Dr. Sutton John

Dr. Sutton John


British Pharmacological Society, clinical section
West Sussex, United Kingdom

plus Speciality



Andrew is an experienced clinical pharmacologist who was Principal Investigator in 200 clinical trials, mainly but not exclusively in the early phases of new medicines development. This involved taking ultimate responsibility for the medical safety and ethical probity of all aspects of the trials. Half of them occurred in the clinical trials company he established and directed for 14 years in the District General Hospital at Guildford. Before that he was head of clinical pharmacology units for Beecham, Roussel and Interphase, another clinical trials company. He was also an anaesthetist in the NHS and Medical Director for Knoll UK which required assessing marketing material and rep training for cardiac anti-arrhythmic medicines the company had just launched. Accordingly, he has had exceptionally wide experience of study design and medicines safety. Consultancies during the past 3 years include Pfizer, for a cognitive enhancer in the preclinical phase that was aimed at treating dementia, Glaxo Smith-Kline for an anti-asthma compound and Boehringer-Ingelheim as a safety assessor for a major international study. The last was because he is familiar with adverse event reporting. Andrew is not seeking line management posts so welcomes contract and part time work

Academic positions:


Andrew’s MD degree at the University of London is equivalent to a medical PhD. It concerned his novel, non-invasive, diagnostic device for measuring gastric emptying and contractility that he invented when he was the clinical lead in developing anti-emetics at Beecham. This invention led to collaborating with the Department of Medical Physics at Surrey University to build and test machines during several PhD and MSc projects.  His FFA degree ( Fellowship of the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) was the specialist qualification for being an anaesthetist so it required good understanding of neurological function, analgesics, respiratory and cardiovascular pharmacology.  

Current employment

I am semi-retired, mainly because I do not want to move house and not many companies are within commuting distance. I do unpaid work as Medical Director for ReGen Therapeutics, a small biotech company without funds for more research because their 2 products could meet major un-met needs so it is truly tragic that their development is halted just for lack of funds. One is arguably the best project in research for Azheimer’s Disease and the other has helped several hundred patients recover from brain damage. Both are excellent prospects because they are safe and shown effective in their first clinical trials.

Career history

Posts undertaken in the past 3 years were consulting in translational medicine for Pfizer’s neuro-regeneration project until it was shut down, ironically due partly to his pointing out the cost and difficulty of a clinical trial. I also worked at GSK’s Phase 3 asthma clinical trials group in Stockley Park.  I was also a medical safety officer for Boehringer-Ingelheim assessing and reporting clinical events in a global study of about 20,000 patients.

Until 2008 I ran my own CRO for 14 years in the main hospital of Guildford, Surrey, UK, a period of wide experience of over 100 clinical trial designs as Principal Clinical Investigator. Our innovative models for analgesics and gut projects were our main niche USPs (See references 24, 25, 26, 29 & 32). One was a laser heat pain threshold model that was refined to produce exceptionally low variance in the results (a coefficient of variation as low as 3%) so that small groups of volunteers could produce highly statistically significant outcomes.  Another was a gut motility method using radioactive marker imaging in the hospital’s Nuclear Medicine Department. A third was a mood questionnaire in patients in chronic pain developed by a colleague who is expert in psychology that showed for the first time that much variation in data was due to mixing patients who were stoics, who were in a kind of denial of their pain, with patients who reported a lot of pain even when their mood disturbance was relatively mild. My unit also pioneered UK trials in Japanese volunteers, and we helped a colleague to develop world-leading tests of cognitive function in them.

Before that I was Medical Director for a CNS CRO that involved running a clinical trials unit in elderly volunteers.  Before that I was medical Director for Knoll AG UK, a company that had cardiac anti-arrhythmic projects. I was in charge of medical affairs for the interesting anti-arrhythmic amiodarone at the time of its launch. Before that I ran Clinical Pharmacology units for Beecham and Roussel, the latter partly because I speak reasonable French. Roussel’s main projects were proof-of-principle for an anti-asthma compound and radioactive pharmacokinetic studies on a macrolide antibiotic.

One reason why I became a clinical pharmacologist is that I did 3 years of postgraduate work in anaesthetics which meant I had to know the physiology and pharmacology of the respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems very well. I had to consider all medicines as potential interactors with my anaesthetics.  I did this because at my first employment in the industry with Glaxo I lead the team investigating the fascinating intravenous steroid anaesthetic Althesin from preclinical stages to launch, so I met many leading professors in anaesthesia, several of whom invited me to join their department.

Academic Work

Honorary Lecturer on the MSc Degree course in Pharmaceutical Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology at The University of Surrey 1995-2007. I gave the lecture on developing medicines for treating malfunction of the gut.

MSc & PhD supervisor in Medical Physics at University of Surrey. Most projects have been the gastric monitor or on widening the applications of the Laser heat pain threshold model. The most recent gastric PhD found a new way to quantify gastric malfunction in the autonomic neuropathy of diabetes.

Professional societies:

1. British Association of Pharmaceutical Physicians. (Ex education subcommittee member)
2. British Pharmacological Society, clinical section.
3. Association of Human Pharmacologists in the Pharmaceutical Industry
4. Therapeutic Research and Education Organisation

Research interests:

Clinical Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Medicine

Any other information:


1. Dundee JW, Assem ES, Gaston J M, Keilty SR, Sutton J A, Clarke RS (1974). Sensitivity to intravenous anaesthetics: A report of three cases. Br Med J. 12 Jan. 1 63–65.
2. Sutton JA, Garrett RT and McCardle GK. (1974) A survey of adverse reactions to Althesin. Br J Anaesth. 46 798.
3. Halsey MJ, Millar RA and Sutton JA. (Eds.) Molecular Mechanisms in General Anaesthesia. Glaxo Symposium proceedings, Churchill Livingstone, 1974.
4. Clarke RSJ, Dundee DW, Garrett RT, McCardle GK and Sutton J A (1975). Adverse reactions to intravenous anaesthetics: A survey of 100 reports. Br J Anaesth. 47 575–85.
5. Sutton JA. (1976) Mechanism of an adverse reaction to Althesin. Letter, Br J Anaesth 48 50. 6. McClelland GR and Sutton JA. (1985a). Pilot investigation of the Quantitative EEG and clinical effects of Ketazolam and the novel antiemetic Nonabine(a cannabinoid) in normal subjects. Psychopharmacology. 85 306–8.
7. Davies BE, Coates PE, Clarke JGN, Thawley AR and Sutton JA. (1985). Bioavailability and Pharmacokinetics of Clavulanic Acid in healthy subjects. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther & Tox 23 2 70–3.
8. McClelland GR and Sutton JA. (1985b). Epigastric Impedance: A non–invasive method for the assessment of gastric emptying and motility. Gut. June 1985 6 607–14.
9. Sutton JA, Thompson S and Sobnack R. (1985). Measurement of gastric emptying by radioactive isotope scanning and epigastric impedance. Lancet. April 20, 898–900.
10. McClelland GR &Sutton JA. (1986) A comparison of the gastric and central nervous system effects of two substituted benzamides in normal volunteers. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 21 503–9.
11. Sutton JA, Rainbird AL, Pickworth MJW, Lightowler C, & Mitchell M. (1986) The effect of posture and cold stress on gastric emptying measured by the epigastric impedance method. Proc IVth World Conf on Clin Pharmacol. Stockholm.
12. O'Sullivan GM, Sutton JA, Thompson S, Carrie E & Bullingham RES. (1987). Non–invasive measurement of gastric emptying in obstetric patients. Anesth Analg. 66 505–11.
13. Sutton JA. (1988) How Good are Healthy Volunteer Studies for Monitoring Drug Action? Editorial. Pharmaceutical Med. Vol 3 No 3 (Suppl)
14. Sutton JA. (1988) The Impact of Thalidomide on Pharmaceutical Research and Development. Pharmaceutical Med, 1988, 3 291–295.
15. Sutton JA. (1989). Clinical Pharmacology and Clinical Trials. Chapter in Volume 4 of Comprehensive Medicinal Chemistry. Eds: Kennewell P. et al. Pergamon Press, Oxford.
16. Boyle R., Behan PO and Sutton JA.(1990) A Correlation between Delayed Gastric Emptying & Severity of Migraine measured by the Epigastric Impedance method. British J Clin Pharmacol. 30, 405–9.
17. Andrew Sutton. (1993). Clinical Pharmacology in Development Programmes. An essential ingredient in Good Planning. Pharmaceutical Physician, July 1993, vol 5, No 3 p60–66.
18. Sutton JA and Kilminster SG (1995).Dose related effect of octylonium bromide on colonic transport but not proximal gut, in normal volunteers. Proc Br Pharm Soc. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 39, Jan, 107P.
19. Kilminster SG, Sutton JA and Mould G. (1995). Anxiety paradigm in healthy volunteers.Proc Br Pharm Soc., Br J Clin Pharmacol 39, May, 570P.
20. Sutton JA, Kilminster SG and Mould G. (1997). The clinical pharmacology of single doses of Octylonium Bromide in normal volunteers. Eu J Clinical Pharmacology, 52: 365-369.
21. Rotmensch HH, Mould GP, Sutton JA Kilminster SG, Moller C and Pero W. Comparative central nervous system effects and pharmacokinetics of Neu-sensamide and metoclopramide in healthy volunteers. J Clin Pharmacol. (1996). 37, 222-228.
22. Gascoigne EW, Dash CH, Sutton JA, Mould GP and Riches P(1996). The pharmacokinetics of immunoglobulin G after intravenous infusion;a comparison of two preparations. Br J Clin Res 7, 32-42.
23. Andrew Sutton. (1996). FDA-NIH Meeting on genetic therapies: Bright prospects for new treatments of old ailments. Pharmaceutical Physician 8(3), 35-37.
24. Murphy DB, Sutton JA, Prescott LF and Murphy MB (1997). Opioid induced delay in gastric emptying. A peripheral mechanism in humans. Anesthesiology, 87: 4, Oct, 765-770
25. Murphy DB, Sutton A, Prescott LF and Murphy MB. (1997). A comparison of the effects of tramadol and morphine on gastric emptying in man. Anaesthesia, 52, 1212-1229.
26. Kilminster SG, Sutton JA, Dunstan D and Mould GP. (1997) A new model of laser induced pain threshold differentiates between onset times of analgesia from a liquid and capsule formulations of a codeine-paracetamol combination. Eu J Clin Res 9: 283-291
27. Long SJ, Sutton JA, Amaee AB, Giouvanoudi A, Spyrou NM, Rogers PJ & Morgan LM. No effect of glucagon-like peptide on short term satiety & energy intake in man. Br J Nutrition (1999) 81 273-279.
28. Mould GP, Sutton JA, Matejtschuk P, Gascoigne EW and Dash CH. Solvent/detergent treatment does not alter the tolerance or uptake of normal immunoglobulin for intramuscular injection. Vox Sanguis (2001) 80 151-158.
29. Sutton JA, Gillin WP, Grattan TJ, Clarke GD and Kilminster SG. (2002). A new laser pain threshold model detects a faster onset of action from a liquid formulation of 1 gram paracetamol than an equivalent tablet formulation. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 53, 43-7
30. Sutton JA, Morton R, Clauss R, Horton P and Kilminster SG. An exploration of segmental colonic scintigraphy to assess constipation due to codeine. Abstract at British Pharmacological Society meeting, Guildford, 2003.
31. Sutton JA. A tale of Two Phase 2 studies. April 2005 A paper presented to the TREO meeting at The Royal Society of Medicine on The Clinical Pharmacology of New Analgesics which I organised.
32. Sutton JA (2006). Br J Clin Pharmacol 63:4 501–502 501. A letter pointing to a lack of adequate controls in a published paper that could explain the report of increased myocardial infarctions on NSAID analgesics. The controls did not have the stress factors associated with pain so they would not have had the same liability to myocardial infarcts.
33. Sutton JA, Gilvarry A, Ropo A: A comparative, placebo-controlled study of prostanoid fluoroprostaglandin-receptor agonists tafluprost and latanoprost in healthy males. J Ocul Pharmacol Ther; 2007 Aug;23(4):359-65
34. Sutton JA, Gouws P, Ropo A: Tafluprost, a new potent prostanoid receptor agonist: a dose-response study on pharmacodynamics and tolerability in healthy volunteers. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther; 2008 Aug;46(8):400-6

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