14 February 2012, London, Sydney, Melbourne: On the back of its success in growing business in Australia, College Hill – the international business communications consultancy – has announced that Dr Douglas Pretsell, Associate Partner in the Life Sciences team will move to Australia in February to establish a presence in Melbourne, Victoria, one of the largest hubs for the life sciences industry in Australia and home of its national association, Ausbiotech.
Douglas has over two decades’ career experience in the life science sector, including 11 years in communications. He joined the London-based College Hill Life Sciences team in 2004 (then Northbank Communications) and moved to Munich in 2005 to spearhead its growth in Germanic markets. Douglas gained a PhD in neuroscience from Cambridge University, UK and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The University of Edinburgh, UK.
“Having successfully grown our central European client base, Douglas will make a significant contribution to the growth of our client base in Australia and in the wider AsiaPac region. He has substantial experience in leading successful IR/PR campaigns for life science companies on a global basis”, said Sue Charles, Managing Partner, College Hill Life Sciences.
College Hill began its expansion in Australia in 2010, with Sue Charles based part-time in Sydney. In the last 18 months the consultancy has attracted some 12 Australian-based life science clients including Mesoblast (ASX: MSB; OTC ADR: MBLTY), Phylogica (ASX:PYC), Benitec (ASX:BLT), Hunter Immunology, Hatchtech, Cancer Therapeutics CRC, Brandon Capital, Clinical Network Services (CNS), CIMTECH, Elastagen and the i3 institute at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Previous experience of working with Australian life science companies includes Biota, Clinuvel, Acrux, Phosphagenics, Virax and Proteome Systems.
Australia has the largest listed life science sector as a proportion of GDP in the world and the sector has outperformed the ASX 300 consistently since 2009. There are some 450 biotechnology companies and 600 medical technology companies in Australia, with over 100 of these listed on the Australian stock exchange.
“The Australian life science sector represents a maturing and rapidly internationalising industry with a growing need for global communications support. I am delighted to be moving to Australia from where I will be able to offer truly international communications support to Australian companies, based on my decade of experience and backed by my colleagues in our global offices”, said Dr Pretsell.
College Hill Life Sciences has a 25 year history of supporting the life science industry. It is a member of AusBiotech as well as the UK’s BIA and has dedicated life science teams in London, Manchester, Munich, Boston and Atlanta as well as in Sydney and, from the end of February 2012, Melbourne. It also draws upon the wider College Group network including College Hill Asia, based in Hong Kong.
In addition to life science clients, the team in Australia is supporting local programs for the wider College Group client base, with Sue Charles working alongside London and Hong Kong based teams, leading Australian support for the Chinese state-owned Guangdong Nuclear Power Corp (CGNPC) £632 million bid for Kalahari Minerals traded on London’s AIM which, if successful, will require CGNPC to make a follow on offer for the shares it does not own in the Perth-based Extract Resources (ASX: EXT). Extract is developing the Husab Uranium deposit in Namibia which is envisaged to become the third biggest in the world and the offer will value Extract at some AU$2.2 billion. Over the years College Hill has handled some high profile transactions in Australia including, for example, the demerger and London Listing of Coca-Cola Beverages from Coca-Cola Amatil and acting for AACO and National Australia Bank in the UK.
For further information:
Sue Charles, Managing Partner
UK: +44 (0)20 7457 2020/ +44 (0)7968 726 585
Australia: +61 (0)457 924 218
Dr Douglas Pretsell, Senior Consultant
UK: +44 (0)7854 581 007
Australia: +61 (0)466 925 966