At present all commercial, financial and secretarial functions are carried out by individual Directors and Mr Brendan Brown of MPR Group.
Dr Michael Thurn - Executive Director
Michael is a drug development specialist with over 15 years of industry and regulatory experience. During this time he has been responsible for advancing a number of novel drugs into clinical development across a variety of therapeutic indications. Michael has been involved in five successful IND applications and the regulatory evaluation of numerous drugs and vaccines for registration in Australia. Michael’s previous appointments include, managing director of Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, chief operating officer at Cytopia, head of drug development at Xenome, anti-cancer team leader at Novogen, and senior toxicologist at the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Michael obtained his PhD in immunology and biochemistry from the University of Technology, Sydney in 1994.
Mr Ben Gust - Non Executive Director
Ben is an Investment Director with GBS Venture Partners, a leading Australian life-science focused venture fund he joined in 2003. Ben has held board positions on a number of companies including acting as company secretary for an ASX listed entity and is currently on the boards of Hydrexia Pty Ltd, Hatchtech Pty Ltd, Spinifex Pty Ltd, Ivantis Inc and chair of the audit committee of Neuromonics Pty Ltd. Prior to GBS, Ben spent several years in the legal industry practicing as a Solicitor and managing international litigation. Ben is admitted to the Victorian Supreme Court as a Barrister and Solicitor, earned his Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Science degrees from Monash University in Melbourne and has a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment.
Dr Michael Panaccio - Non Executive Director
Michael is one of the founders of Starfish Ventures and has played a crucial role in the establishment of the company. Michael was formerly Investment Manager with JAFCO Investment (Asia Pacific) and was the first Investment Professional to join JAFCO's Australian operations after the office was established. Together with John Dyson, Michael established JAFCO as a leading venturecapital manager in Australia. Prior to joining JAFCO, Michael was Head of the Department of Molecular Biology at the Victorian Institute of Animal Sciences where he used his mix of commercial and scientific skills to build a large scientific department (over 20 staff) and raised over $5M from multinational drug companies. Michael is the inventor on numerous patent applications, has authored or co-authored over thirty scientific publications and contributed to five books. Michael maintains active contact with members of the scientific community in Australia in a number of diverse fields. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from The University of Melbourne, a Ph.D (Medicine) fromThe University of Melbourne and a MBA from RMIT University. Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a former Chairman of the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council. Michael has been a Director of numerous technology businesses in Australia and the USA including SIRTeX Medical, Technico, EOS and Colloidal Dynamics Group. He is currently acurrently a director of ImpediMed, MuriGen, NeuProtect, Ofidium and Protagonist.