The Industry Advisory Committee
The ARMI Industry Advisory Committee is a sub-committee of the ARMI Leadership Advisory Board (ARMILAB). The committee ensures that ARMI is attuned to industry related regenerative medicine trends by acting as a strategic scanning mechanism and assisting ARMI in identifying needs and opportunities. It will provide advice to ARMILAB and Institute Leadership on current and emerging regenerative medicine industry practice and technological development so as to inform the Institute’s research program and related activities.
Industry Advisory Committee members
Duncan Thomson (Chair)
Julie M. Cherrington
Sara Mary Hall
Duncan Thomson (Chair)
DUNCAN THOMSON CONSULTING
Dr Duncan Thomson brings a pragmatic passion for translational commercialisation. He is an experienced executive with >25 years’ experience in animal health, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, having worked in senior marketing, sales and management roles in Europe, the US and Australia.
Having graduating as a veterinarian in ’94 from Sydney, he worked in practice for 5 years in Australia and UK before completing an MBA (Cranfield, UK). In 2001 he joined Novartis Animal Health and held various senior sales and marketing positions in Switzerland, US and Australia.
In 2010, he joined Regeneus as the Head of Animal Health. During his time at Regeneus, he launched an adipose derived allogeneic MSC product into the veterinary market in a pre-registration phase; opened an INAD with the FDA; and conducted numerous trials on the product. Usage of the product became #1 globally with >4000 treatments administered across >90 Australian practices, including 80% penetration of specialist veterinary surgeons. This success paved for the development of the subsequent human MSC product which has had a successful Phase 1 for knee osteoarthritis. He also launched the first ever veterinary personalised cancer immunotherapy in Australia; initiating a multicentre trial in the US; and received the regulatory green light for commercialisation in the US in record time. In 2015, he subsequently became the VP Licenses and Alliances for Regeneus. In late December 2016, Regeneus secured a multi-million-dollar manufacturing license agreement with the largest biopharma manufacturer in Japan and became only the 17th company to secure a significant licencing agreement in Japan in the previous 20 years.
Duncan is currently consulting in the regenerative medicine and animal health sectors.
DIRECTOR – CELL THERAPY PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT, CSL
Chris Alma is currently Director, Cell Therapy Platform Development at CSL and is based in Sydney, Australia. He also maintains a role within the CSL Research External Innovation (REI) team, as the global lead for evaluation of preclinical cell and gene therapy (CGT) opportunities. In his Director role, Chris leads the development of cell manufacturing activities supporting CSL’s ex vivo CGT Platform.
During his time at CSL, Chris has demonstrated strong Gene Therapy knowledge, strategic leadership and project management skills through significant contributions to CSL’s gene therapy and gene editing research projects. Chris has contributed to CSL’s external collaborations, innovations and partnerships with key stakeholders, a highlight assisting in the initiation, development and management of CSL’s strategic Seattle Children’s Research Institute alliance in the gene therapy space. Chris has been with CSL since 2017, joining with the acquisition of gene therapy Biotech Calimmune, where Chris was part of the Scientific Affairs and Collaborations team led by the late Geoff Symonds AM.
Prior to Calimmune, Chris spent six years with EnGeneIC, a Sydney-based small Biotech delivering cancer therapeutics with novel nanoparticles, and is an alumnus of the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
INNOVATION LEAD – INDUSTRIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY, INNOVATE UK
Paul earned his PhD in 1993 at the Centre for Animal Biotechnology, Melbourne University, Australia, and his background now covers over 30 years in human stem cell R&D, product development and commercialisation, as well as cell automation platforms for drug discovery.
More recently, he led facility operations and research program management, partnering and contract technology transfer, and regulatory requirements for several stem cell biotechnology companies.
He has also been involved in the UK’s research council’s industrial biotechnology and post-graduate funding review committees, and EU Horizon 2020 strategic programs’ management contributing to international research and business efforts.
Paul is now the lead for Innovate UK’s Industrial Biotechnology portfolio, and currently based in the vibrant Cambridge biotechnology cluster.
Julie M. Cherrington
Julie M. Cherrington, PhD, is a life science executive with extensive experience building companies and bringing drugs into the clinic through to commercialisation. She has been a key contributor to the successful development of multiple FDA approved products including SUTENT™, Palladia™, Vistide™, Viread™, and Hepsera™.
Julie served as President and CEO of Revitope, an immuno-oncology company, from 2015 to 2017. Julie was President and CEO of Zenith Epigenetics, a clinical stage company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases from 2014 to 2015. From 2009 to 2014, Julie was President and CEO of Pathway Therapeutics, a clinical stage company advancing targeted kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, and autoimmune indications. Prior to joining Pathway, she served as President of Phenomix Corporation where she led diabetes and HCV research and development, and played a leadership role in financing and business development. Prior to joining Phenomix in 2003, Julie was Vice President of preclinical and clinical research at SUGEN, a Pfizer company. Julie began her career at Gilead Sciences where she held a range of positions of increasing responsibility.
She has served on the Boards of Directors of Chemgenex, Progen, Xenome, and Leading Biosciences. She is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Clearity Foundation and is an advisor in entrepreneurship initiatives at UC San Francisco, UC Davis, and CLSI.
Leanne has had 25 years’ experience in the Biotech, Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical industry.
She is an Entrepreneurial professional with an initial background in pharmaceuticals that developed into the life sciences, research sector. She has a solid track record in business development, B2B, sales and marketing, merger, and acquisitions for the Biotech / life sciences sector. Experienced in licensing from the academic sector and commercialized development of products. Implemented and participated on scientific advisory boards. Worked with CEOs and boards negotiating merger and acquisitions at a global level for start-up’s and established Biotech’s.
She has worked in London, New York, Sydney and now Melbourne. Leanne has been on the board of four Biotech companies, She is a member of AusBiotech, Women on Boards, a graduate of The Governance Institute of Australia and a member Australian Institute of Company Directors.
VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAM MANAGEMENT, TORQUE THERAPEUTICS
Dr Fitzgerald is a seasoned leader in the biotech industry with over 14 years applying cutting edge research methods to translate discoveries into new medicines. In his current role at Repertoire Immune Medicine (Cambridge, MA, USA), Dr Fitzgerald leads the program management efforts to advance enhanced cell-based immunotherapies into clinical studies for the treatment of cancer.
Prior to joining Torque, Dr Fitzgerald was a Vice President at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA, USA) where he contributed to and led multiple therapeutic design efforts, including selection of first-in-class lead molecules targeting the ErbB3 and IGF1R pathways, testing of novel PET & MRI-based diagnostics, and the research and clinical development of the approved therapeutic, ONIVYDETM (liposomal irinotecan injection). Through these experiences, Dr Fitzgerald has gained exposure to broad aspects of the drug development process, including early discovery, lead selection, early and late stage clinical development, drug launch and commercialisation, and alliance management.
Dr Fitzgerald performed his PhD research studying cartilage mechanotransduction pathways at Massachusetts Institute of Technology after obtaining undergraduate degrees in Physiology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Western Australia.
Sara Mary Hall
SENIOR ADVISOR, OXFORD BIOMEDICA (UK) LTD
A scientist by training with over twenty years’ experience in Silicon Valley, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Kansas City, Sara has co-founded and led three private and led a fourth, public biotech. She is currently serving as a commercialisation consultant, focusing on the identification and translation of innovative technologies to the market via licensing, partnering, and new company formation. She recently spearheaded an effort with the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) to establish two proof of concept funds to foster innovation and spur economic growth in the region.
She serves on the Board of Directors of University of Kansas Innovation and Collaboration (KUIC), the commercialisation arm of KU Main Campus/KU Medical Center, and as a Director and Executive Committee member of BioKansas, as well as being involved in national and international initiatives for women and girls in the sciences.
Additionally, as a professional violinist, she has both participated in and launched initiatives and events supporting the addition of the Arts to STEM curricula. The winner of two R&D 100 awards for scientific innovation while still at the bench, she is a creative, experienced, and driven executive with a specialty in and passion for first-in class products and concepts.
Brian recently joined Planet Innovation as a Business Development manager in a role focused on supporting clients to commercialize products in Healthcare and Medical devices including diagnostics and regenerative medicine (gene therapies, cell therapies, and tissue-engineered products).
Brian has a background in Biochemistry and for the past 20 years has been working with global companies to develop ground-breaking products. He has significant experience in product development strategy and implementation with a successful track record in the global commercialization of technology-rich products.
More recently, Brian has focused on business development and program management supporting clients to plan and execute commercialization of a broad range products. Brian’s background in science enables him to be a key interface between the science and engineering especially during the early stages of product development.
Cellular Agriculture Australia
Bianca Lê is a cell biologist and the Executive Director of Cellular Agriculture Australia. She completed her PhD at Monash University, where her research focused on understanding how being born prematurely can lead to long-term cardiovascular disease – the world’s greatest killer.
Bianca is now utilising her expertise in cell biology to help develop food more sustainably, in the emerging research field called cellular agriculture. Cellular agriculture can provide healthier sources of protein to our growing population without sacrificing the planet, by harnessing modern technology to farm meat, eggs, and dairy directly from cells, not animals. Bianca recently founded Cellular Agriculture Australia, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting and accelerating R&D in the cellular agriculture industry.
As an experienced science communicator, Bianca has spoken on radio and at international conferences, and has published articles on diversity in STEM, ecology, biomedicine, and agtech. She has also contributed to various national policy projects spanning women in STEM, waste management, and science diplomacy at the Academy of Technology and Engineering.
B.SC., PH.D., MIBIOL, CIBIOL
CHINESE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
Professor Kenneth Lee is the Chief of the Developmental and Regenerative Biology Thematic Research Program, School of Biomedical Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also the Director of the Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Ministry of Education China, and Director of the Joint CUHK-University of Southampton laboratory for Stem cell and Regenerative Medicine. Educated in Scotland, Professor Lee has over 35 years of research and teaching experiences, published 145 scientific papers and has been awarded 2 US patents. His research interests, among which many have commercial values, include the discovery of small molecules that induce somatic cells to become pluripotent stem cells, the molecular biology of embryo development, cardiac and skeletal muscles regeneration, the BRE gene in stem cell and cancer biology, and drug discovery for the treatment of liver fibrosis
In 2015, Professor Lee founded and has been since its inception, the CEO of StapWorks Stem Cell Limited, a company that markets a “Programin kit” for producing stem cells from human skin fibroblasts. StapWorks’ performance was recognised by the Hong Kong Federation of Innovative Technologies and Manufacturing Industries (FITMI) and Bank of China and was a Bronze Award winner in 2015. Professor Lee has also won several awards, including the prestigious Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Fellowship, University of Southampton (2014 – 2017). Moreover, he is a Prestigious Professor at the Chinese Academy of Science and visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University.
GROUP LEADER, AUSTRALIAN REGENERATIVE MEDICINE INSTITUTE
Associate Professor Mikaël Martino obtained his PhD in Biotechnology and Bioengineering at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland), in 2011. During his PhD thesis and a following postdoc Mikaël principally focused on how the extracellular matrix regulates the activities of stem cells and pro-regenerative growth factors. Notably, he developed cutting-edge growth factor and cytokine delivery systems for regenerative medicine applications. Then, he received competitive fellowships from the Swiss National Science foundation to undertake independent research. In 2012, he became a researcher at the Immunology Frontier Research Center in Osaka University (Japan). There, he concentrated on how the immune system influences tissue regeneration and revealed how stem cell-based regenerative strategies are influenced by inflammatory signals.After gaining an international reputation in the field of regenerative medicine, Mikaël was recruited to the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. His lab is working at the interface between bioengineering and immunology to design novel strategies to regenerate tissues and organs.
DIRECTOR, LINFAWS CONSULTING LIMITED
Linda started her career as a Research Technician in Queen’s University Belfast, where she also completed a Ph.D. in Haematology on a part-time basis. She has almost 30 years of experience working in a variety of environments from Biotechs to Global Pharma. Linda’s experience is broad with specialist scientific experience in cellular biology in early to late stage R&D programmes in support of product development and market authorisation. Over the course of her career to date, Linda has gained expert knowledge in the detail required for successful product development in areas such as technical support, troubleshooting and quality applications in roles across a variety of locations including the UK, Ireland and Germany. Linda is well respected in an advisory capacity and has worked as an independent consultant to numerous Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies. Since 2011 Linda has worked mainly as a contractor for the UK’s Innovation Agency, Innovate UK; engaging at the coal-face with UK SMEs, large organisations and academic institutions. Linda has a passion for science and technology and lives in Scotland, UK.
CEO, CARTHERICS PTY. LTD.
Alan Trounson is Emeritus Professor Monash University and Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, and CEO of Cartherics Pty. Ltd. Melbourne Australia
He is the past President of the Californian Institute for Regenerative Medicine (2007-2014), the Californian state’s $3 billion stem cell agency driving research in stem cell biology and facilitating the translation of stem cell discoveries into clinical therapies.
He was a pioneer of human in vitro fertilisation (IVF) (1977-1996) and led the Australian team in the discovery of human embryonic stem cells in the late 1990’s.
He is also the founding (2016) CEO of Cartherics Pty Ltd. (www.cartherics.com) developing CAR-T therapies for treating cancer using patients own T cells and immune killer cells (T-cells and NK cells) derived from iPS cells of haplotype donors, gene edited to knock in targeting CARs and knock out of check point inhibitors.
CEO, SEQUOIA BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, FRANCE
Gordon Waldron has over 25 years’ experience working for innovative start-ups in the biotech, med tech and high tech sectors. Over the course of his career, he has raised in excess of €140 million from an international, blue chip venture capital investor base and a further €50 million via an IPO on the Euronext stock market in Paris. He has completed nine (primarily cross-border) M&A transactions including the trade sale of a venture capital funded biotech for cash consideration in excess of $500 million. He has generated over €100 million in cumulative cash proceeds through the negotiation of several business development and other non-dilutive funding agreements. He has implemented organizational restructurings and established subsidiaries in the USA, Hong Kong and China
Gordon is a graduate of Duke University (USA) and is a dual UK / USA national.
In July 2015, he founded Sequoia Business Solutions to provide non-executive director services as well as financial, operational and strategic advice to innovative start-ups internationally.