Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Phico Therapeutics

Dr Heather Fairhead is founder and CEO of Phico Therapeutics, an early stage biotech company developing a novel antibacterial technology called SASPject. SASPject uses engineered bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) to deliver an antibacterial protein, SASP to target harmful bacteria. Heather has led the development of the technology from inception through testing a first SASPject product targeted to MRSA in a Phase 1 human clinical trial. The company is currently focused on developing an intravenous SASPject product for treating patients with ventilator associated pneumonia and ventilated hospital acquired pneumonia due to the bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Heather has raised ~£30M from a wide investor base, has successfully led applications for >£2.5M in grants from the UK Government and, most recently, a grant of up to £13.2 M from CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator), a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating antibacterial research to tackle the global rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria.

Prior to starting Phico she worked as a researcher at the University of Connecticut Medical School and the University of Cambridge, and developed a small research lab for a Cambridge start-up. Before embarking on a career in science Heather worked in a range of industries in sales and marketing. Heather has a BSc (1st) in Biotechnology from the University of Nottingham and a PhD from the University of Sheffield in Molecular Microbiology.


20 May 2021