Directors & Management




Dr David King

Chairman



Dr David King brings a depth of corporate governance, capital markets and listed company board experience to Cellmid. He has previously held positions as Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director in a number of private and listed companies.

An expert in high growth companies Dr King has a track record in starting business ventures and developing them into attractive investment and/or take-over targets. His experience in successful start-up businesses has been instrumental in Cellmid’s acquisition of the midkine intellectual property portfolio.

Dr King is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (Chartered Professional, Management) and holds degrees in physics and geophysics and a PhD in Seismology from the Australian National University.





Ms Maria Halasz

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer



Maria Halasz has been involved with biotechnology companies for over 22 years; initially working in executive positions in biotechnology firms, then managing investment funds and later holding senior positions in corporate finance specialising in life sciences.

Since taking over as Chief Executive and Managing Director of Cellmid Maria has led the restructure of the business, the acquisition of the midkine and Advangen intellectual property portfolios and the recapitalisation of the company.

An accomplished public company CEO with international experience Maria has executed transactions in the US, China, Europe, Japan and the UK. Maria is a graduate of the University of Western Australia (B.Sc., MBA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). She has board experience in public and private companies, and has acted on advisory boards of non-profit organisations.

 




Mr Bruce Gordon


Non-Executive Director


A seasoned audit partner and corporate finance specialist, Bruce Gordon is an experienced finance professional with a career spanning more than 35 years’ advising and providing financial services to private and publicly listed companies as well as subsidiaries of large multinationals. 

Formerly lead partner of the BDO Australia National Corporate Finance Team and the BDO East Coast Partnership Corporate Finance Team he presently holds a number of directorships and senior financial consulting positions. An experienced auditor and corporate adviser to ASX listed companies, Bruce is also experienced in accounting and compliance in overseas capital markets.

Renowned as an energetic business developer and marketer, Bruce has a formidable network of contacts in ASX listed companies across multiple sectors. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 




Dr Fintan Walton


Non-Executive Director


Dr Fintan Walton is Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures Ltd, a UK based corporate advisory firm with more than 30 professional advisers, assisting pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies worldwide in all aspects of corporate transactions, business brokering, mergers and acquisitions and licensing deals.

Since he founded PharmaVentures in 1992, he and his team have advised blue chip clients in North America, Europe and Asia, delivering more than 700 assignments for 180 companies in 38 countries. Dr Walton has worked with clients including most of the major and mid-sized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His experience extends to industries such as pharmacetuicals, diversified chemicals, diagnostics, medical devices, generic and over-the-counter medicines as well as government agencies.

He has transactional experience representing corporates as well as major banks, investment and merchant banks, private equity and venture capital groups. Educated at Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), where he obtained his PhD in genetics, Dr Walton has subsequently gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992) prior to founding PharmaVentures.

 




Mr Koichiro Koike


Managing Director, Advangen Inc.


Koichiro (Ko) Koike has over 27 years of experience working in cross border business development roles for a number of Australian and Japanese healthcare companies and brings strong strategic and corporate development skills to Cellmid.

Based in Melbourne for 15 years, Ko initiated and took charge of numerous transactions including the arrangement of product development and distribution in Japan involving two of Australia's sleep medicine companies, Resmed and Compumedics.

He played a key role in Cellmid’s acquisition of the midkine asset portfolio and later the acquisition of Advangen Inc, where he was appointed Managing Director. He has since expanded the business in Japan and internationally successful negotiating multiple distribution agreements. Ko graduated from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies with BA. He lives in Tokyo, Japan.

 




Associate Professor Graham Robertson


Head of Research and Development


Dr Graham Robertson is Head of R&D at Cellmid where he is pursuing a clinical development program focussed on midkine therapeutics and diagnostics. He brings to this role many years research experience in multiple biological and pathophysiological processes incorporating both clinical studies and diverse experimental approaches. A feature of his recent research has been the application of systems biology approaches including transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiling techniques to understand complex inter-organ signalling involved in chronic inflammatory diseases. 

Graham Robertson gained his PhD in molecular virology from Macquarie University, Australia before undertaking Post-Doctoral training in gene regulation and nuclear architecture at Oxford. He returned to Australia as a Post-Doc in the laboratory of Prof Emma Whitelaw at University of Sydney where he set up a transgenic mouse facility and discovered repeat-induced silencing as an epigenetic process on mammalian transgenes.

Graham then moved to Westmead Hospital Millennium Institute where he pursued studies on the fibrotic liver disease NASH and the impact of inducible xenobiotic/drug interactions on drug clearance pathways. A component of this work involved creating a transgenic mouse model for studying gene regulation of human CYP3A4, the main pathway for drug metabolism.  The model was subsequently commercially leveraged as a screening tool for drug development. 

At the ANZAC and Garvan Institutes in Sydney (2004-2014), Graham explored the impact of cancer-associated inflammation in repressing drug clearance leading to excessive toxicity. Graham also explored the link between chronic inflammation and disrupted energy metabolism as the basis for cancer cachexia. A key discovery from this work was the activation of thermogenesis in white & brown fat, linked to body wasting. These findings were published in Cancer Research and Cell Metabolism where it was ranked amongst the 10th highest papers in the latter journal. He has published ~60 papers with >3,000 citations.




Mr Joseph Haklani


Vice President, Operations


Joseph is a biotechnology industry professional and brings a breadth of experience to his core operational and business development functions at Cellmid.

Joseph honed his skills over a decade in various technical and management positions. Notably, he was previously engaged in clinical research investigating early disease biomarkers found in hair fibres and serum for the development and commercialisation of novel non-invasive diagnostic tests, primarily for women with breast cancer.   

Joseph holds a central role at Cellmid’s consumer health subsidiary Advangen where he has been involved in growth of the company’s business units, the development of its next generation hair growth formulations and the communication of its innovative FGF5 inhibition technology.

Joseph has a Bachelor of Biotechnology majoring in Medical Biotechnology from the University of Technology Sydney and a Master of Applied Science in Molecular Biotechnology from the University of Sydney. He is an author on several peer reviewed scientific publications and an inventor on a number of patents in scientific and medical fields. 




Dr Dominic Burg


Vice President, Operations (Cellmid)


Dr Dominic Burg is an experienced scientist and project manager with a diverse and extensive skillset developed over more than 10 years in multidisciplinary research. 

Dominic has overarching responsibility for technical and scientific matters relating to both business development and product development for Cellmid. He is also responsible for managing the various pre-clinical and collaborative programmes for Lyramid and Kinera.  Additionally, Dominic is involved in managing the R&D behind Advangen, working closely with the Japanese R&D team.   

Dominic undertook his PhD studies at the University of NSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences.    Following his PhD studies, Dominic underwent post doctoral training at the University of Sydney, studying the systems biology of complex inflammatory processes underpinning cancer cachexia syndrome, and also contributed to multi-center biomarker discovery programme for colorectal cancer.   Dominic was subsequently recruited to work as a post doctoral fellow in the large multinational public-private research consortium UBIOPRED as the proteomics workstream leader, for which was based in the UK for a number of years. UBIOPRED utilised cutting-edge technologies and analytical approaches to help stratify severe asthma and improve patient outcomes.  It was during this time that Dominic honed his analytical capabilities, project management skills and strategic thinking, as well as developing a passion for fostering multidisciplinary collaboration.