Prof Darren Kelly
CEO AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
Darren is the Company’s CEO and Managing Director bringing over 25 years of management and research expertise in the life sciences and biotech sector. Concurrent to his role with OccuRx, Darren is Professor & Director of Biomedical Research at The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, where his research expertise lies in progressing pre-clinical novel interventions and developing experimental models of cardiovascular disease. He has published over 200 manuscripts in the field of translational research and novel interventions many of which have had a direct impact on human disease. In 2009, Darren was a recipient of the prestigious TJ Neale award for outstanding contribution to nephrology. In 2015 Darren joined the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund as Venture Partner.
Darren has proven history in translational research. He was previously Founder, CEO and Director of Fibrotech Therapeutics, a company that developed orally active anti-fibrotic inhibitors to treat underlying pathological fibrosis in kidney and heart failure, which was ultimately acquired by Shire Plc for a record 75 million USD upfront including milestone payments up to 600 million USD.
Darren has a PhD in Translational Medicine from the University of Melbourne, and an Executive Diploma Business Administration. He is a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, AusBiotech, BioMelbourne Network and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology.
Dr Chris Nave
CHAIRPERSON AND DIRECTOR
Chris is a founding partner of Brandon Capital Partners and Principal Executive of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund. In addition to OccuRx, Chris currently holds directorships with Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, Osprey Medical Inc., PolyActiva Pty Ltd, Global Kinetics Corporation and Otifex Therapeutics Pty Ltd. Chris previously was Director of Commercialisation at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia. He was responsible for the commercialisation of technologies developed at the Baker and the Alfred Hospital, including the management of local and international spinout companies.
Prior to this, Chris was the Manager of the Biotechnology Team at Melbourne Ventures, the commercialisation company of the University of Melbourne. Concurrently during this period, he was an Investment Manager for, and on the investment committee of, Uniseed Pty Ltd, a $60 million pre-seed fund. Chris has international experience with Leiras Pharmaceuticals in Finland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schering AG, working for their Business Development group. He successfully moved companies to the US, securing investment from US investors for these companies. Past directorships have seen Chris involved directly in the management, fundraising, and successful spinout of various companies in the life sciences industry. Chris was also Chairperson of Fibrotech Therapeutics at the time of its successful sale to Shire. In 2014, he was awarded the AusBiotech Johnson & Johnson Industry Leadership Award.
Chris has a first-class Honours degree in Science and a PhD in Endocrinology and Physiology from the University of Melbourne and he has completed the Private Equity and Venture Capital Program at Harvard Business School, Boston, MA.
Dr John Kurek
John is the Biotechnology Investment Manager of Uniseed a venture fund operating at the Universities of Melbourne, Queensland and New South Wales. In this role, John is responsible for identifying new investment opportunities and managing Uniseed’s overall biotechnology portfolio. He brings 15 years industry experience as a Biotechnology Manager with a focus on the strategic design and implementation of drug development programs. John’s previous roles have included Pharmaceutical Development Manager at BioDiem Ltd, where he was responsible for managing the preclinical, clinical and regulatory aspects of BioDiem’s drug development programs, and Preclinical Development Manager at Amrad Corporation Ltd where he was responsible for the management of preclinical drug development projects. His experience extends from drug discovery, to the phase I-II clinical phases of drug development.
John has a PhD in Neuroscience and a Post Graduate Diploma in Drug Evaluation and Pharmaceutical Science, both from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Ms Ann Hamer
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Ann’s expertise is in organisational and operational management having spent over 12 years in various management roles within the healthcare and biotech sector ranging from Not-For-Profit, University, and private enterprise positions. Prior to her role with OccuRx, Ann was Operations Manger for Fibrotech Therapeutics, where she was responsible for managing the operational activities of the Company, whilst contributing to the development and implementation of Company strategies, policies and practices, including the corporate governance and due diligence processes associated with the successful acquisition of the Company to Shire in 2014. Concurrent to her role with OccuRx, Ann also holds a position with the University of Melbourne, managing commercial and contract research for the Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital.
Ann has a Bachelor degree in Psychology and Communications, Monash University and a Diploma in Management, University of Melbourne. She is a current member of AusBiotech and the APS College of Organisational Psychologists.
Dr Fay Khong
HEAD, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
Fay brings to OccuRx over 7 years of medical research training and expertise in the preclinical testing of novel pharmaceutical interventions in cardiovascular disease, focusing on inflammation and fibrosis in disease progression. Concurrent to her role with OccuRx, Fay is a Research Fellow at the Renal and Cardiovascular Translational Research Group, Department of Medicine (St Vincent’s Hospital), The University of Melbourne, In 2014 she interned with Brandon Capital Partners under the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund program, where she gained valuable experience in evaluating the commercial potential of health and life science innovations. Previously, Fay worked with the team at Fibrotech Therapeutics and was involved in the project management for the Company’s R&D programs.
Fay has a first-class Honours degree in Pharmacology and Biotechnology and a PhD in Medicine from the University of Melbourne. She is a current member of AusBiotech.
Mr Marc Gleeson
R&D/BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANT
Marc brings to OccuRx over 23 years of experience within the Biotech and Life Sciences sector. Starting his career as a sales representative, Marc’s breadth of expertise extends across a range of disciplines with increasing responsibility spanning various geographies.
Marc spent 14 years working with Allergan Inc.’s Ophthalmology Franchise, his most recent role being Vice President, US Marketing for Glaucoma and External Disease. Prior to that, Marc spent 7 years in the Global Strategic Marketing group at Allergan based in Irvine California, first as Senior Director, Global Strategic Marketing – Retina and from 2010-2013 as Vice President of Global Strategic Marketing – Eye Care. During this time Marc lead the global commercial strategy for the Allergan Eye Care Franchise as well as the Business Development strategies for the Eye Care Franchise.
Prior to joining Allergan, Marc worked at Janssen-Cilag where he lead the Australian and New Zealand Procrit/Eprex Franchise and additionally established and lead the Government Relations Function.
Marc is a key consultant to OccuRx, providing strategic advice and direction relating to the Company’s R&D and business development activities.