Focus Dinner with John Dawson, Alliance Pharma

7 November 2023, 17:30 - 22:00

The Cellar Door, 41 Saddler Street, Durham, Co. Durham, DH1 3NU

John Dawson is an accomplished entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive with many years’ experience in the industry, having founded Alliance Pharma in 1996.

He began his career in pharmaceuticals at Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz after completing a degree at Sunderland Polytechnic. Working his way up through various positions, gaining valuable experience in production, operations, distribution, sales and marketing before he was appointed Director of Finance and Administration even though he had no previous finance experience. He later went on to complete a Master’s degree in finance at London Business School.

When Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz merged to create Novartis, John took the opportunity of redundancy to set up Alliance Pharma, whose prime activity was acquiring mature brands from big pharmaceutical companies as they rationalised their portfolios.

Through his leadership and vision, John turned Alliance Pharma Plc into an international company with over 30 M&A deals, developing sales of over £100m and a market cap of £0.5bn. The company, which commenced with two full-time employees in the UK, now has more than 200 employees, operating out of ten global locations including the USA and China. 

Alliance Pharma floated on the AIM (London Stock Market) in 2003 before John stepped down from his role as CEO in 2018, a position he held for over 20 years.

In 2023, John donated £5m to the University of Sunderland to facilitate the creation of the ‘John Dawson Drug Discovery and Development Research Institute’ that, amongst other things, will concentrate on therapies for rare inherited diseases.

Join John at our upcoming focus dinner, as he returns home to the North East for one night only! Be inspired whilst learning how he steered his business from start up to industry leader and how, now retired, he is leaving his legacy right here in our region.

The small print - This event is exclusively for entrepreneurial members of the Forum and costs £75+VAT for a three-course meal, payable in advance.

By registering to attend this dinner you agree that your place is non-transferrable. We are unable to reimburse this cost if cancellations are received after 12noon on Friday 3rd November.

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