ProStrakan and Shire founder Harry Stratford has joined the board of Fastnet Equity as it looks to acquire healthcare businesses

Mr Stratford, who becomes a non-executive director at AIM-listed Fastnet, is one of the UK’s most successful life sciences entrepreneurs having built two publicly listed pharmaceuticals companies.

After starting Shire in 1986 he was its chief executive for almost a decade.

He went on to set up ProStrakan during 1995 basing it in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

Mr Stratford stayed with the company until 2007 when he stepped down as chairman. It was subsequently sold to Japanese firm Kyowa Hakko Kirin for £292m in 2011.

Mr Stratford, who is originally from Peterborough but has lived in Scotland for many years, was awarded an OBE for his services to the Scottish life sciences industry.

His other non-executive director roles include Neurocentrix, Consilient Health and Irish Stock Exchange listed Merrion Pharmaceuticals.

Cathal Friel, non-executive chairman of Fastnet, said: "We are delighted to welcome Harry to the Board as a non-executive director.

“We look forward to working with him as we investigate potential acquisition opportunities within the healthcare sector, where we expect his extensive knowledge and experience of the specialty and orphan drug pharmaceutical industry will be of particular value."

Fastnet recently divested its oil and gas assets in the Celtic Sea and off Morocco into a new company named Fastnet Hydrocarbon.