Dr. Clement Leong has more than 20 years of biotech, pharma and venture capital experience in Australia and the United States, with companies such as Schering-Plough BioPharma in Palo Alto, California, Entelos Inc. in Foster City, California and SciVentures Investments in Melbourne, Australia. During this period he actively led multiple development programs and completed a series of financing and licensing transactions. He was the founding chairman of Ascend and has led the Company’s clinical and preclinical programs. He has also been involved in the mezzanine funding of a number of ASX listed Australian biotech companies (e.g., Evogenix, ASX: EGX and Patrys Pty Ltd, ASX: PAB) and was the founding investor and an executive director in a number of private Australian biotech and medical device companies. Clement earned his PhD from the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Australia and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM).
Jacques Banchereau has a 35-year track record of academic and industrial research leadership in immunology. At the Schering-Plough/DNAX Laboratory for Immunological Research in Lyon, France, Dr. Banchereau made significant contributions towards 1) the discovery and characterization of numerous human cytokines, including IL4, IL-10, IL-13, IL-17 and GM-CSF; 2) human B–cell biology, in particular B-cell growth, differentiation and isotype switching; 3) developing methods for in vitro–generation of human dendritic cells (DCs) and 4) functional characterization of various DC subsets. As Director of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (BIIR) in Dallas, Texas, Dr Banchereau facilitated major advances in our understanding of human DC biology and the therapeutic use of DCs in cancer and infectious diseases. Dr Banchereau also helped to identify the role of Type I interferon in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and IL-1 in Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (sJIA), which led to the novel application of IL-1 antagonists as powerful therapeutics for juvenile arthritic disease. Dr. Banchereau also contributed to the development of DC-based vaccines for use in a series of clinical trials for the treatment of metastatic melanoma as well as for HIV infection. As Chief Scientific Officer of the Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) Nutley, NJ campus, Dr. Banchereau oversaw the Discovery and Development unit (including Phase IIb clinical trials) in the areas of virology and inflammation. Dr. Banchereau is currently Professor, Director of Immunological Sciences and the Deputy Director of JAX Genomic Medicine (JAX-GM) facility in Farmington, CT. Dr. Banchereau is a graduate of University of Angers and University of Paris, France and has published over 450 original research papers.
Dr. Richard Stead has more than 25 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, designing and directing clinical trials, regulatory strategy and licensing activities. He is currently Founder and Principal of BioPharma Consulting Services, where he is involved in the development of a number of oncology products including different strategies for cancer immunotherapy. He also serves as an independent director on the board of Affimed Therapeutics AG, a privately held German company developing next generation bispecific antibodies in oncology. Previously, he was Vice President, Clinical Research of Immunex Corporation with responsibilities including oncology and neurology product development. Dr. Stead has served in various positions in clinical development and played a key role in the FDA approval and commercialisation of Amgen’s first two products, Epogen and Neupogen. MD, Stanford University.
Mr Tsiamis has over 30 years experience in industry, primarily in the funds management and start-up sectors. Key roles during this time include Head of Operations for ANZ Asset Management, a role in which he was responsible for the accounting, administration and custody of approximately $15B in Funds under Management. He established the operations and finance functions at the newly formed Allianz Equity Management, a boutique funds management operation specialising in Australian Equities. In 2004, George was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the publicly listed McMillan Shakespeare Ltd (ASX: MMS). Over the last decade he has consulted for a number of start-ups in the pharmaceutical and technology sectors including working with Ascend since 2012.