IOmet Pharma, a drug discovery company based in Edinburgh, UK, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada). Founded in 2008, IOmet is focused on the development of innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, with particular emphasis on the fields of cancer immunotherapy and cancer metabolism. IOmet has a comprehensive pipeline of IDO, TDO and dual-acting IDO/TDO inhibitors and novel GLUT1 inhibitors. IOmet’s team has a proven track record of success in bringing small molecules from discovery phase to the clinic, and is advised by internationally-renowned experts in the fields of cancer immunotherapy and cancer metabolism.

Dr Alan Wise

Alan joined IOmet Pharma five years ago, where he has focused on immuno-oncology and cancer metabolism. In particular, he is an expert on IDO1 and TDO, the kynurenine pathway and their ever-growing importance as exciting cancer immunotherapy targets. Alan, a biochemist by training, spent 12 years with GlaxoSmithKline, in a variety of program leadership roles spanning discovery and translation into clinic.


Dr Reza Halse

Rez serves as head of the European Innovation Hub in London, leading business development and licensing activities, with a focus on early-stage therapeutics, i.e. pre-clinical to proof-of-concept, and novel technology platforms.

He is also a partner in the MRL Venture Fund with responsibility for European investments. The European Innovation Hub offers a range of partnering constructs to match the interests of European innovators: collaborations, licensing and independent venture investments.

Previously, Rez was a partner with the corporate venture capital arm of Partners HealthCare, a large academic medical center and Harvard Medical School affiliate, based in Boston, US. In this role, he led investments and had Board responsibility for a number of therapeutics and technology platform companies, spanning infectious disease, oncology, neurology, inflammation and genome editing. Prior to this, he was a founding member of a US-based product development company, BioMed Valley Discoveries, that in-licensed and advanced a number of oncology assets into clinical trials. He also had management roles of increasing responsibility at Novartis, based in the US, initially in the diabetes and metabolism group, and then in an internal incubator with a mandate to develop programs outside the core disease areas. Earlier in his career, he led research at Xcellsyz Ltd, a venture-backed start up in the UK. Rez holds a B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Newcastle University, UK.


John McNeill

John is the Country Lead, Scotland for MSD, having taken up this post in November 2015.

John is passionate about improving patient experience and outcomes, through working with the NHS to deliver optimal patient care.

John joined MSD in 2002 direct from the University of Glasgow where he gained a BSc (Hons) in Virology. He has worked his way up through the MSD organisation to this leadership role over the last fourteen years. His previous positions have covered the entire MSD portfolio from cardiovascular & diabetes to a wide range of specialist medicines including HIV & sexual health, HCV, anti-infectives, immunology and immuno-oncology. Most recently John has led the MSD’s pricing team at its Hertfordshire headquarters, developing expertise in pricing and value assessments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector.


Dr Phill Cowley

Head of Chemistry
Phill spent 15 years at Organon/Merck from 1996 to 2010. His key responsibilities during this period were as the Head of Section for Medicinal Chemistry, managing up to 18 graduate and PhD chemists. He also built a successful track record of leading projects at all stages from early discovery up to Phase 1 clinical, including leading or serving on a variety of Lead Optimisation and Lead Finding teams. Phill is a former Chairman of the Society for Medicines Research and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2009. He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), for work on the asymmetric synthesis of amino acids.

Scientific Advisory Board

IOmet Pharma draws on the experience of a Scientific Advisory Board composed of internationally-recognised leaders in a range of fields relevant to our drug discovery efforts, including oncology (cancer immunotherapy, tumor micro-environment, cancer metabolism), inflammatory disorders, medicinal chemistry, GPCR biology and intellectual property protection.