Directors & Senior Management


Executive Director

Willy Simon

Willy Simon

Willy Jules Simon is a banker and worked at Kredietbank N.V. and Citibank London before serving as an executive member of the Board of Generale Bank NL from 1997 to 1999 and as the chief executive of Fortis Investment Management from 1999 to 2002. He acted as chairman of Bank Oyens & van Eeghen from 2002 to 2004. He was chairman of AIM-traded Velox3 plc (formerly 24/7 Gaming Group Holdings plc) until 2015 and had been a director of Playlogic Entertainment Inc., a NASDAQ OTC listed company. He is also a non-executive director of Tiziana Life Sciences plc.


Non-Executive Directors

Kunwar Shailubhai

Dr. Kunwar Shailubhai M.B.A., Non-Executive Director

Kunwar Shailubhai, Ph.D., M.B.A. serves as chief executive officer, chief scientific officer and executive director of Tiziana Life Sciences plc. Dr. Shailubhai brings more than 25 years of experience within the life science industry, combined with a distinguished track record of success in translating drugs from concept through commercialisation to market. He also currently serves as chief executive officer of Rasna Therapeutics, Inc., a developer of therapeutics to address the high unmet need that exists for acute myeloid leukaemia and other forms of leukaemia.

Dr. Shailubhai has been serving as a member of board of Tiziana Life Sciences plc since 2015. He actively played key roles in development of growth strategies through several key licensings of technologies and drug candidates. Dr. Shailubhai steered Tiziana Life Sciences plc through prioritisation of projects to focus on novel drug candidates for treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and cancer.

As co-founder, executive vice-president and chief scientific officer of Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. he led the non-clinical, chemistry, manufacture, controls and clinical development of TrulanceTM from inception to approval by the FDA, having co-invented and pioneered Synergy’s platform technology for functional gastrointestinal disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal cancer and other human diseases. Dr. Shailubhai, as the chief architect of the intellectual property estate, directed all aspects of intellectual property management, including timely submission of patent applications, directing office actions and coordinating with intellectual property attorneys. Earlier, from 2003 until 2008, Dr. Shailubhai served as senior vice president, Drug Discovery and from 2001 to 2003, he held the position of vice president, Drug Discovery at Synergy, where he pioneered therapeutic applications of Guanylate Cyclease-C agonists in a variety of human diseases such as Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and cholesterol lowering. Prior to Synergy, he was with Monsanto Company, serving as group leader, Cancer Prevention and previously served as a senior staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health, and as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland. Dr. Shailubhai received his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Baroda, India, and his M.B.A. from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. He has more than 20 issued patents and over 50 peer-reviewed publications.

Leopolodo Zambeletti

Leopoldo Zambeletti

Mr. Zambeletti is an independent strategic advisor in the Healthcare sector. He started his career at KPMG as an auditor followed by a successful career as an investment banker, having led the European and MENA Healthcare Investment Banking teams at JP Morgan and Credit Suisse for a combined total of 19 years. As an independent advisor, he advises life science companies on merger and acquisitions, out-licensing deals and financing strategy.

He is a non-executive director of, Qardio Inc., Summit Therapeutics plc, Nogra Pharma Limited, Faron Pharmaceuticals OY, DS Biopharma Limited, Afimmune Ltd. and Overjoy Srl. Until recently he served as advisor and Board member to Advanced Accelerator Applications and trustee to Barts and the London Charity. He is the founder of the cultural initiative 5x5 Italy. He is also a non-executive director of Tiziana Life Sciences plc.

Mr. Zambeletti received a B.A. in Business from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

  Senior Management 
Tiziano Lazzaretti

Tiziano Lazzaretti, Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Lazzaretti acts as OKYO Pharma’s chief financial officer. Mr. Lazzaretti has extensive experience in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry and is chief financial officer of Tiziana Life Sciences plc and Rasna Therapeutics, Inc., from 2011 to 2016 he was group finance director at Pharmentis Srl, a spin-off from Teva Ratiopharm. Prior to this, Mr. Lazzaretti was an executive director at Alliance Boots Healthcare, and held senior positions at Accenture, SNIA Spa and Fiat Group. Mr. Lazzaretti has a Bachelor of Science (BSc Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Turin, Italy, was awarded a M.B.A. from Bocconi University, Milan and studied Corporate Finance at the London Business School.

Raj Patil, Ph.D. Sr. Director R&D

Dr. Raj Patil is Sr. Director of Research & Development at OKYO Pharma. Dr. Patil brings more than 25 years of academic and pharmaceutical experience in Ophthalmology and inflammatory diseases.

Before joining OKYO Pharma, Dr. Patil served as Vice President of Advanced Ocular Delivery at iVeena Delivery Systems. Earlier, Dr. Patil worked at Alcon from 2004 to 2011 and at Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research from 2011 to 2013 as an Associate Director of Research and held number of roles including Head of Molecular Pharmacology, Glaucoma Research and Head of Molecular Pharmacology, Retina Research. More recently, he spent two years (2015-2017) on sabbatical in Singapore where he served as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at DUKE/NUS Medical School and Principal Investigator at Singapore Eye Research Institute. Prior to Alcon, Dr. Patil served as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology & Genetics at University of Nebraska Medical Centre, Omaha from 2001 to 2004 and as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Molecular Biology & Pharmacology at Washington University in St. Louis from 1992 to 2001.

Dr. Patil received his Ph.D. from National Chemical Laboratory/University of Pune, India and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. He is the recipient of Olga Keith Wiess Special Scholar Award from Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Dr. Patil has authored over hundred peer reviewed research articles including reviews, book chapters and patents. He serves as reviewer and editorial board member for numerous journals and has presented as an invited speaker at the national and international conferences.