PharmAust adds highly-credentialled members to management team

Go to Colin Hay author's page
By Colin Hay - 
PharmAust ASX PAA management hire ALS MND symposium biotech Carol Worth John Clark

Perth-headquartered clinical-stage biotechnology company PharmAust (ASX: PAA) has added 50 years of combined experience to its management team with two key appointments.

Dr Carol Worth brings more than three decades of pharmaceutical industry experience to her role as CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls) operations manager at PharmAust.

Dr Worth most recently served as quality manager at Epichem and as chief technical officer at Suda Pharmaceuticals and Solbec Pharmaceuticals.

She has also led product development programs at Thermalife International/Pharmasolv Laboratories.

New clinical operations manager John Clark has over 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in the global management of phase I – IV clinical trials.

Mr Clark most recently served as senior project manager at a global contract research organization, leading the clinical operations team and providing cross-functional oversight on a national central nervous system (CNS) trial.

Prior to that, he held various operational leadership roles responsible for implementing clinical programs.

Appointments add to growing momentum

PharmAust chief executive officer Dr Michael Thurn said the new appointments come at a time when the company is making major strides in progressing its lead drug candidate monepantel (MPL).

Dr Thurn made the new appointment announcements while attending the 34th International Symposium on ALS/MND (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Motor Neurone Disease) in Basel, Switzerland – the largest annual conference dedicated to ALS and MND research.

“PharmAust has significantly strengthened its management team with the appointment of Dr Carol Worth and John Clark in preparation for upcoming regulatory and clinical milestones for its development programs,” Dr Thurn said.

“With the recent announcement that all patients had completed the Phase 1 MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition, Do it) Study of MPL for MND, it was important for PharmAust to carry momentum into the new year to launch a Phase 2 study.”

Dr Worth has been named to oversee the good manufacturing practice manufacture of monepantel and the provision of clinical supplies for the company’s upcoming clinical studies.

Mr Clark will lead global clinical operations as the company positions itself as a leading developer of neurodegenerative medicines.

Attendance at global event

Dr Thurn is amongst more than 1,000 delegates from global pharmaceutical companies, government institutions, university research institutes and not-for-profit ALS/MND associations worldwide attending the international symposium.

“The international symposium provides an ideal backdrop for PharmAust to engage and update a range of interested parties on the clinical progress of monepantel for the treatment of ALS/MND. The beginning of 2024 is one of the most important periods in the company’s history,” Dr Thurn said from Basel.

“There are several exciting opportunities in play at the moment and this all comes on the back of 2023, the biggest year for deals done in the rare CNS disease space.”

“In a recent BioPharma Dealmakers article published by Nature, the number of deals completed in 2023 has already topped 2022. In 2023, at least 47 deals were announced with disclosed values totalling more than $13 billion,” he added.

The appointments and symposium attendance follow close on the heels of PharmAust achieving another milestone in the assessment of MPL, its potential MND/ALS treatment.

The company has successfully completed a Phase 1 MEND study of MPL with top-line results expected to be released in the first quarter of CY24.