Cynata Therapeutics Limited (ASX: CYP) is an Australian clinical stage stem cell and regenerative medicine company that is developing a therapeutic stem cell platform technology, Cymerus™, originating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a world leader in stem cell research.
The proprietary Cymerus™ technology addresses a critical shortcoming in existing methods of production of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for therapeutic use, which is the ability to achieve economic manufacture at commercial scale.
Cymerus™ utilises induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to produce a particular type of MSC precursor, called a mesenchymoangioblast (MCA). The Cymerus™ platform provides a source of MSCs that is independent of donor limitations and provides an “off-the-shelf” stem cell platform for therapeutic product use, with a pharmaceutical product business model and economies of scale. This has the potential to create a new standard in the emergent arena of stem cell therapeutics and provides both a unique differentiator and an important competitive position.
Board and Management
Dr Paul Wotton
Dr Wotton joined Cynata’s Board of Directors in June, 2016. He was previously President and CEO of Ocata Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCAT) joining the company in July 2014 and managing it through a takeover by Astellas Pharma, Inc., in a US$379 million all-cash transaction. Prior to Ocata, Dr Wotton had served as President and CEO of Antares Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRS) and CEO of Topigen Pharmaceuticals.
He was also the Global Head of Business Development of SkyePharma PLC. Earlier in his career he held senior-level positions at Eurand International BV, Penwest Pharmaceuticals, Abbott Laboratories and Merck, Sharp and Dohme. Dr Wotton is a member of the board of Vericel Corporation, a US company developing autologous cellular therapies, and past Chairman of the Emerging Companies Advisory Board of BIOTEC Canada.
He received his Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Nottingham and an MBA from Kingston Business School. In 2014, he was named New Jersey EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Life Sciences.
Dr Ross Macdonald
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Dr Macdonald has more than 20 years’ experience and a track record of success in pharmaceutical and biotechnology businesses. His career history includes positions as Chief Executive Officer of Hatchtech Pty Ltd, Vice President of Business Development for Sinclair Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a UK-based specialty pharmaceuticals company, Vice President of Business Development for Connetics Corporation (Palo Alto, CA), and Vice President, Corporate Development for Stiefel Laboratories Inc, the largest independent dermatology company in the world and acquired by Glaxo Smith Kline in 2009 for £2.25 billion.
Dr Macdonald has also served as Vice President of Research and Development of F H Faulding & Co Ltd and CEO of Living Cell Technologies Ltd. His other positions have included non-executive director roles at iSonea Ltd, Telesso Technologies Ltd, Hatchtech Pty Ltd and Relevare Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He currently serves as a member of the Investment Committee of UniSeed Management Pty Ltd.
Dr Macdonald holds a PhD in Biochemistry, Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Swinburne University, and he is a member of the Licensing Executives Society.
Dr Stewart Washer
Dr Washer has 20 years of CEO and Board experience in medical technology, biotech and agrifood companies. In addition to his role as Executive Chairman at Cynata, he is also the Chairman of Orthocell Ltd, which cultures tendon cells to repair damaged tendons, and Chairman of Minomic International Ltd which has an accurate non-invasive test for prostate cancer.
He was previously the CEO of Calzada Ltd (ASX:CZD), the founding CEO of Phylogica Ltd (ASX:PYC) and before this, he was CEO of Celentis and managed the commercialisation of intellectual property from AgResearch in New Zealand, with 650 scientists and $130 million in revenues. He was also a founder of a NZ$120 million New Zealand-based life science fund and venture partner with the Swiss based Inventages Nestlé Fund. He is currently Investment Director with Bioscience Managers.
Dr Washer has held a number of Board positions in the past as the Chairman of iSonea Ltd (ASX:ISN), Resonance Health Ltd (ASX:RHT) and Hatchtech Pty Ltd, a Director of iCeutica Pty Ltd, Immuron Ltd (ASX:IMC) and AusBiotech Ltd. He was also a Senator with Murdoch University and is currently the Chairman of Firefly Health.
Dr John Chiplin
Dr Chiplin has significant international experience in the life science and technology industries, from both an operational and investment perspective. Recent transactions that Dr Chiplin has been involved in include US stem cell company Medistem (acquired by Intrexon), Arana (acquired by Cephalon), and Domantis (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline).
Prior to his role at Arana, Dr Chiplin was head of the $300 million ITI Life Sciences investment fund in the UK and his own investment vehicle, Newstar Ventures Ltd, has funded more than a dozen early stage companies in the past 10 years. Dr Chiplin is a Director of Benitec Biopharma (ASX: BLT) and also serves on the boards of Adalta Pty Ltd and ScienceMedia, Inc. His Pharmacy and Doctoral degrees are from the University of Nottingham, UK.
Non-Executive Director and Company Secretary
Mr Webse has more than 23 years’ company secretarial experience. He is the Managing Director of Platinum Corporate Secretariat Pty Ltd, a company specialising in providing company secretarial, corporate governance and corporate advisory services.
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