Immuron CEO Thomas Liquard Resigns

Published: Aug 03, 2017

Immuron CEO Thomas Liquard Resigns August 3, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Australian company Immuron that its chief executive officer, Thomas Liquard, has resigned. Jerry Kanellos will act as interim-chief executive officer.

Based in Blackburn North, Victoria, Australia, Immuron focuses on oral immunotherapy using polyclonal antibodies that target the human gut immune system and microbiome. The company’s technology platform develops and produces orally stable therapeutics for various immune mediated and inflammatory disorders, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), diabetes, colitis, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), liver fibrosis and other chronic disorders.

The company has a single marketed product, Travelan/Protectyn, for the prevention of traveler’s diarrhea. It is licensed in Australia, South Africa and Latin America, as well as several countries in South East Asia.

Liquard was the chief operating officer and later chief executive officer of Australian biotech company Alchemia from 2013 to 2014. Before Alchemia, he spent seven years with Pfizer in New York, where he held various senior commercial positions in business and portfolio development. He also managed more than 70 projects.

Kanellos is the company’s chief operating and scientific officer. Prior to joining Immuron, he spent five years with TransBio Limited as chief operating officer. Prior to TransBio, he spent five years as a consultant to the biotech industry.

According to a filing with the Australian Stock Exchange, Liquard is stepping down for personal reasons.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Thomas Liquard for his efforts as CEO over the past two years, including his primary focus of delivering our NASDAQ listing, and we wish him every success in his future endeavors,” said Roger Aston, Immuron’s chairman of the board, in a statement. “We are exceptionally pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jerry Kanellos from our executive management team to serve as the interim Chief Executive Officer as in his initial two years with us, Dr. Kanellos has made a significant contribution to the company and its technology.”

As part of its due diligence, the company will launch a global search for a permanent chief executive. The company stated, “Alongside its revenues from Travelan/Protectyn, which registered strong growth in FY2017, Immuron now has several ongoing clinical trials in both fatty-liver disease (NASH, ASH and Ped NASH) and in Clostridium difficile infections (CDI), along with a promising and expanding research collaboration with the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy targeting multiple pathogens.”

On July 13, the company expanded on its original announcement of interim results from its Phase II study of IMM-124E in NASH. The primary goal of the interim analysis was evaluating product safety, as well as identifying signals of efficacy from the primary, secondary and exploratory endpoints at two dosage levels. No safety concerns have been observed.

In terms of efficacy signals on liver enzymes ALT and AST, it showed a dose-related reduction in both treatment doses at 24 weeks, although not significantly different from placebo. However, further analysis has indicated that there appears to be statistical significance outside the two evaluated time points.

“The study results so far have been extremely encouraging for us as IMM-124E is demonstrating the expected safety and data to show its potential to treat NASH as a non-absorbable drug,” said Dan Peres, Immuron’s Head of Medical, in a statement. “We expect the remaining data coming in through until the end of the year will demonstrate additional pathways making IMM-124E a strong candidate for the treatment of NASH either on its own, or in combination with other therapies.”

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