Amplia CEO and Managing Director, Dr John Lambert, is no stranger to drug development - he’s been working in the space for decades. He has leveraged this knowledge and experience to assemble a high performing, multidisciplinary team to realise the company’s goal of advancing treatment for patients of cancer and fibrotic disease.
After completing his PhD in organic chemistry, Dr Lambert embarked on a post-doctoral research career in bioorganic chemistry. It was while he was working as a lecturer at the University of Melbourne in the mid-’90s, that John saw the power of industry collaboration. In 2001, John left academia to become Head of Chemistry at Biota Pharmaceuticals, where he spent 14 years with the company in a number of drug development and senior management roles.
When Biota moved its operations to the USA, John moved to Medicines Development for Global Health (MDGH) - a not-for-profit biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of affordable medicines and vaccines. Contributing to progressing the sector at large, even now, remains a cornerstone of his leadership.
“While I was working at MDGH, I was also doing some consulting work, and Amplia needed operational support. I started as Operations Manager in 2018, and then moved into the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2019. This was a rare opportunity to progress an early-stage treatment, in a vastly underserved area of medical need, with some of Australia’s leading researchers.”
In the early days, as the sole employee of the company, John was responsible for managing most things - including all the early manufacturing, toxicology, and the Phase 1 trial of AMP945. Today, surrounded by a lean but highly capable and experienced team, John believes the culture at Amplia is one of the key reasons for the company’s success.
“Amplia is unique because of the quality of our team. This group of people has ‘seen it all’ in drug development, and if they don’t know something, they’re not afraid to admit it and to seek out the correct answers. It is rare to encounter people with such deep expertise and experience, together with the humility to navigate the best way to get a job done - with a clear focus on recruiting the brightest minds to drive our work forward. I think this is foundational for Amplia’s success and part of the reason I was both comfortable and honoured to embrace the role of CEO.”