BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chris Nave, PhD, MBA

Chairman

 

Chris is a founding partner of Brandon Capital Partners and Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund.


Chris was previously the Director of Commercialisation at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia.  Prior to this, Chris was the Manager of the Biotechnology Team at Melbourne Ventures, the commercialisation company of the University of Melbourne. Concurrently he was an Investment Manager for, and on the investment committee of, Uniseed Pty Ltd. Chris has international experience working for the business development group of Leiras Pharmaceuticals in Finland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schering AG.


Chris is currently a director of; Azura Ophthalmics, Certa Therapeutics, EBR Systems, Global Kinetics Corporation, OccuRx, Osprey Medical, PolyActiva and Que Oncology. Chris was the former Chairperson of Fibrotech Therapeutics (acquired by Shire in 2014) and a former director of Spinifex Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Novartis in 2015).


Chris has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from The University of Melbourne and a PhD in Endocrinology and Physiology from The University of Melbourne.

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Elizabeth Cermak, MBA

 

Elizabeth (Liz) Cermak has over 35 years of experience in the Healthcare industry. Her diverse background spans Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Consumer Healthcare Products and Health Management Services in both large and small companies. She currently serves as an Independent Director for Moleculin Biotech (MBRX) and sits on the Audit, Compensation and Nominating & Governance Committees.  She also serves as an Independent Director for Clarus Therapeutics, Inc. and is a member of the Audit Committee. 

Previously, she served as an Independent Director for SteadyMed Therapeutics (STDY), chairing the Compensation Committee and a member of the Audit Committee, until the company was acquired by United Therapeutics (UTHR). Prior to that, Ms. Cermak was Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer and a member of the Executive Committee of POZEN, Inc (POZN). In her almost 25 years with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), she had many roles including Vice President of the Women's Healthcare RX business.

 

Ms. Cermak received a BA from Franklin & Marshall College and an MBA from Drexel University. 

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Julie M. Cherrington, PhD

Julie M Cherrington, PhD is currently the Chief Executive Officer of QUE Oncology, a clinical stage company developing novel non-hormonal treatments for vasomotor symptoms in postmenopausal women, and in cancer patients receiving hormone therapy; a position she has held since September 2020. She has served on the QUE Board of Directors since July 2019. Dr Cherrington, is an experienced life science executive with extensive insight in bringing drugs into the clinic and through to commercialization. She has been a key contributor to the successful development of multiple FDA-approved products, including SUTENT®, PALLADIA®, VISTIDE®, VIREAD®, and HEPSERA®.


Dr. Cherrington previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arch Oncology, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing novel anti-CD47 mAbs. Previously, she has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at several other oncology companies, including Revitope Oncology, Zenith Epigenetics, and Pathway Therapeutics. In addition, she served as President and Executive Vice President, R&D at Phenomix Corporation, a diabetes and antiviral company. Earlier in her career, Dr. Cherrington was Vice President of Preclinical and Clinical Research at SUGEN, a Pharmacia/Pfizer company. Dr. Cherrington began her career at Gilead Sciences, where she held a range of positions of increasing responsibility. Dr. Cherrington holds a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in microbiology from the University of California, Davis. She earned a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the University of Minnesota and Stanford University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. 


Dr. Cherrington is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Clearity Foundation and is an advisor in entrepreneurship initiatives at CLSI, UC San Francisco, UC Davis and Equalize 2020 and 2021. Currently, she serves on the Boards of Sardona Therapeutics, Rakovina Therapeutics, QUE Oncology and Mirati Therapeutics.

Dennis Liotta, PhD

 

Over the past three decades Dr. Dennis Liotta’s research has focused on the discovery and development of novel antiviral, anticancer and anti-inflammatory therapeutic agents. He is recognized as one of the world’s premier discoverers of novel therapeutics, having been one of the inventors associated with 18 FDA approved combination therapies including Epivir, Combivir, Trizivir, Epzicom, Triumeq, Dutrebis, Epivir-HBV, Emtriva, Truvada, Atripla, Complera, Stribild, Genvoya, Odefesey, Descovy, Biktarvy, Delstrigo and Symtuza. Dennis has authored over 300 peer reviewed publications and is an inventor on 100 issued US patents.
 
While Professor Dennis Liotta’s biggest impact has come from the HIV/AIDS therapeutics he has developed, he has also made many important contributions to cancer research. He is, for example, the lead inventor of Q-122, a safe, orally available clinical agent for controlling hot flashes in women with breast cancer who are being treated with tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors.  Dr. Liotta also co-discovered CT7001, a CDK7 inhibitor for treating various cancers, which is currently in Phase II clinical trials. He is currently developing a series of potent, orally available CXCR4 antagonists that could be used in conjunction with immunotherapies to potentially treat many cancers that are poorly treated by existing agents. In the preclinical arena his research group discovered the first potent, dual tropic (CCR5/CXCR4) HIV entry inhibitor. In addition, in his current role as Executive Director of the Emory Institute for Drug Development, Dennis oversaw the discovery and development of a novel nucleoside analogue, EIDD-2023, for treating several single stranded RNA virus infections.
 
A company he co-founded, Pharmasset (acquired by Gilead Sciences) developed Sofosbuvir, which has become the first line therapy for curing hepatitis C. In addition to QUE, he has founded numerous other companies including Altesa Biosciences, (therapies for emerging viral infections), NeurOp (therapies for treating ischemic conditions, such as stroke) and DRIVE (Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory), a non-profit drug development company focused on the development of therapies for treating single stranded RNA virus infections, such as Dengue Fever, hepatitis C, influenza A and B, respiratory syncytial virus and various equine encephalitis viruses. DRIVE utilizes an innovative model that seeks to extract maximum value from therapeutic innovations discovered at Emory or elsewhere by efficiently advancing them into clinical trials. More recently, DRIVE’s Molnupiravir, formerly known as EIDD-2801, is in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. 

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Dean Moss, PhD

 

Dr Dean Moss has over 25 years' experience in science, academia, business, management and commercialisation in Australia, USA and the UK. He has been managing director or senior business development executive of several health and biotech companies worldwide, including Agen Biomedical, Launch Diagnostics and United Drug. He established his own successful start-up business in the UK, York Medical Technologies before joining UniQuest Pty Limited, the commercialization company of the University of Queensland in 2006 as General Manager.
 
Prior to moving into the commercial world, Dean was principal R&D scientist at Agen Biomedical. He also worked as an NH&MRC research scientist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Royal Brisbane Hospital and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. He is a recipient of the Campion-Ma-Playoust Memorial Award for Medical Research.
 
Dean is a board member of AusBiotech, Vaxxas Pty Ltd, QUE Oncology Inc and NuNerve Pty Ltd and has contributed to raising more than $200m in venture capital investment.

John P. Richard, MBA

 

John is Chief Business Officer and a co-founder of Mereo BioPharma Group, plc.
 
He has significant corporate, operational and transactional experience, having served in various executive, director and advisory roles throughout his career, including as a Director and Operating Partner at Phase4 Partners.  Previously, he was Executive VP Business Development at SEQUUS, where he was responsible for negotiating SEQUUS’ acquisition by ALZA. John also headed business development for VIVUS and Genome Therapeutics; where he established numerous alliances.
 
John received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and his B.S. from Stanford University.