PharmAust appoints interim CEO as company plans for pivotal Phase 2/3 study

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By Imelda Cotton - 
PharmAust ASX PAA interim CEO company plans pivotal Phase 2 3 study

Clinical-stage biotechnology company PharmAust (ASX: PAA) has announced that chief executive officer Dr Michael Thurn has resigned from the role and will leave the company in four months.

Chief operating officer John Clark has been appointed to the role of interim chief executive officer and will be assisted by Dr Thurn and the PharmAust board of directors during the transition period.

Industry experience

Mr Clark has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for more than 20 years and been involved with clinical trials across numerous therapeutic areas and multiple geographical regions.

Before joining PharmAust, he served as senior project manager at a global contract research organisation, leading the clinical operations team and providing cross-functional oversight on national clinical trials.

He has project management and stakeholder engagement experience and a thorough knowledge of industry regulatory requirements.

Since joining PharmAust, Mr Clark has established relationships with key stakeholders involved with the clinical development of lead drug candidate monepantel (MPL) and has attended worldwide pharmaceutical conferences as a PharmAust delegate.

‘New challenge’

Mr Clark said he was keen to lead the company through MPL’s clinical and commercial milestones for the treatment of human neurodegenerative conditions including motor neurone disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

“I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge and continuing to progress the development of MPL as we plan for the pivotal Phase 2/3 clinical study,” he said.

“PharmAust is in an outstanding position with positive Phase 1 data, eligible patients continuing to receive the drug and a pending request with the US Food and Drug Administration for orphan drug designation.”

“I look forward to bringing updates to our shareholders and investors as soon as possible.”

Management appointment

Mr Clark’s appointment follows an announcement earlier this month that industry veteran Dr Herbert Brinkman would join PharmAust’s management team as head of manufacturing.

Dr Brinkman has considerable expertise in product development, manufacturing and the launching of new pharmaceutical products.

He has helped file and commercially launch nine products in the US market encompassing oncology, metabolic, dermatology and endocrinology therapeutics.