Serial entrepreneur, activist investor, academic.
In the late 90’s, I was involved in starting several UK-based companies including Oxford Medical Image Analysis and Mirada Solutions (a merger with Oxiva Ltd.). In 2003, during my time as CEO the company was sold to CTI Molecular Imaging (NASDAQ: CTMI) and I became President of the IT and bioinformatics division of CTI as well as Managing Director of CTI’s European operations (including PETNet Pharmaceuticals). In 2005, CTI became part of Siemens Medical Solutions in a $1.1B acquisition and I was a senior executive at Siemens Healthcare during the 18-month post-merger integration, with a focus on clinical applications and product marketing. My responsibilities at Siemens also included several luminary international customer relationships and key corporate-level projects such as GSK’s Hammersmith Hospital facility and Singapore’s “Biopolis”.
From 2007–9, I had the privilege of being an “Entrepreneur in Residence” at the David Geffen School of Medicine in collaboration with the Office of Intellectual Property at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). My appointment at UCLA followed a successful track record in commercialising biotechnology, healthcare IT and medical devices (both as a product developer and an investor). My laboratory focused on the technical and clinical challenges of introducing new device, instrumentation and nanotechnology solutions into the healthcare practice. I’ve taught extensively in the area of life sciences commercialisation and technology transfer, all over the world. I was a visiting academic at the Zhejiang-California Nanosystems Institute, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China (2006-2009) and taught entrepreneurship at UCLA (David Geffen School of Medicine, Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and Anderson School of Business), Oxford University (Saïd Business School), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), ESMT (Berlin), Zhejiang University (China), the University of Sydney, Monash University and RMIT University. I was also formerly a UC Discovery Mentor (Univ. of California’s entrepreneurship program) and I have been a regular funding reviewer for US National Institutes of Health / National Science Foundation grants (SBIRs) and several leading journals (chemistry, engineering, nanotechnology).
Parallel to my tech transfer role at UCLA, I was a Founder and Managing Partner of Momentum Biosciences, a Los Angeles-based early stage venturing and business advisory group. Momentum was established as a faculty-led seed fund to accelerate spin-out companies from Los Angeles-area institutions, such as UCLA, the University of Southern California and Caltech in the field of medical devices, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Momentum Biosciences manages a fully staffed and equipped biotechnology incubator in Los Angeles in close proximity to UCLA, and is currently managing multiple Caltech/UCLA spin-out projects in diagnostics, drug delivery systems and novel therapeutics. Momentum projects included Cellfluidics (now Integrated Diagnostics), Biotic Laboratories (now O-Ray Pharma), VitalVax (a novel gene therapy company in the area of prostate cancer), Paganini Biopharma (antibody drugs) and Sofie Biosciences.
In June 2009, I left my management role at Momentum to take the position of acting CEO at Fibron Technologies, Inc (nanomaterials) and CEO of antibody company ImaginAb, Inc (until Feb, 2015). ImaginAb was the first Momentum portfolio company to “graduate” from the venture accelerator program and has raised a total of ~$50m in venture capital and non-dilutive financing (lead by Novartis Venture Funds), with R&D subsidiaries in Singapore and Japan. ImaginAb’s sister company Sofie Biosciences also attracted onward financing. I am a co-founder and (formerly) non-executive director of Mirada Medical (a management buy-out from Siemens) and Radius Health (now Adaptix Pty Ltd) a MEMS company in the area of miniaturised X-ray sources for medical imaging and security applications. I formerly served as a non-executive Director of the Brussels-based Oncidium Foundation and was the a former Chairman (and led the restructuring of) of Cell Therapies Pty Ltd, a private-public partnership with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne, Australia.
I am an active angel investor and mentor to early stage life-sciences companies and I have co-founded, advised or helped to finance over 20 companies to date in the US, UK, Canada, India, France, Russia, China, Finland, Singapore, Japan and Australia. I regularly conduct diligence on behalf leading venture capital firms in the US and Europe, as well as global private equity firms. I am also interested in government policy development around fostering innovation, technology transfer and commercialisation.
Currently, aside from my private investing activities and daily harassment of ASX-listed biopharma companies, I am a Professorial Fellow at Monash University, where I am involved in helping to shape the university’s technology transfer and commercialisation strategy (and also helping launch a crop of exciting new startups!). I am also an Adjunct Professor at RMIT University in the Graduate School of Business and Law. As of 12/10/15 I am an Executive Director of Factor Therapeutics (ASX : TIS).
- Bachelor of Engineering / Computer Science (Monash University)
- Doctor of Philosophy (D.Phil), Biomedical Engineering (University of Oxford)
- Master of Business Administration, Finance (New York University / London School of Economics)
- Juris Doctor, Law (The University of Melbourne)
- Executive education in public policy / bioethics (Harvard Kennedy School, UCLA)
- 2011 World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader, one of 200 individuals selected by the WEF each year to explore issues related to global development and sustainability.
- 2012 Advance Global Australian of the Year award in the field of Biotechnology
- 2013 PharmaVoice 100 awardee
- 2014 Distinguished Alumi Award from Monash University.
- 2015 Member of the Monash Engineering Foundation Board.