of risks or results from later stage or larger scale trials, and there is no assurance of regulatory approval. Existing and prospective investors should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in a press release and instead should make their own determinations as to the reliability of such statements. Atlantic Healthcare undertakes no intent or obligation to update the information contained in this press release as new information becomes available.

For more information about Atlantic Healthcare, investment, alicaforsen or renzapride, please contact:

Adam Michael (Head of Communications)

+44 1799 512 055

+44 777 588 1813


Consilium Strategic Communications

Mary-Jane Elliott / Matthew Neal

+44 20 3709 5700