Race Oncology (ASX: RAC) has appointed Nucleics founder Dr Daniel Tillett to its board as chief scientific officer.
Dr Tillett is the founder and chief executive officer of Australian biotechnology company Nucleics, which develops DNA sequencing software for the genomics industry.
The software is now used by more than 250 companies and institutions worldwide.
Dr Tillett recently anchored a share placement in Race – scooping up 8.76 million shares in the company and giving him an 8.7% interest.
The holding in Race led to Dr Tillett’s appointment as a non-executive director last month.
However, as a result of his new executive responsibilities as chief scientific officer Dr Tillett’s role with Race has transitioned to an executive director appointment.
Dr Tillett to drive R&D strategy
As chief scientific officer, Dr Tillett replaces US-based Dr John Rothman who held the role last year.
In a part-time capacity, Dr Tillett will now oversee Race’s overall research and development strategy, including manufacturing.
He will also assist Race chief executive officer Peter Molloy with investor communications and licencing discussions.
“Dr Tillett has more than 20 years of extensive commercial experience within the medical industry so we are excited to bring his wealth of knowledge to the Race board as chief scientific officer,” Mr Molloy said.
Dr Tillett has a PhD in molecular genetics and biochemistry from the University of New South Wales and is a current member of the Sydney Angels, an investment organisation dedicated to funding early-stage companies.
“Additionally, Dr Tillett has been published in more than 40 scientific publications and has been granted patents in molecular biology, microbiology, genetics and biochemistry. His experience in this field will no doubt help us in continuing to progress patents and advance the adoption of our own cancer drug Bisantrene,” Mr Molloy noted.
Bisantrene cancer drug potential
Dr Tillett said he was “very excited” about taking a hands-on role with Race and helping advance the company’s Bisantrene drug.
“The more I have learned about Bisantrene the more potential I see it having in AML (acute myeloid leukaemia) and other cancers. Teams as good as Race are rare in our industry and I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to help,” he explained.
In addition to his role with Nucleics, Dr Tillett was also a former senior lecturer within the School of Pharmacy at La Trobe University in Melbourne, specialising in pharmacy, phage therapy, microbiology, bioinformatics and cancer.
“As Race chief scientific officer, I’m looking forward to sharing my scientific knowledge with the team and shareholders, but also contributing my commercial expertise across project management, IP management, fundraising, sales and marketing as well as start-up investing,” Dr Tillett said.
As part of his new role, Dr Tillett has chosen to receive no cash compensation for this position, but subject to shareholder approval, will receive 2.5 million options priced at $0.19 each; the options expire three years from the date of grant.
“It’s an exciting time to join the Race board and take on the chief scientific officer role. With our recent successful funding round and our third US patent being granted for Bisantrene for use in combination cancer therapies, it is a great time to be progressing our commercial opportunities as quickly as possible,” he said.
Race is a specialty pharmaceutical company which aims to rediscover drugs that are often overlooked by big pharma organisations.
The company’s first asset Bisantrene has been granted three US patents and Race recently successfully completed treatment on its first patient at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel as part of the Bisantrene trial.