Solvotrin Therapeutics Team

Solvotrin Therapeutics has attracted a very experienced international team with diverse, complementary disciplines in drug development and business management.


Pat O'Flynn

Pat O’Flynn – President/CEO

Pat is an entrepreneur with a proven international business track record with over fifteen years’ experience, including the Pharma Chem industry. Pat was previously CEO of AVR-Safeway Limited, a company which he co-founded and in which he created significant shareholder value. The company was sold to international utility company Veolia in 2008.

Pat has successfully managed joint ventures and collaborations with leading international companies.  Pat was a finalist in the 2008 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He holds academic qualifications in Mechtronic Engineering, Business Management, Corporate Finance and Leadership from IMD Switzerland.

Pat’s role includes leading the company to attain its vision and mission, maintain key relationships effectively, recruit and manage performance of staff, prepare initial strategy drafts and implement strategy approved by the Board, propose budgets to the board for approval, put in place and operate systems and management structure to secure effective governance. Pat is also responsible for providing the Chair and Board with reports on key performance, conformance and other issues, anticipating and informing the board of risks to strategy, managing all statutory and regulatory compliance requirements as well as keeping the Chair fully briefed on all relevant matters.

Dr Mark Ledwidge

Dr. Mark Ledwidge (BSc Pharm, PhD, DBS, MPSI, MRPharmS) – VP Development and Strategy

Mark is a pharmacist and initially worked for Baxter Healthcare before completion of a PhD in pharmaceutics at TCD on behalf of Elan Corporation. He joined Servier Laboratories in 1997 as a Project Manager and then worked in marketing as Group Product Manager. In 2001 he completed a Diploma in Business Strategy and subsequently founded a number of businesses including Pharmacy Prime, the Heartbeat Trust and Cardio mark. He also holds adjunct positions as Research Director in the Heart Failure Unit at St Vincent’s University Hospital and Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine and Medical Science in UCD. Mark’s research interests include cardiovascular therapeutics, biomarkers of hypertensive heart disease and telemedicine. He is a named inventor on several licensed patents and has published his research work extensively. He is Co-Chair of the National Pharmacy Reference Group of the pharmacy regulator in Ireland and has been a member of the Expert Advisory Group on Human Medicines of the Irish Medicines Board, the medicines licensing authority in Ireland, since 2007.

Mark’s role is to co-lead the R&D programme, further develop and implement Solvotrin Therapeutics’ commercial and marketing strategy, oversee the design and execution of preclinical and clinical trials, develop product acquisition, out-licensing and co-development strategies, position Solvotrin within the target markets and oversee product brand development.

Professor John Gilmer

Professor John Gilmer (PhD) – VP Research and Development

John received his PhD in steroid synthetic chemistry in TCD in 1995. He then worked for a pharmaceutical R&D company, Unimed PLC, which had a special interest in combination drugs and prodrugs in the cardiovascular area. During this time he played a lead role in the development and qualification of a new modified release formulation of isosorbide mononitrate and a prodrug which were tested in clinical trials. John was named inventor on numerous patent applications in the cardiovascular area at this time and developed a strong interest in pharmaceutical IP. He took up a position as lecturer in 1998 at the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, TCD, teaching medicinal chemistry to pharmacy students. He has an active medicinal chemistry research group which publishes widely on drug discovery and development. He has been active as a pharmaceutical development consultant and has participated as expert/consultant in several high profile pharmaceutical patent trials at the Irish High Court in recent years (including Lipitor® and Seretide®). John’s research group developed the first really effective aspirin prodrugs licensed to Solvotrin Therapeutics. Another colon targeting steroid prodrug developed by his group has been licensed by Opsona Therapeutics. He has an active medicinal chemistry research group with interests in bile acid analogues for metabolic disorders and intestinal cancer and interactions between matrix metalloproteinases and nitric oxide.

John’s role is to co-lead the R&D programme, support clinical trials and third party clinical relationships, protect Company assets via appropriate IP strategy as well as representing the business at academic and industry level.

Ronan McClafferty, European Commercial Director

Ronan McClafferty, European Commercial Director

Ronan joined Solvotrin from Pfizer Consumer Healthcare were he most recently held the position of Marketing Director for the Northern European Cluster (UK, Ireland, Netherlands, the Nordics, Russia & CIS). In this position Ronan was responsible for setting and delivering the cluster strategic direction and investment priorities by brand and by market. Ronan joined Pfizer in late 2011 as Country Lead accountable for the Irish Consumer Healthcare Business, he delivered strong growth of 40% over a four-year period in this role and sat on the Board of Directors, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland. Prior to joining Pfizer Ronan spent eight years working in GSK predominately in marketing positions across three categories OTC, Oral Care and Nutritionals.

George Walsh, CFO

George Walsh, CFO






Diarmuid Burke

Diarmuid Burke – Former Vice-President Forest Global Healthcare (Pharma and Healthcare)

Diarmuid Burke is a senior executive with extensive strategic experience in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare sectors. He has built and led a manufacturing organisation from start-up to a multi-billion $ business, employing c. 300 people. He led the multi-million € acquisition & integration of a new business unit from Grunenthal GmbH into Forest Laboratories Europe. He transitioned manufacturing operation of Forest UK to an outsourced 3rd party to refocus the business as a sales and marketing organisation with the appropriate in house support. He led the growth and expansion of Forrest in Europe and was a key lead throughout the merger with Activis in 2014.

Scientific and Medical Advisory Board

The role of the scientific and medical advisory board is to review and support the progress in R&D, provide guidance on key regulatory and IP matters, evaluate new scientific perspectives and applications related to the core technology in conjunction with the Company’s management and scientific team. The calibre of Solvotrin Therapeutics’ Scientific and Medical Advisory Board is reflective of the strength of the business potential and lends significant esteem and credibility to the company.

Dr Gene Cefali

Dr. Gene Cefali

Dr. Gene Cefali, Pharm.D., Ph.D. is a drug development consultant assisting early-stage pharmaceutical companies with drug development strategy and execution as well as providing pharmaceutical due-diligence expertise to investment companies and the pharmaceutical industry since 2007. Prior to this, Dr. Cefali held positions of increasing responsibility at Kos Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Abbott Laboratories), culminating with the position of Vice President of Lead Optimization. Dr. Cefali is a co-inventor on seven patents as well as an author of many pharmacokinetics manuscripts. Dr. Cefali specialises in assisting early-stage pharmaceutical companies with drug development strategy and execution as well as providing pharmaceutical due-diligence expertise to investment companies and pharmaceuticals industry since 2007. He has a proven track record of using his biopharmaceutics and drug development knowledge to significantly add value to a drug venture’s potential success.

Professor Louise Kenny

Professor Louise Kenny

Louise Kenny is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College, Cork.  She was awarded CCST by the Specialist Training Authority of the Medical Royal Colleges, UK in 2005 and was appointed as a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Obstetrician at St Mary’s Hospital, The University of Manchester. She joined University College Cork in 2006 as a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Cork University Maternity Hospital, where she established a research centre investigating adverse pregnancy outcome and pregnancy loss. She was promoted to Professor in 2009 and directs the Irish Centre for Foetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT), Ireland’s first perinatal research centre, a hub for translational clinical research, clinical trials and innovation in pregnancy and beyond. At CUMH, she is part of the Perinatal Medicine team and leads the pre-conception service. She has a particular interest in hypertensive disorders of medicine and other maternal complications. She is chair of Maternal Medicine Clinical Study Group at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Secretary of the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in pregnancy.