Directors and Management

Ms Maria Halasz

CEO and 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.

A passionate innovator, Maria is inventor on several patents and co-author of peer reviewed publications.

Mr Bruce Gordon

Chairman

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.

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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.

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Ms Sarah Eck-Thompson

Alternate Non-Executive Director to Dennis Eck

Ms Sarah Eck-Thompson was nominated as Alternate Director to Dennis Eck on 30 November 2020. Ms Eck-Thompson is a consumer brand specialist with expertise in experiential marketing.  Having founded and managed an integrated marketing firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, she led the design and execution of experiential campaigns for major national and international brands including General Motors, Beam Suntory, The Venetian Las Vegas, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Maserati, Penfolds and The Illinois Lottery during her career spanning over 20 years.  Ms Eck-Thompson earned an MA from Northwestern University in Mass Communication and Media Studies, and a BA from UCLA in Mass Communication. Having served on non-profit boards, most recently as President and Vice-President on the Board of Trustees of Chiaravalle Montessori School in Evanston, Illinois. Her extensive experience in branding and marketing is closely aligned with Cellmid’s consumer health growth strategy.

Mr Koichiro Koike

Managing Director of Advangen Inc. (Japan)

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.

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 Matthew Dudek

Group Financial Controller

Originally from a chartered accounting background – KPMG (audit and assurance), Matthew has held numerous financial reporting and operational positions within large listed multinational and unlisted businesses including Toll Holdings Limited, TNT Australia and Burns Philp Limited.

In Matthew’s previous roles he has delivered improvements to business processes designed to enhance both internal and statutory reporting as well as strengthen internal control frameworks. He has been responsible for developing complex budgets, consolidation of financial performance, financial position and ensuring tax and regulatory compliance for international businesses.

Matthew is a member of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ).

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Ms Trish Frelan

Global Head of Marketing Advangen Pty Ltd

Trish is a senior digital marketing leader with over 15 years experience working for blue chip retail brands within New Zealand, Australia, The United Kingdom and Ireland as well as helping digital start-ups scale their businesses within retail, health and wellness, tech and FMCG industries.

During her career she had lead teams responsible for digital audience acquisition, product development, eCommerce channel management, UX design, website development, search marketing, marketing automation and lifecycle management, customer analytics and insights generation, loyalty proposition development, brand development, media management and PR.

Trish has built a reputation as a strong commercial marketer who has successfully led digital transformations to support brands shifting to a customer centric approach and remain relevant to consumers in a digital world.

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

Ms Carolyn Heath

BD Director Asia – Advangen International Pty Ltd

Carolyn Heath has over 25 years’ experience within marketing, sales, and business development, working across local and international brands in the health, beauty and consumer goods categories. She was responsible for the management of brands such as Dr LeWinn’s and Akin (McPherson’s), Tommee Tippee (Jackel), Continental (Unilever), Max Factor (P&G), and Johnson & Johnson’s suncare range. For the last 7 years Carolyn led the housewares marketing team at McPherson’s, implemented ecommerce across the business and was Head of International Sales and Export. Her key achievement at McPherson’s was the development and execution of their China strategy for Akin (haircare) and Dr LeWinn’s (skincare), delivering an incremental $12m in revenue for the first 15 months of launch.

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

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