Directors and Management

Ms Maria Halasz

Ceo & Managing Director

Maria Halasz has been involved with biotechnology companies for over 27 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 in 2007 Maria has led the restructure of the business, the acquisition of the midkine and FGF5 intellectual property portfolios and the recapitalization 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 organizations

Dr David King


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.

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

Dr Martin Cross

Non-Executive Director

Dr Cross is a highly regarded pharmaceutical executive with over 30 years’ experience including corporate and industry leadership roles directly influencing healthcare policy and government legislation in Australia and global business management, marketing and sales roles.

From 2013 to 2015, Dr Cross was Chairman of Medicines Australia, the country’s peak body representing the research based pharmaceutical industry in Australia. Prior to leading Medicines Australia, from 2010 to 2013 Dr Cross was Chairman of both the Generics Medicine Industry Association and Pharmaceutical Industry Council. During this time, Dr Cross was also Managing Director of Alphapharm in Australia and New Zealand, with responsibility for 750 employees and sales of over US $500m per annum.

From 2003 to 2008, Dr Cross was Country Head and Managing Director of Novartis Australia and New Zealand, and Head of Global Marketing and Sales Capabilities from 2001 to 2003, based in Switzerland.

Mr Dennis Eck

Non-Executive Director

Mr Dennis Eck brings 40 years’ senior management experience in the retail sector to Cellmid’s board, providing significant strategic and operational expertise. Mr Eck, a professional investor, has extensive retail experience, from fashion to groceries, including cosmetics and hair salons. As a senior strategist, Mr Eck has helped reshape the operations of several retail businesses delivering outstanding shareholder returns. Mr. Eck served as the Chief Executive Officer of Coles Myer Ltd. from November 1997 to September 2001 following his service in a number of positions including as Chief operating officer of Coles Myer Ltd and Managing director of Coles Myer Supermarkets. Mr Eck’s outstanding successes at Coles were recognised by the Association of Chartered Accountants when, in 2001, he was named the Astute Business Leader of the Year in Australia. Recently, Mr Eck served as an Interim Chief Executive Officer at Ulta Beauty, and currently holds a position as Board Member at that Company.

Mr Koichiro Koike

Managing Director of 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.

Mr Bart Wuurman

CEO of Lyramid Limited

Mr Wuurman is an accomplished biotech CEO with over 30 years’ experience in innovative drug development, biotech financing, business development and licensing. He has extensive experience in working with research and development based companies in pharmaceutical product development in several therapeutic areas, including cancer, fibrosis and cardiovascular diseases. Mr Wuurman has previously executed successful biotech deals including Antisoma in the UK via a successful IPO and Lanthio Pharma in the Netherlands via a trade sale. At AM-Pharma, as CEO, he was instrumental in securing a €29 million funding round and a $600 million option deal with Pfizer. In 2015 Mr Wuurman became Managing Director of DDF Ventures, a life-science fund with a portfolio of young life sciences companies.

Dr Dominic Burg

Chief Operating Officer

Dr Dominic Burg is an experienced scientist and an accomplished science communicator with a background in large multi-national projects in translational medicine. Dominic has successfully transitioned his analytical and operational skillset towards directing the day to day operations, logistics, manufacture, HR and regulatory affairs of Cellmid. Dominic is also responsible for scientific and technical aspects of new product development as well as science communications.

Dominic undertook his PhD studies at the University of NSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences and underwent post doctoral training at the University of Sydney, studying the systems biology of complex inflammatory processes underpinning cancer cachexia syndrome. Dominic was subsequently recruited to the UK to work as a post doctoral fellow in the large multinational public-private research consortium UBIOPRED as the proteomics workstream leader. It was during this time that Dominic honed his analytical capabilities, science communications, project management skills and strategic thinking, as well as developing a passion for fostering multidisciplinary collaboration.

Mr Brian McGee

CEO Advangen LLC

Brian McGee an accomplished senior executive with 30 years’ experience in sales, marketing and operations in the beauty and hair care industry, Mr McGee brings to the Company a wealth of knowledge and contacts in the USA.

During his career Mr McGee gained extensive experience in managing sales teams and operations of some iconic hair care brands including Aveda and, as chief operating officer, pioneered the omnichannel, retailing of hair colour brand dpHUE.

Brian has a successful track record in bringing international brands to the USA and has working with the Company’s evolis® Professional brand as a consultant since May 2019

Associate Professor Graham Robertson

CSO Lyramid Limited

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 Raj Ghatge

Director of Marketing Advangen

Raj has been associated with the beauty industry for more than 20 years. He has worked for brands like L’Oréal within their Luxury Products Department and more recently with The Jojoba Company, a natural Australian skin care brand.

Raj has worked with retailers and distributors as well as on the brand side, providing well rounded experience and a good insight into all angles of the beauty business. Before coming to Australia in 2010, Raj had positions in the beauty industry in was based in New Zealand and in the Middle East. Raj has worked with department stores, specialty beauty stores, beauty salons, pharmacies and health food stores. As a result of this experience, Raj has built a reputation as a commercial marketer continually linking marketing to sales. His key strengths lie in building brands, new product development and establishing international markets such as US, UK and Asia-Pacific.

Mr Gary McCaw

Director of Sales Advangen International Pty Ltd

Gary is an experienced Director of Sales, with a demonstrated history of delivery working in the pharmaceuticals industry. Gary is highly skilled in negotiation, budgeting and is a passionate sales leader, focused on people development and growth, as well as achieving results that build and persist.

Gary has a track record of strong healthcare sales and as a national key account professional. Gary has a post graduate qualification focused in business administration, management and operations from UNSW Business School

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