Monday 26 September 2016

Nuritas hires former Novartis senior executive as chairman

Published 24/01/2016 | 02:30

Nuritas, founded by mathematician Dr Nora Khaldi, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify new food ingredients with health benefits. Picture: Deposit Stock Images
Nuritas, founded by mathematician Dr Nora Khaldi, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify new food ingredients with health benefits. Picture: Deposit Stock Images

Irish biotech startup Nuritas has hired a former senior executive of one of the world's largest pharmaceuticals companies as its chairman.

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George Gunn worked as head of Novartis's animal health division, and a member of the Swiss giant's global executive committee, from 2004 to 2015. Previously he worked at Johnson & Johnson and Pharmacia. Novartis is worth more than $200bn and was ranked by Forbes magazine as the largest drugmaker by revenue, profits and market value last year.

Nuritas uses artificial intelligence to hunt for new food ingredients that have health benefits. Recently it completed a $3.2m funding round in which high-profile Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ali Partovi, an early-stage investor in both Facebook and Dropbox, participated.

Partovi subsequently told this newspaper that Nuritas had the potential to be bigger than both of those companies.

The company has also hired R&D expert Dominique Bridon, an to its advisory board.

Nuritas founder Nora Khaldi said the company was "continuing to build a world-class team to help... realise our vision of Nuritas ingredients reaching one billion people by 2020."

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