Who we are

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Benefits of working with a full-service agile CRO, structured for your drug development needs

Simbec-Orion is a responsive and agile full-service CRO, with wide therapeutic experience and specialist expertise in clinical pharmacology, oncology and rare diseases. Perfectly structured, we provide full-service clinical development solutions for small and mid-size drug developers  – headed up by a centralised leadership team.

With a focus on tailormade and scalable solutions, we’ll adapt our delivery style, communications and operations to suit the demands of your project, helping you achieve your clinical and commercial objectives. Because our goal is the same as yours; to improve patients’ lives.

The board


  • Anand Jain

    Chairman of the Board

    Anand qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen in 2000. He worked in their Corporate Finance department for seven years, specializing in private equity and corporate transactions, before joining the CBPE Capital team. Anand has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham.

  • Adam Richardson

    Non-Executive Director

    Adam joined CBPE Capital as an Investment Manager in 2018, and shortly after he joined the board of Simbec-Orion.

    Adam was formally part of Kester Capital where he focused on primary buyouts in the UK lower mid-market. Before Kester, he was an Analyst at Hawkpoint which is now part of Cancaccord Genuity. Adam has an MSc in Physics from the University of Cambridge.

  • Fabrice Chartier

    Chief Executive Officer

    Fabrice has been the CEO of Simbec-Orion since November 2019, before which he was appointed COO of Simbec-Orion upon completion of the merger of Simbec Research and Orion Clinical Services in June 2014.

    In 1998, Fabrice and Dr Alan Irvine, founded Orion Clinical Services Ltd, an international CRO operating internationally and specialised in Rare and Orphan diseases, oncology and other indications with high medical need.  In 1994, Fabrice founded Fournier Laboratories, a medium-size French pharmaceutical company and their UK International Clinical Development Unit, specialised in Gene Therapy and Immunotherapy. Previously, he was one of the directors of an international CRO based in Paris.

  • Anita Cooper

    Non-Executive Director

    Anita joined the board of Simbec-Orion in 2019 and has over 30 years of global business expertise.

    Previously, she served as an Executive Officer and Senior Vice-President of PAREXEL. Anita’s broad leadership experience includes effective strategy development, governance, risk management, business start-up and process transformation. She has set up operations and business units across the world and has significant business, acquisition, integration and change-management expertise. Anita emphasizes integrity, strategy and excellence, as well as culture and talent development for diversity.

    Anita holds an M.A. Honours degree in Psychology from St. Andrews University and a D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology from St. John’s College, Oxford.

  • Chris Hannigan

    Non-Executive Director

    Chris brings a wealth of CRO Business Development experience to the board. Prior to becoming a self-employed business consultant in 2015 and joining the board of Simbec-Orion, Chris worked his way from VP International Business Development to Executive Vice President of Synexus Clinical Research between 2007 to 2016. Before this, Chris held roles at Kendle International (now part of Syneos Health) and Covance.

  • John Gahan

    Chief Financial Officer

    John joined Simbec-Orion as our Chief Financial Officer in 2019. John qualified as Chartered Account with KPMG, where over ten years he specialised in Transaction Service performing financial due diligence for corporates and venture capitalists. After KPMG, John joined GKN plc, a FTSE 100 company where he enjoyed eight years in senior financial and operational roles in Corporate Finance and the Driveline Division, including four years living in Singapore as GKN Driveline’s Regional M&A Director and Regional Finance Director of its £350m turnover Division.  John has extensive experience of working in Asia and Japan.

    John served for nine years as the Group Finance Director of Europe’s leading fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector business, FireAngel Safety Technology Group plc and led the Group’s IPO on AIM in April 2014.  Prior to listing on AIM, John led a successful bid defence against a hostile takeover from a Fortune 500 company.

Senior management team


  • Fabrice Chartier

    Chief Executive Officer

    Fabrice has been the CEO of Simbec-Orion since November 2019, before which he was appointed COO of Simbec-Orion upon completion of the merger of Simbec Research and Orion Clinical Services in June 2014.

    In 1998, Fabrice and Dr Alan Irvine, founded Orion Clinical Services Ltd, an international CRO operating internationally and specialised in Rare and Orphan diseases, oncology and other indications with high medical need.  In 1994, Fabrice founded Fournier Laboratories, a medium-size French pharmaceutical company and their UK International Clinical Development Unit, specialised in Gene Therapy and Immunotherapy. Previously, he was one of the directors of an international CRO based in Paris.

  • Melissa Jones

    Chief Commercial Officer

    Melissa joined Simbec-Orion in April 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer. Melissa previously headed the commercial group at Synexus Clinical Research whilst it was an independent private equity held company through to its successful acquisition by PPD and subsequent integration.

    Melissa has led commercial teams at Synexus, Premier Research and Kendle International through significant growth and expansion periods meeting strategic & corporate goals.

    Melissa has significant business development & account management experience from her tenure at IQVIA. Melissa started her career within clinical operations at Innovex, which was later acquired by IQVIA in 1996.

  • Jim Kendall

    Chief Information Officer

    Jim was appointed CIO of Simbec-Orion in January 2019 to leverage technology, data, people and process as strategic enablers to deliver Simbec-Orion’s growth strategy.

    Most recently Jim was VP Technology for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation responsible for delivering the overall vision and operational execution for the Foundation’s technology strategy in order to accomplish their philanthropic goals globally.

    As VP Technology for IQVIA Jim was focused on local UK and Global technology delivery in Commercial and Clinical Business Units, managing annual IT investment strategy and creating the go-to-market strategy for the IQVIA Infosario product at its inception. For 7 years up to IPO in 2013, Jim was a key part of the leadership team that grew the IT group from 300 to over 1000 employees, won several business innovation awards and was consistently recognized as one of the ‘Best 100 Places to Work’ by Computer World.

  • John Gahan

    Chief Financial Officer

    John joined Simbec-Orion as our Chief Financial Officer in 2019. John qualified as Chartered Account with KPMG, where over ten years he specialised in Transaction Service performing financial due diligence for corporates and venture capitalists. After KPMG, John joined GKN plc, a FTSE 100 company where he enjoyed eight years in senior financial and operational roles in Corporate Finance and the Driveline Division, including four years living in Singapore as GKN Driveline’s Regional M&A Director and Regional Finance Director of its £350m turnover Division.  John has extensive experience of working in Asia and Japan.

    John served for nine years as the Group Finance Director of Europe’s leading fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector business, FireAngel Safety Technology Group plc and led the Group’s IPO on AIM in April 2014.  Prior to listing on AIM, John led a successful bid defence against a hostile takeover from a Fortune 500 company.

  • Ceri Edwards

    Managing Director, Clinical Pharmacology

    Ceri has spent much of her career at Simbec-Orion and was appointed Managing Director, Clinical Pharmacology in December 2019. Ceri has nearly 20 years’ experience in operations, project management and team leadership in early phase clinical research.

    Ceri is a member of the Senior Management Team and has overall responsibility for the Clinical Pharmacology and Laboratory Services divisions at Simbec-Orion.  Ceri is also a member of the Business Issue Escalation team. Ceri’s responsibilities include operations, strategy execution and for ensuring client expectations are met by the team.

  • Sandra Davies

    Vice President, Group Head of Quality Assurance

    Sandra was appointed as VP, Head of Quality Assurance in April 2019 after working for over 40 years at Simbec Research Ltd. Sandra initially worked in Bioanalytical laboratories involved in HPLC method development for analyses of drugs in biological matrices and analyses of samples from ADME studies, before moving on to Quality Assurance. Sandra has worked in Quality Assurance for 31 years with expertise in GLP, GCP and GMP.  Prior to Sandra’s appointment as VP, Head of Quality Assurance, Sandra worked as Head of Quality Assurance since 2003 with extensive experience in hosting and responding to Regulatory Inspections and Sponsor Audits.

  • Ana Smith

    Chief People Officer

    Ana joined Simbec-Orion in 2019 as Group Head of Human Resources, before being appointed as Chief People Officer in December 2019. At Simbec-Orion, Ana is responsible for leading the function to support the end to end employee life cycle including talent acquisition (recruitment), performance management, learning and development, compensation and employee relations.

    Prior to joining Simbec-Orion, Ana was head of HR at AstraZeneca between 2015-2019, prior to which she worked primarily as an HR Business Partner between 2007-2014 leading for restructuring, change and transformation at AstraZeneca.

    Ana graduated from Reading University with 2:1 LLB (Hons) Law in 2000.

Rare disease therapy development: Putting the patient first

We convened a roundtable of experts to discuss how the barriers to participation and retention can be removed when working with patients in clinical pharmacology studies.

Financial and regulatory advantages of conducting early phase clinical research studies

Simbec-Orion with the Department for International Trade (DIT) hosted an expert panel discussion to examine the financial and regulatory advantages for the US companies conducting Early Phase research in the UK.

Simbec Orion Wheel

A closer look at our expertise

We’ll manage every element of your clinical development, so you can focus on the science.

Clinical Pharmacology

The Simbec-Orion Clinical Pharmacology unit is a full-service facility. We carry out all types of studies, including First-in-Human (FIH) studies, on one dedicated research campus, including onsite Bioanalytical and Pathology Lab services, enabling rapid turn around times and no sample shipment costs. 

With over 43 years of operations, we are one of the most experienced UK Clinical Pharmacology units. And we’ve successfully delivered over 1800 Phase I/IIa studies.

We’ll manage every element of your clinical development, so you can focus on the science.

Clinical Development

We’re a CRO with in-depth experience of the most challenging therapeutic areas including oncology, rare and orphan diseases, respiratory, dermatology, vaccines and anti-infectives.

Founded three decades ago, we offer full service you can trust – with an international reach. All with the highest level of quality, agility and responsive customer service.

We’ll manage every element of your clinical development, so you can focus on the science.

Full Service Solutions

Simbec-Orion Full Service Solutions provide central laboratory analyses for Phase I-III trials. These services are designed exclusively for the biotech pharmaceutical industry.

Our combined expertise, experience and investment in infrastructure enables us to provide a rapid, responsible and reliable service, so you can make critical decisions, fast.

Therapy areas in detail

Wide therapeutic experience with specialisms in rare disease and oncology


Mission Statement

We are Simbec-Orion. An international, full service, boutique CRO; growing by bringing together the best possible people, healthcare professionals and drug developers, from all areas of clinical development.

We focus on a defined series of core therapeutic areas, where we can make best use of our skills elegantly to design, execute and deliver our clients’ clinical development needs.

We are making Simbec-Orion a highly respected and profitable boutique CRO. We do this by working for our clients with excellence, commitment and passion for our trade. We provide an environment in which our colleagues can continue to grow and develop.

We will always remember that our work leads to the improvement of patients’ lives.

Let’s collaborate

If you think we could be right for you, get in touch.

Submit an RFI/RFP