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Team

Meet The Team That Deliver Nanoparticle Micro-Nutrients

Dr Gareth Cave

Dr Gareth Cave

Director

Dr Gareth Cave | Director

Dr Gareth Cave (founder and director of Pharm2Farm Ltd) is a Medicinal Chemistry PhD graduate from the University of Warwick. From their he went on to be part of setting up the Australian Centre for Green Chemistry at Monash University, in 2000. While in Australia he pioneered a new, “Green” solvent free process to do chemical reactions that avoided the use of volatile organic solvents.[1] Gareth then brought this new methodology back to the UK during his time at the University of Leeds and subsequently into the USA at the University of Missouri, before moving to Nottingham Trent University in 2005 as the head of Inorganic Chemistry.

During his time at Nottingham Trent University, Gareth has combined his expertise in pharmaceutical science and green chemistry, bridging the physical and life-science interface. It was here that he developed his pioneering nanotechnology. Originally developed as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agent to help track anti-cancer drugs,[2] Gareth  designed a novel, high throughput, Green process to manufacture and functionalize nano-particles.[3],[4] This platform-patented technology launched Gareth and his research into a cascade of new opportunities and downstream commercialisation.

The step-change in Gareth’s nanotechnology research was achieved when he conducted a clinical trial with a group of 40 healthy male subjects, in which he recognised his nano technology had the capability to significantly increase the bioavailability (uptake) of iron compared to traditional iron supplements. This work was then translated into farmed livestock (poultry, cattle and sheep) via a joint research project with commercial and university partners. The results from this study showed substantial improvements in bioavailability of trace mineral uptake, eliciting a subsequent increase in productivity and animal welfare.[5]

Thinking outside the box, Gareth realised that rather than simply adding his new technology directly to processed food, it would be far more effective and important to increase the nutritional value of farmed ingredients directly. Working alongside the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the UK’s levy board which represents farmers, growers and others in the supply chain, Gareth and, his dedicated extensive team of researchers, have developed a range of “nano-fertilisers” that have been proved to not only increase production yields, but also their nutritional value.[6] This work was pioneered in potatoes and has now crossed into tomatoes, strawberries, onions, salad crops, right through to giant vegetables and even pharmaceutical cannabis production.

In 2015 Nottingham Trent University and  Gareth formed a university spinout company, Pharm2Farm Ltd, to help commercialise the myriad of opportunities his research has to offer. Gareth  and his research team at Nottingham Trent University continue to explore new opportunities for their platform technology that offers a pipeline of new products into Pharm2Farm.

 

[1] “Recent advances in solventless organic reactions: towards benign synthesis with remarkable versatility”,  Cave, GWV; Raston, CL; Scott, JL. CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS   Issue: 21   Pages: 2159-2169   Published: 2001

[2] “Artificial exosomes as tools for basic and clinical immunology”, De la Pena, H, Madrigal, JA, Rusakiewicz, Sylvie, Bencsik, M, Cave, GWV, Selman, A, Rees, RC, Travers, PJ, Dodi, IA. JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGICAL METHODS   Volume: 344   Issue: 2   Pages: 121-132   Published: 2009.

[3] WO2017033005A1

[4] WO2013136082A3

[5] Paper to be published shortly

[6] “Nanotechnology route to potato improvements” Farmers Guardian, 20 Jul 2016. (https://www.fginsight.com/news/dont-miss/nanotechnology-route-to-potato-improvements-13767)

Graeme Todd

Graeme Todd

Business Development Managerr

Graeme Todd
Title: International Business Development Manager

Graeme Todd is International Business Development Manager at Pharm2Farm, promoting the unique technologies produced by P2F and delivers them to companies in a range of industries including horticulture, hydroponics, nutraceuticals and aquaponics.

Before joining P2F he has spent time with large international agricultural and chemical companies delivering solutions to the feed and fertilizer industries including both speciality chemicals and bio stimulants such as organic seaweed extract.

Graeme has a specific interest in minimal impact farming, cutting down on un-needed fillers and under achieving ingredients often found in plant and animal nutrition products

Phani Durga

Phani Durga

Researcher

Phani Durga
Title: Researcher

Phani Durga is a master’s student in Biotechnology at NTU. She graduated with an engineering degree in biotechnology from KL University in India. She was born and brought up in the south of India in a family dedicated to mango farming.

Phani is interested in technology and research for agricultural and horticultural systems that reduce cost and impact to the environment. As well as working on product development she manages the qualitative and quantitative analysis of production.

Karen Davies

Karen Davies

Chief Technical Officer

Karen Davies is Pharm2Farms Chief Technical Officer, providing expertise in the bespoke formulations of nanoparticles for a wide range of industrial sectors. With a number of years’ experience in nanoparticle formulation, specifying in nutrient fortification for crops through her PhD, Karen expanded the application of her expertise when undertaking her post doctorate, formulating bespoke nano formulations for the application as LED light filters.

After working in the pharmaceutical sector, she joins the Pharm2Farm team with interest expanding the use of nanoparticles into different applications. Her main interests are in the sustained fortification of nutrients for horticulture with the potential for animal and human products.

Obi Ezenwa

Obi Ezenwa

Open Innovation Director

Obi has several years’ experience helping organisations across a wide variety of sectors to become more competitive through open innovation, access to strategic partners and access to finance. As a part of the team at Pharm2Farm, Obi successfully helped to develop the Antiviral Face Mask concept, helped to secure Innovate UK grant funding for the project and has driven the new business opportunity to commercialisation.

In addition, Obi has helped set-up several ongoing collaborations for P2F in the human health and agriculture space. Obi is the founder of Pine, an innovation consultancy with a portfolio of project supporting SME’s, large companies and universities with open innovation. Prior to Pine, Obi led the innovation funding division at leading UK technology innovation hub where he was responsible for securing tens of millions of Euros of R&D income per annum.

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