Avita Medical Transforms Board With Three New Appointments
NORTHRIDGE, CA and CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM and PERTH, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwired - January 13, 2016) - Avita Medical Ltd. (ASX: AVH) (OTCQX: AVMXY)
- Solid medical device expertise and US market experience added to the Board as part of the company's drive to launch in the US and commercialise globally
- New Board of Directors to include Louis Drapeau, Damien McDonald and Suzanne Crowe
- Retiring director Professor Fiona Wood, a company co-founder and co-inventor of ReCell®, will join the newly-formed Avita Medical Clinical Advisory Board
Avita Medical Ltd. (ASX: AVH) (OTCQX: AVMXY), a regenerative medicine company specialising in new treatments for wounds and skin defects, has transformed its Board of Directors with three new key appointments that significantly strengthen the Company's commercialisation experience. The new appointments, effective today, will be instrumental in guiding the Company's US launch plans for its lead regenerative medicine product, ReCell®.
With these additions, Avita Medical's Board of six members now comprises three based in the US and three in Australia. The US-based directors include newly appointed Mr Louis Drapeau and Mr Damien McDonald, alongside existing member Dr Mike Perry. The new Australian Board member is Professor Suzanne Crowe, serving alongside Mr Jeremy Curnock Cook and Mr Lou Panaccio (Chairman). Professor Fiona Wood, Mr Matt McNamara and Mr Ian Macpherson have stepped down from the Board, with Dr Wood, a company co-founder and co-inventor of ReCell®, joining the newly-formed Avita Medical Clinical Advisory Board.
The new Board composition provides a more US-centric focus to support Avita Medical's drive towards US market approval of ReCell® for burns treatments. The FDA recently confirmed the Company is eligible for an expedited regulatory approval. The new timing for an FDA submission has yet to be confirmed. Outside of the US, the Company has established sales and is appointing distributors in territories where it has approval for ReCell® as a medical device. It is also registering in several new markets.
"We enthusiastically welcome the three new Board members, who will strengthen our expertise to support our key strategic objectives to both launch in the US and achieve greater commercial traction in our current markets," said Avita Medical Chairman, Lou Panaccio. "I would also like to personally thank the strong support and many contributions from the three members who are stepping down, as they have been instrumental in positioning the Company at its current point of commercial lift-off. Furthermore, I am very pleased that we will continue to benefit from the vast expertise of Dr Wood in her new role on our Clinical Advisory Board."
Mr Louis Drapeau joins the Board as Non-executive Director and brings considerable expertise in both the biotech sector and the financial rigour required of US public companies. Based in the US, Mr Drapeau is an Independent Director at AmphliPhi Biosciences Corporation (NYSE), CFO, Principal Accounting Officer and Vice President at Insite Vision Inc., and Independent Director at Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE). Mr Drapeau has held senior positions with Nektar Therapeutics and BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc., and has been an Audit Partner at Arthur Andersen LLP. Mr Drapeau has formally been an Independent Director at InterMune, Inc. (NASDAQ), Bionovo, Inc. (NASDAQ), and Inflazyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd (TSE). He has an MBA from Stanford University.
US-based Mr Damien McDonald has also joined the board as Non-executive Director and has a proven track record of achieving value in the medical device space. Mr McDonald is a Group Executive and Corporate Vice President at NYSE-listed Danaher Corporation, a multinational science and technology innovation company that acquires and produces life science and industrial products and brands. As Group President, Mr McDonald is responsible for a US$1.2B group of dental consumables companies, for which he executes group strategic planning with full P&L accountability. He has previously worked for Merck &Co, Johnson & Johnson and Zimmer. He has Bachelor's degrees in both pharmacy and economics from the University of Queensland a Master's degree in International Economics from the University of Wales, and an MBA from IMD of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Professor Suzanne Crowe AM is the third Non-executive Director to join. Australian-based, she is a physician-scientist and company director with extensive expertise in supporting companies with their medical and scientific strategies. Prof Crowe is an Associate Director of the Burnet Institute, and is a Principal Research Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. She is a Principal Specialist in Infectious Diseases at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne and Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Monash University, Melbourne, and has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers. Prof Crowe is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has served on various company boards. Prof Crowe was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2011 to recognise her service to medical research in HIV/AIDS. She has medical and MD degrees from Monash University, an internal medicine specialist qualification in Infectious Diseases from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and a Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
Professor Fiona Wood AM, one of the inventors of the ReCell® autologous cell-harvesting device, and a co-founder of the Company, has stepped down from the Board. Winthrop Professor Wood FRACS AM is now a founding member of Avita's newly-formed Clinical Advisory Board, and will support its aims of strengthening the Company's R&D strategy. Prof Wood is currently Director of the Western Australian Burns Service, Director of the Burn Injury Research Unit UWA, and a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at both the Royal Perth and Princess Margaret hospitals. She received the 2003 Australian Medical Association 'Contribution to Medicine' award and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for her work with Bali bombing victims. Prof Wood was named 'Western Australian of the Year' in 2004 and 2005, as well as 'Australian of the Year' in 2005. Amongst her degrees are an MBBS, BSc, FRCS and FRACS from British and Australian Universities, as well as the Royal College of Surgeons England.
Mr Matt McNamara and Mr Ian Macpherson have also stepped down from the Board.
The Company is very grateful for the substantial contributions these three board members have made to Avita Medical during their tenure. It expresses particular thanks to Mr Macpherson, who has been on the Board since 2008, including a period sitting as Chairman. He has guided Avita Medical through many business phases, implementing many of the necessary changes required to get the Company to its current stage.
Mr Jeremy Curnock Cook and Dr Mike Perry were approved by shareholders to remain as directors for further two-year terms at the November AGM. Mr Curnock Cook is on a number of boards of international healthcare and biotech companies and is the Managing Director of Bioscience Managers Pty Ltd, responsible for the BM Asia Pacific Healthcare Fund. US-based Dr Perry is Chief Scientific Officer of Global Cell and Gene Therapy for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., and has previously held positions with Baxter Healthcare, Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp., Schering-Plough Corporation, as well as C-suite posts at several early-stage biotechnology companies. The Board stays under the chairmanship of Mr Lou Panaccio.
ABOUT AVITA MEDICAL LIMITED
Avita Medical develops and distributes regenerative products for the treatment of a broad range of wounds, scars and skin defects. Avita's patented and proprietary collection and application technology provides innovative treatment solutions derived from a patient's own skin. The Company's lead product, ReCell®, is used in the treatment of a wide variety of burns, plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. ReCell® is patented, CE-marked for Europe, TGA-registered in Australia, and CFDA-cleared in China. In the United States, ReCell® is an investigational device limited by federal law to investigational use, and a pivotal U.S. approval trial is underway. To learn more, visit www.avitamedical.com.
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