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Harley Atkinson, Pharmacy Graduate


MPharm (1983), PhD (1989)

Position now

Founder and CEO, AFT Pharmaceuticals

Previous positions

Drug Information Pharmacist, Dept Clinical Pharmacology, Christchurch Hospital; Medical Manager, Roche NZ; Product Manager Roche NZ; Medical Director, Roche NZ

Current role

"I have been involved in setting up my own business since late 1997, growing sales to around the NZ$80M level this year across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Currently our team is working hard on further research into analgesics, cold & flu treatments, a novel patented drug delivery device and a couple of novel orphan drug treatments. Research and development has still been a key driver with AFT being the first NZ company to register a patented drug in Europe. We have also conducted many clinical studies and this year some of our results were published in the worlds #1 medical journal, New England Journal of Medicine which was a great honour for our team. We continue to work on expanding our footprint outside of New Zealand with a view to an IPO in the future to enable AFT Pharmaceuticals to be listed on the stock exchange."

Your Otago experience

"Otago was a great all round background as it taught flexibility and how to really think rather than just regurgitating facts which has been pivotal in my work post Otago."