PharmAust to build on laboratory success with management changes

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By Colin Hay - 
PharmAust ASX PAA board management changes

Clinical-stage biotechnology company PharmAust (ASX: PAA) is looking to build on the successful development of its monepantel (MPL) treatment with a rejuvenation of its board of directors.

Dr Roger Aston, Robert Bishop and Dr Thomas Duthy have resigned from the board, while Sam Wright has been appointed interim chair.

Mr Wright has been a director of the company since October 2008 and remains a top 10 shareholder in PharmAust.

Marcus Hughes, another major shareholder, has been named as a non-executive director.

Leadership changes

John Clark has been promoted to the position of managing director after being named interim chief executive officer in late April.

“We’ve made new additions to the board of directors with the drive, requisite experience and skillset that will allow for the continued development and success of PharmAust and MPL at this pivotal stage of the company,” Mr Wright said.

“We’ll continue to strengthen the management team around John.”

“I want to thank each of the outgoing directors for their service to PharmAust, some of them over the course of many years, and wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” he added.

“The company and shareholders particularly owe a deep debt of gratitude to Dr Roger Aston and Robert Bishop.”

“It’s been both an honour and a pleasure to work alongside these gentlemen for almost a decade.”

Experience added

Mr Wright brings more than 20 years of experience with companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, London Stock Exchange and Börse Frankfurt.

Mr Hughes adds more than two decades of experience with listed companies to the board.

He possesses extensive corporate finance experience, having led project financing and capital raisings in the industrial sector and has held senior managerial, tax and finance roles with multinational companies including Lend Lease (ASX: LLC), Fortescue (ASX: FMG) and Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO).

Mr Clark, PharmAust’s former chief operating officer, has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in phase 1-4 clinical trials across numerous therapeutic areas and multiple geographical regions.

Prior to joining PharmAust, he served as senior project manager at a global contract research organisation, leading the clinical operations team.

He has a proven project management and stakeholder engagement record, with thorough knowledge of good clinical practice and regulatory requirements.

Mr Clark was promoted from chief operating officer to interim chief executive officer of PharmAust in late April after Dr Michael Thurm tendered his resignation for personal reasons.

Since joining PharmAust, Mr Clark has established relationships with multiple key stakeholders involved in the clinical development of MPL, which the company is repurposing for human neurodegenerative diseases.