Operational Team


The team at Small Pharma is the core of our offering. Our management team combine decades of experience in drug development, intellectual property and licensing to deliver high quality development at low fixed cost.  


Peter Rands

Managing Director                  

Peter has always had a passion for pharmaceutical innovation. Peter graduated from Oxford in 2003 with a first class degree in Chemistry, following which he trained and qualified as a UK and European patent attorney specializing in pharmaceuticals.

In 2008 Peter joined Teva, a generic drug giant, to work directly with pharmaceutical formulation teams. Peter left Teva in 2011 to return to private practice with AmLaw 100 firm Mintz Levin, where he advised start-up and mid-cap innovative pharma firms on IP and legal matters.  He left Mintz Levin in 2015 to set up Small Pharma.

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Marie Layzell

SENIOR Research Manager

Marie has 18 years’ experience as an analytical scientist and project manager in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1999 she joined Prova, a CDO where she developed and validated analytical methods for both small molecules and biological entities.

The latter part of her career has been in project management, supervising teams of analysts and working with formulators to develop pharma projects. Since 2011 she has worked as an analytical consultant at Eviva Pharma.  Marie has worked with Small Pharma since 2015 and assumed the role of Senior Research Manager in May 2016.  

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Zelah graduated from UCL in 2010 with a first class honours degree in Biomedical Sciences with a focus on neuroscience and pharmacology. She continued her studies at UCL, completing a PhD in neuroscience in autumn 2015. Zelah spent a year as Head of Operations for an SME in London before joining Small Pharma in October 2016. 


Zelah assists with operational aspects of Small Pharma’s drug development programme, along with identification and assessment of new project opportunities. Zelah has a particular interest in early stage drug development and works closely with the company's independent experts in regulatory affairs. 


Jim Rennie


Jim has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry.  Early in his career he worked at Marion Merrell Dow (now part of Sanofi), followed by Procter and Gamble where he headed their respiratory development group. Jim left P&G in 1990 to found Prova, a CDO specializing in formulation development and pharmaceutical analysis.

Jim led Prova for 18 years and built it into one of the UKs most respected CDOs providing development work to the biotech and hi-tech pharma industry. Prova was acquired in 2006, after which Jim set up a pharmaceutical consultancy, Eviva Pharma. Jim has worked with Small Pharma since 2015 and assumed the role of Director of Development in May 2016.

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Board of Directors


George Tziras

Non-Executive Director

George is an investment banker with over 10 years’ experience. He specializes in leveraged finance and private equity transactions. George has been involved in many transactions in the healthcare industry. In addition to general finance expertise he lends a highly structured and analytical approach to business and financial assessment and risk mitigation.

Steve Harris


Steve is a highly experienced non-executive director in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. During his 53 year career he has held board positions in 23 companies, 8 of which as chairman, including 12 listed companies. Steve has had central involvement in fundraising, IPOs and other exit events. His particular expertise is in sales and marketing, business development and licensing.

Chris Torrance in a circle.png

Chris Torrance

Non-Executive Director

Dr Chris Torrance is a scientist and entrepreneur, and is CEO of PhoreMost, an early stage drug discovery company he founded in 2015. 

In 2007 Chris founded Horizon Discovery to translate advances in human genome editing into a range commercial products and services. By 2014, when it listed on the London Stock Exchange, Horizon had become the fastest growing Biotech company in the UK. Previously, Chris was Head of Oncology and Biology at the UK Biotechnology company Vernalis PLC, where he was responsible for progressing several novel kinase oncology programs.