• Race Oncology appoints former chief scientific officer and executive director Dr Daniel Tillett as CEO
  • Independent chair Mary Harney says RAC now best positioned to deliver on its primary focus of advancing bisantrene
  • Company releases its updated strategy including bonus options plan to fund Phase 2 efficacy studies


Special Report:  Race Oncology’s search for a new CEO has ended with its former chief scientific officer and executive director Dr Daniel Tillett appointed full-time, effective immediately.


Clincal stage biopharmaceutical company Race Oncology (ASX:RAC)  says Tillett will work alongside executive director Dr Pete Smith, to advance the company’s  strategic, clinical and commercialisation plans for its core asset reformulated bisantrene, RC220.

From September 2019 to March 2023, Dr Tillett was RAC’s chief scientific officer and executive director and most recently  been  working  with  the company as a consultant.

Further to his extensive experience with RAC and development of bisantrene Tillett has more than 25 years’ experience in the biotech industry.

He is also the founder and CEO of Nucleics, an Australian biotechnology company focused on DNA sequencing  and genomics.

Tillett was also a senior lecturer within  the School of Pharmacy and Applied Science at La Trobe University, teaching and researching in the areas of phage therapy (bacterial virology), pharmacy, environmental microbiology, bioinformatics, and cancer.


Strong leadership team to advance bisantrene

Bisantrene is a unique small molecule, anthracene-based chemotherapeutic that has anti-cancer benefits but additionally reduced cardiotoxicity, meaning it is less likely to cause heart dysfunction.

RAC recently announced positive interim clinical results from an ongoing investigator-initiated Phase 2 study of its core asset bisantrene in combination with fludarabine and clofarabine in R/R AML patients.

The trial abstract has been peer-reviewed and the interim results selected for presentation at the prestigious American Society of Hematology 65th Annual Conference in December.

Independent non-executive chair Mary Harney says Tillett’s appointment reflects its commitment to rebalancing the leadership team to ensure RAC is best positioned to deliver on its primary focus of advancing bisantrene.

“Through this arrangement, Pete will focus on our partnering, business development and institutional outreach strategy, while Daniel will have carriage of clinical strategy, implementation and shareholder engagement,” she says.

“Race is now strongly positioned to move the business forward and to implement a clinical plan that will ultimately deliver outcomes for patients and our shareholders.”

Smith says it is important to acknowledge everything Tillett has brought to Race over the past five years, most recently as a consultant and previously as the company’s CSO and executive director.

“I thank Daniel for his passion for Race and his enthusiasm in stepping into the CEO role and we are aligned in our interests to move bisantrene forward.”


Priority on delivering clinical strategy for bisantrene

Tillett says his priority in stepping in as CEO is to ensure the clinical strategy for bisantrene is implemented and its promise to shareholders delivered.

“My belief in bisantrene and its commercial potential has never wavered,” he says.

“We have an outstanding team at Race to execute on these opportunities and make a real difference for bothpatients and shareholders.”

Tillett’s base salary will be $237,500 per annum with a bonus of up to 40% of salary, subject to KPI achievement.

In a sign of commitment to RAC, Tillett says he wants only half his salary paid in cash.

“I have requested that only 50% of the salary is paid in cash and the remaining 50% of my salary package to be provided as options with an exercise price of $4.25, above the all-time high share price,” he says.

RAC updates its corporate strategy

Meanwhile, RAC has also announced an updated corporate strategy focused on clinical development within Australia to achieve commercial goals using available resources for bisantrene.

RAC says the program is designed to establish anthracycline cardio protection and clinical effects on the m6A RNA pathway using bisantrene in a range of solid tumours.

While RAC Phase 1a/b trial is fully funded from existing cash, the strategy includes a bonus option, which the company says will reward shareholders and fund Phase 2 efficacy studies in both solid tumours and AML.

One free bonus option will be issued to eligible shareholders for every 20 shares held at 7pm (AEDT) on November 30.

The bonus options have an exercise price of 75 cents each, expiring on June 4, 2024 and, if exercised, will result in the issue of three piggyback options for each bonus exercised.

Each piggyback option will have an exercise price of $1.25 each, expiring on May 29, 2026

RAC says the bonus options seek to raise up to $6.1m in 2024 and piggyback options up to $30.5 million in 2026, subject to shareholder exercise.

“We have outlined a clear plan to move RC220 through important near-term development using an Australian-focused trial design,” Tillet says.

“In tandem, we are releasing a  prospectus which rewards our shareholders with loyalty bonus options that will support the collection of robust Phase 2 clinical efficacy data and aid our pharma partnering discussions.

“The bonus option offer is designed to thank our loyal  shareholders for their support through what has been a challenging time for them, while also supporting a highly value -accretive clinical trial program in solid tumours and AML.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Race Oncology, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.  

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.