Sydney, Australia 5 October 2011; Australian monoclonal antibody company, Immune System Therapeutics Limited (IST), today announced Chief Executive Officer Alan Liddle had informed the board of his decision to retire from the role of CEO.
International executive and healthcare specialist, Dr Calum McKinlay, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, effective from the end of September 2011.
Mr Liddle, who co-founded the company in 2001, said he wanted to continue supporting the significant global opportunities for IST's unique patented anti-cancer therapies. He will continue as a member of the Board as a non-executive director.
IST Chairman, Dr Joe Collins, said, “Dr McKinlay brings extensive skills and broad experience across a range of industries including biotechnology, healthcare, investment banking and finance. His appointment reflects the rapid evolution of the business as it progresses to a globally focused commercial enterprise.
Dr Collins said Mr Liddle had made an outstanding contribution to the rapid growth of the company, providing strong leadership since it was founded in 2001.
"All of us appreciate and value Alan's hard work, energy and dedication. His technical and strategic insights and international experience will continue to deliver invaluable contributions at Board level. His leadership has been fundamental in establishing IST as an emerging anti-cancer therapy leader and creating a world class management team. His contribution to IST's growth over the last 10 years and to its success cannot be overstated. “
Mr Liddle said: “IST is now well positioned to capitalise on the positive results and the investments we have been making in recent years and I believe that Calum is the right person to lead the organisation and its outstanding people through this next phase of growth.”
Dr McKinlay said: "I am excited to be taking on the role of CEO at this time in our development with the business poised for internationalisation. I look forward to continuing to build on the achievements of the team to ensure that IST continues to grow and enhance its position as a leading Australian health technology innovator.”
IST is commercialising a range of new drugs to treat human blood cancers and autoimmune diseases. Its lead product, MDX-1097, is a genetically engineered antibody that binds to a target protein found on the cell surface of some types of blood cancer and has the potential to reduce the number of cancerous cells in multiple myeloma patients. IST recently doubled patient recruitment in its Phase II trial after a positive review of safety and efficacy data by an independent Data Monitoring Committee of results from the first six patients. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) granted MDX-1097 orphan drug in June 2011. Orphan drug status is given to drugs used to treat diseases which there is no existing treatment and where there are less than 200,000 patients in the US. This status means more rapid progress through regulatory hurdles and provides market exclusivity in the multi-billion dollar myeloma treatment market for 7 years--independent of any patent the drug may hold.
IST is now actively seeking international licensing partners interested in the high-growth potential of its promising new anti-cancer drug treatment. The company expects to secure a licensing partner and complete Phase II clinical trials within the next year.
Dr Calum McKinlay
Dr McKinlay trained as a hospital clinician and immunologist in London before commencing a 20 year career in finance, internationally. He has taken on direct investment, advisory and CEO roles principally in healthcare, infrastructure and medical companies. This has been with the motivation of improving health indices while generating solid returns for investors. He has held senior executive positions in HSBC Investment Bank (Asia), Macquarie Bank (International) and ABN AMRO Investment Bank as Head of Healthcare in Sydney. He has also been instrumental in a number of start-up, public and private medical companies growing these from conception up to and after listing as CEO or at Board level. Calum has returned to Sydney to continue his association with IST after his original involvement as a Director during its early years and the first round of financing. Calum holds qualifications in Medicine (MB BS) and Immunology (BSc) from UCH, London. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB.)
Immune Systems Therapeutics
Immune Systems Therapeutics (IST) is a private bio-therapeutic company commercialising a range of promising new antibody drugs to treat human blood cancers and autoimmune diseases. The company’s unique therapies target a range of common blood cancers known as B cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases. IST has extensive and robust patents covering a new class of drugs targeting blood cancers and autoimmune diseases that are potentially safer, less toxic and more effective than current standard chemotherapy treatments. IST’s business plan is to license its drugs to international pharmaceutical companies for regulatory approval, production and sales. For more information please visit www.istl.com.au
For more information please contact:
Dr Joe Collins
Tel: (02) 9514 7434 or 0434 352 946