Xenome Limited has announced that it had extended its business development operations to the United States and strengthened its management team with some key appointments.
David Slack has been appointed as Chief Business Officer, Richard Lewis as Chief Scientific Officer, Kathryn Radford as Vice President, Strategic Marketing and Katherine Nielsen has been appointed as Director, Intellectual Property.
"The new combination of specialist capabilities strongly positions Xenome to enter a phase of rapid development," said Xenome Chief Executive Officer Roger Drinkwater.
"The strengthened leadership will be pivotal in significantly boosting Xenome's ability to commercialize new drug leads."
"These appointments, together with the early 2005 appointment of our highly experienced US based Directors Jeff Riley and Peter Myers, are designed to enable Xenome to operate competitively in global markets," he said.
"David Slack will be a key enabler of our business and corporate level strategies and focus on returning revenue to Xenome's stakeholders."
"Richard Lewis will drive Xenome's extraordinary potential to discover and develop new drug leads, and will prioritize and focus on those lead candidates with the highest probability of success."
"Kathryn Radford will integrate and validate product candidate strategies to ensure Xenome's competitive position is well suited to its core capabilities and enable entry into the most commercially lucrative markets."
"Kathy Nielsen will be critical to maintaining Xenome's freedom to operate in these markets, and continue to develop a robust portfolio of proprietary assets."
David will establish a Xenome office in San Diego, California, to leverage his extensive commercial experience and networks within the infrastructure of the US market.
His activities will focus on creating revenue from the value already identified within Xenome's proprietary assets.
He joins Xenome after a seasoned career, having held senior business development roles in major pharmaceutical as well as biotechnology companies, including Rhone-Poulenc Rorer Pharmaceuticals, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and as Vice President of Business Development at Isis Pharmaceuticals.
He has also provided consulting services to a variety of life science and investment companies.
Richard, an original co-founder of Xenome, will be the key driver in identifying, prioritizing and developing a continually evolving stream of novel drug candidates from Xenome's chemically diverse library of synthetic venom peptides.
He has been considered a key opinion leader in the area of venom peptide pharmacology for over 20 years.
Richard has managed several commercial venom research programs at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), University of Queensland where he spearheaded the development of new classes of peptide therapeutic candidates.
He currently heads a NHMRC Program Grant at the IMB focused on dissecting pain pathways using conotoxins, and will continue to hold joint appointments as Principle Investigator (Molecular Pharmacology) at the IMB, and Xenome as CSO.
Kathryn has been serving as VP, Business Development from within Xenome's Australian operations since early 2005.
In this role she established initial US links and screening partnerships focused on the identification of further value within Xenome's broader peptide array.
She will now develop Xenome's competitive intelligence and strategic decision making capability in her new role as VP, Strategic Marketing.
Previously Kathryn was founding Chief Executive Officer of Queensland BioCapital Funds, a Director of Xenome, and held prior international R&D management and business development roles in GlaxoWellcome (Geneva), BioSignal Discovery (Montreal) and AMBRI Pty Ltd (Sydney).
Katherine has several years experience in the commercialization of biotechnology, specializing in intellectual property management.
Prior to joining Xenome she spent five years in technology transfer at IMBcom Pty Ltd, managing the Intellectual Property and Development group.
This included key roles in the establishment of several new ventures and the provision of strategic management services.
She also held appointments as Executive Officer and Director of ElaCor Pty Ltd.
Dr. Nielsen has accumulated several years experience in many facets of the biotechnology industry in Australia and internationally, from research to pharmaceutical manufacturing and technology commercialization.