PharmAust Limited (ASX:PAA) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics for human and animal health applications.
The company is focused on repurposing monepantel (MPL) for human neurodegenerative diseases and treating cancer in dogs. MPL is a potent and safe inhibitor of the mTOR pathway. This pathway plays a central role in cell growth and proliferation of cancer cells and degenerating neurons. The mTOR pathway regulates the cellular “cleaning process”, where toxic protein is broken down into macromolecules to be reused. This autophagic process is disrupted in most neurodegenerative diseases, including motor neurone disease (MND/ALS).
PAA’s lead MPL program is for the treatment of MND/ALS, a rare, incurable disease. The company is currently completing a Phase 1 study in patients with MND/ALS. PAA anticipates starting a Phase 2 study in H1 2024 that could lead to accelerated approval with the US Food and Drug Administration in 2026. PAA is preparing to start a pivotal field trial in dogs with B-Cell Lymphoma to enable product registration in the US in 2025. PAA has previously successfully completed a Phase 1 oncology clinical study of monepantel in humans and pilot studies in canine cancer.
Dr Roger Aston, Executive Chairman
Dr Aston currently serves as Executive Chairman of PharmAust. Roger brings more than 20 years experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries in senior roles in the UK, Asia Pacific and Australia. He has had extensive experience on boards and as Chief Executive Officer of many private and publicly listed biotechnology companies. During his career, he has been closely involved in start-up companies and major pharmaceutical companies. Aspects of his experience include FDA and EU product registration, clinical trials, global licensing agreements, fundraising through private placements, and a network of contacts within the pharmaceutical, banking and stock broking sectors.
Dr Michael Thurn | Chief Executive Director
Michael has over 25 years experience in technical, regulatory, commercial and management roles in research organisations and industry, including early stage, fast growing, private and publicly listed biotechnology companies.
In the Biotechnology industry, Michael has held leadership roles at MARP Therapeutics, Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT), Mimetica, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, Cytopia, Xenome and Novogen. During this time, he has guided a number of New Chemical Entities through discovery, preclinical and clinical development.
Michael has led a variety of US IND applications across a range of therapeutic areas and evaluated drugs and vaccines for registration during his engagement at the TGA. Michael currently sits on the Australian Boards of MARP Therapeutics, Impel Neuorpharma, Erasca and Inmagene.
Robert Bishop, Executive Director
Mr Robert Bishop (Executive Director) Robert has 30 years’ experience in corporate finance and equity capital markets.
Having worked extensively in London and Sydney, first as a lawyer at Linklaters & Paines and Allen, Allen & Hemsley; and then as a stockbroker and investment banker at Ord Minnett, Robert Fleming and, since 1998, at his Sydney based corporate finance business, First Capital Markets.
He has extensive experience in the areas of stock market flotation’s, licensing and compliance work.
Mr Neville Bassett Non-Executive Director
Mr Bassett is a Chartered Accountant specialising in corporate, financial and management advisory services. He has been involved with numerous public company listings and capital raisings. His involvement in the corporate arena has also taken in mergers and acquisitions and includes significant knowledge and exposure to the Australian financial markets. He has a wealth of experience in matters pertaining to the Corporations Act, ASX listing requirements, corporate taxation and finance. He is a director or company secretary of a number of public and private companies.
Neville is chairman of Westar Capital Limited, the holder of an Australian Financial Services Licence.
He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. He was a Director/Councillor of a major not-for-profit organisation for 26 years, serving 8 years as Chairman before his retirement in 2017. Neville was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2015 Australia Day Honours.
Sam Wright Non-Executive Director
Sam Wright is experienced in the administration of ASX listed companies, corporate governance and corporate finance. He joined the Company as the Financial Controller in September 2006, was appointed as the Company Secretary in August 2007, and has been a Director of the Company since October 2008.
Mr Wright has over twenty years experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industry and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and the Chartered Secretaries of Australia. Mr Wright is currently Company Secretary of ASX listed companies, Buxton Resources Limited, Structural Monitoring Systems plc and Wide Open Agriculture Limited. Mr Wright also has filled the role of Director and Company Secretary with a number of unlisted companies.
He is the Managing Director of Perth-based corporate advisory firm Straight Lines Consultancy, specialising in the provision of corporate services to public companies.
Mr Wright has extensive experience in relation to public company responsibilities, including ASX and ASIC compliance, control and implementation of corporate governance, statutory financial reporting, and shareholder relations with both retail and institutional investors.