Management

Dr. Clement Leong, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Clement Leong has over 20 years of biotech and venture capital experience in Australia and the United States, with companies such as Schering-Plough BioPharma/DNAX 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).

Dr. Paul Weiden, Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Paul Weiden has worked for biotechnology firms involved in developing chemotherapeutic agents and cellular immunotherapy of cancer since 2001. During the previous 20 years, he was a member of the Section of Haematology-Oncology at Virginia Mason Medical Centre, Seattle, Washington.  He served as Principal Investigator of the Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) where he gained experience in cooperative group trials and as the Principal Investigator of the Cancer Clinical Trials Unit responsible for the design and conduct of phase 1/2 trials involving radio-labelled monoclonal antibodies. MD, Harvard Medical School.

Dr Geoffrey Pietersz, Director of Technology Development

Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz is a bio-organic chemist with expertise in the use of chemical methods to solve biological problems and the design of new bio-therapeutics. He has more than 30 years experience working on cancer/infectious disease vaccines and monoclonal antibodies, drug/toxin/radio-nucleotide antibody conjugates, their characterisation and measurement of anti-tumour efficacy. He has more than 160 peer-reviewed publications and many granted patents in the areas of cancer and inflammation. Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry), The University of Melbourne.

Dr. Satish Menon, CMC Director

Dr. Satish Menon has 26 years of experience in research, development and management of protein based therapeutics. Satish has directed both process and bioprocess development and overseen GMP quality and documentation for successful regulatory filings for commercialised products in large multinational companies such as Schering Plough, DNAX Research, Genotope and Allergan. He played a key oversight role in managing interactions with the FDA for the CMC packages on multiple global filings.  Ph.D. (Biochemistry), Indian Institute of Science.

Sachin Ojha, Senior Manager of Clinical Operations

Mr Sachin Ojha has over 12 years of Pharmaceutical & CRO industry experience with global organizations like PAREXEL, Quintiles and PPD. His experience covers all aspects of study management (Project Planning to Completion), audits and regulatory inspections (US-FDA, EMEA, Korean-FDA & DCGI) on large phase I – phase IV global studies across various therapeutic areas, i.e. Oncology, Endocrinology, Immunology, Cardiovascular, Ophthalmology. In his previous role as Sr. Manager of Clinical Operations, Sachin managed the regional clinical operations team of study leads and site monitors in various countries and had responsibilities for the zonal office. In this role, he was also a subject matter expert for strategic partnerships and oversaw the conduct of projects. He has been a visiting faculty on various topics on Clinical Research for Diploma and MBA courses in Clinical Research at various institutes in India. Sachin completed his Post Graduate Degree in Microbiology from Mumbai University and an MBA from Manipal University, India.

Dr Jacqui Waterkeyn, Director of Regulatory Affairs

Dr Jacqui Waterkeyn has over 20 years experience in therapeutic product development, regulatory affairs and clinical research globally and is currently also an Associate Director of Sponsor Operations at Orygen (The National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health). Jacqui was one of the founders of Nucleus Network, Centre for Clinical Studies, a leading Phase I unit based in Melbourne Australia. She also established the Austin Centre for Clinical Studies where she was Director of Operations. Prior to that she held roles at CSL in Melbourne and Argus Biomedical in Perth and currently also lectures in Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne (School of Biosciences). She received her PhD in Parasitology from the University of Melbourne, Department of Veterinary Science with post-doctoral training at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne having received an NH&MRC Peter Doherty Fellowship.