Westway Health Founders

CEO, Ruairi Friel, BSc, PhD, MBA

Ruairi is the founding CEO for Westway Health, leveraging his scientific research and business experience to lead Westway Health towards commercialisation of its innovative technologies. Prior to Westway Health, Ruairi worked in the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway, where he managed commercialisation of all biotechnology and pharmaceutical-related technologies developed within the University. Ruairi has also held senior research positions in several European biotech companies.

Ruairi received a 1st class honours undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Science, Biotechnology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, a PhD in Neurovirology from the University of Glasgow, and an MBA from the University of Edinburgh.

Chairman & CSO, Prof Vincent O’Flaherty, BSc, PhD

Vincent is the Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Westway Health, and is the lead inventor of the antimicrobial technologies underpinning the company. He has over 25 years of experience in the area of microbial bio film and ecology research, and is an internationally recognized research leader in the field. Vincent also acts as the scientific lead for the Sustainability Pillar in the Dairy Processing Technology Centre, which works on behalf of Irish enterprises to develop the indigenous environmental technology sector.

Over the course of his research, Vincent has published over 300 scientific communications, including 95 papers in leading international, peer-reviewed journals. He has also successfully and consistently secured research funding of €10.5 million from national and international programmes.

Vincent received his 1st class honours undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Science, Microbiology, and PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Chief Commercial Officer & Product Development Manager, Brian O’Briain BE, MBA

Brian is the Chief Commercial Officer of Westway Health, and acts as Product Development Manager on the H2020 SME Phase 2 project. He has over 20 years of management experience in both the US and Europe having held a number of positions at General Electric and Baxter Healthcare. In particular, he has extensive experience in managing multi-party projects leading to the development of novel animal health products, operating within a live environment and completing large elements of work in a non-disruptive manner.

He has a wealth of experience in ensuring projects are delivered on time, quality and budget. In the H2020 SME Phase 2 project, Brian is responsible for aspects related to the clinical and regulatory tasks and maximising the benefits from the project.

In 1991, Brian founded Mayo Healthcare, a veterinary nutrition and healthcare company based in Westport, Co. Mayo. From a greenfield site, Brian has helped grow it into an internationally trading company, where he is currently a non-executive director. Brian has a Bachelor of Engineering from University College Dublin, and an MBA from Union College, New York.

Commercial Director, Killian O’Briain

Killian has been the MD of Mayo Healthcare since 2005. During that time, Mayo Healthcare has grown in size year-on-year and has launched a range of innovative animal health products to the market. He has developed a strong network of contacts across the entire animal health sector (scientists, veterinarians, regulators, end-users, distributors).

Killian has been mindful of the need for the development of antibiotic replacements in the field, and first approached NUI Galway in 2007 to conduct research in this topic – the output of which has been the LARS technology and PanaMast™.

Killian is responsible for providing business/end-user insight into the development of PanaMast™ LC under the H2020 SME Phase 2 project. He provides assistance and support to the CEO and the Westway Health team in work packages relating to manufacturing and regulatory affairs.