Management & Board

Clement Leong
PhD, Executive Chairman

Clement has more than 20 years of biotech and venture capital experience in Australia and the United States. He is currently CEO of Ascend Biopharma, an Australian biotech developing viral based immunotherapies for cancer. He has been previously involved in leadership roles or as a founder/investor in many Australian and US biotech start-ups. 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).

Peter Hudson
PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Peter was co-founder of Avipep as one of the key inventors of the Avibody™ platform technology. He has over 25 years of experience in protein (biopharmaceutical) design and production with over 14 Patent Applications and +100 publications. Peter has a PhD (Cambridge) and B.Sc (Hons-Adelaide) is an elected Fellow of the ATSE Academy. Peter founded the Victorian Biologics Consortium to leverage Government and Wellcome Trust UK investments of over $4million, through Avipep. Peter previously led CSIRO’s Neuroscience Theme and a $10 million 3-year AIBL study of Alzheimer’s disease (2007-2010). He was the founding Deputy CEO and Scientific Director of the CRC for Diagnostics, an $8 million per annum research portfolio (1995-2006).

Jeremy Wu
PhD, Head of Chemistry

Jeremy has over 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech industry and has held research and management positions with several Australian biotech companies including Mimotopes, Starpharma and Avipep. His drug research and development expertise include synthesis of heterocyclic compounds of biological importance, natural product elucidation, combinatorial chemistry, dendrimer chemistry and antibody-drug conjugates. He has over 20 publications and 3 patents. Jeremy received his PhD from University of Wollongong and then did postdoctoral training in Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University.

Geoffrey Pietersz
PhD, Head of Research and Development

Geoffrey is an expert in Bio-Organic Chemistry with more than 35 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, inflammation and infectious diseases. He is currently at the Baker IDI and Chief Technology Officer for Ascend Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. He is a research associate of the Burnet Institute and holds Adjunct Professorial appointments at Melbourne, Monash and Victoria University.

Ross Chessari
Non-executive Director

Ross is a seasoned investor, co-founded SciVentures Investments and, as Director of McMillan Shakespeare (ASX:MMS), led the MBO and listing. He has been responsible for the management and administration of $15 Billion of funds as Managing Director of ANZ Asset management and as the General Manager of ANZ Trustees. Ross has academic qualifications as Bachelor of Laws and a Masters of Taxation, both from the University of Melbourne.

Graham Mitchell
PhD, Non-executive Director

Graham is recognised as one of Australia’s leading biological scientists. He has detailed knowledge of the academia-industry interface, has worked in many overseas countries and been involved with tropical disease programs of the World Health Organisation for many years. He has been an advisor on innovation to the Victorian, Commonwealth, Tasmanian and Northern Territory Governments. In another government role the Principals of Foursight, including Mitchell, jointly act as Chief Scientist for the Victorian Department of Economic Development and Department of Environment. He is a non-executive director of Antisense Therapeutics Limited, Avipep Pty Ltd, WEHI and has been a Principal of Foursight, an advisory service in science, technology, innovation and commercialisation, since 1996. He is an author of more than 350 publications, has received numerous awards for scientific achievements and, in 1993, was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to science.

John Lambert
PhD, Non-executive Director

John has over 30 years’ experience researching and developing antibody drug conjugates. During his tenure in leadership roles at ImmunoGen (1987-2017), the company invented the ADC technology that resulted in the Genentech/Roche drug, Kadcyla® (approved in 2013 for treating HER2+ breast cancer), as well as numerous other ADCs that have been taken into the clinic. He is the author/co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed scientific publications, was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and appointed an Honorary Professor of Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. John has been an independent consultant to the biopharmaceutical industry.