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Board of Directors

Warwick Tong MB ChB MPP GAICD

Non-Executive Chairman of the Board

Warwick is a NZ trained physician with more than 25 years’ experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industry.

After his early career in General Medical Practice Warwick has held a wide variety of roles in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry in NZ(Glaxo) Singapore (GlaxoWellcome) London (GSK), Boston (Surface Logix) and Melbourne (CTx - Cancer Therapeutics CRC). His roles have included; Medical Director, Regional Business Development Director (Asia Pacific), Commercial Strategy Director (International) and SVP Development (USA).

He was CEO and Director of CTx from 2011 until April 2018. He is a member of the SAB of the Maurice Wilkins Centre in Auckland NZ, the Advisory Board of Cortex Health, Melbourne, the Industry Advisory Board, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Melbourne and a member of the CSIRO Manufacturing, Business Advisory Committee.

Warwick was educated at the University of Auckland and Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr. Tong was appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the 4th of May 2018 and Chairman on 25 May 2018. Dr. Tong is also a member of the Audit Committee.

Christopher Burns B.Sc. (Hons) PhD GAICD

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Chris is an experienced drug discovery leader having worked in various roles in pharma, biotech and academia for 25 years.

After completing a Ph D in Organic Chemistry at the University of Melbourne Chris undertook postodoctoral studies in the USA before moving to Pfizer UK, where he worked on a variety of drug discovery projects. After 5 years he returned to Australia as a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney with the CRC for Molecular Engineering and Technology and after two years moved to the biotechnology company Ambri as Head of Chemistry.

Chris then moved to the Melbourne-based biotech Cytopia as Head of Medicinal Chemistry and later as Research Director. Over this time he led teams in the discovery of two anti-cancer agents that have entered clinical trial, including the drug momelotinib which successfully completed Phase III studies. Most recently Chris was a Laboratory Head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and currently holds an executive role with privately held biotechs MecRx.

Dr Burns is the inventor on over 30 patents and a co-author on over 50 scientific publications and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. 

Dr. Burns was the recipient of the 2022 Adrien Albert Award - the premier award of the MCCB Division of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute which is given for sustained, outstanding research in the field of medicinal chemistry or chemical biology.

Dr. Burns was originally appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 4 May 2018 and was subsequently appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director on 5 December 2022.

Robert Peach Ph.D

Independent Non-Executive Director

Dr Peach has over 25 years of drug discovery and development experience in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industry.  In 2009 he co-founded Receptos, becoming Chief Scientific Officer and raising $59M in venture capital and $800M in an IPO and three subsequent follow-on offerings.  In August 2015 Receptos was acquired by Celgene for $7.8B.  Robert held senior executive and scientific positions in other companies including Apoptos, Biogen Idec, IDEC and Bristol-Myers Squibb, supporting in-licensing, acquisition and venture investments.  His extensive drug discovery and development experience in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and cancer has resulted in multiple drugs entering clinical trials and 3 registered drugs.  He is currently on the Scientific Advisory Board of Eclipse Bioinnovations in San Diego and is a consultant for several other biotechnology companies.

Robert is the co-author of 70 scientific publications and book chapters, and 17 patents.  He was educated at the University of Canterbury and the University of Otago, New Zealand.  

Dr. Peach was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director on the 2nd of September 2015 and is a member of the Remuneration Committee.

Jane Bell, BEc, LLB, LLM (Lond), FAICD

Independent Non-Executive Director

Jane is a banking and finance lawyer and non-executive director with more than 30 years’ experience in leading law firms, financial services and corporate treasury operations gained living in Melbourne, London, Toronto, San Francisco and Brisbane. Jane has been a non-executive director since 2002, serving on 14 boards including 10 hospital, life sciences, medical research and funds management boards. Jane currently serves as Deputy Chair of Monash Health, Director of Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB)(Nasdaq:MESO), Director of Jessie McPherson Private Hospital, and is a Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Jane is a former Chair of Melbourne Health (Royal Melbourne Hospital), Chair of Biomedical Research Vic, Deputy Chair of Westernport Water Corporation, Director of U Ethical Funds Management, WorkSafe Victoria, Hudson Institute of Medical Research-Monash Institute of Medical Research-Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research, Queensland Institute of Medical Research Trust, Australian Red Cross (Qld), Victorian Women’s Housing Association.

Jane holds a Master of Laws from Kings College, London, Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms. Bell was appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director on 12 April 2021 and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.