managing director and chief executive officer
Dr Megan Baldwin was appointed CEO and Managing Director of Opthea Limited in February 2014. Dr Baldwin brings over 19 years of experience focussing on angiogenesis and therapeutic strategies for cancer and ophthalmic indications. Dr Baldwin joined the company in 2008 and has held various positions, including Head of Preclinical R&D and Chief Executive Officer of Opthea Pty Ltd, which at that time operated as a 100% owned subsidiary of Circadian (now Opthea Limited), developing OPT-302 (formerly VGX-300) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. Prior to Opthea, she was employed at Genentech (now Roche), the world leader in angiogenesis-based therapies for cancer and other diseases. Her experience included several years as a researcher in the group of leading angiogenesis expert Napoleone Ferrara, before moving to Genentech’s commercial division and having responsibility for corporate competitive intelligence activities. In these roles, she developed extensive commercial and scientific knowledge in anti-angiogenic and oncology drug development. She holds a PhD in Medicine from the University of Melbourne, having conducted her doctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and is a member of the Australian Institute for Company Directors.
chief financial officer and company secretary
Mr Tonroe was appointed Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary in May 2014. He has over 20 years experience in finance and company secretarial roles. His most recent role was as Chief Financial Officer of the Australian Synchrotron Company Limited. His previous roles included financial analysis, forecasting, implementing growth plans, fund-raising, board and shareholder reporting. Mr Tonroe holds a Graduate Degree in Business Studies from Buckingham University and is a Chartered Accountant. He is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has previously held board positions at Australian Synchrotron, Sigtec, i-to-i UK Ltd and LBM UK Ltd.
head of cmc development
Mike Gerometta was appointed Head of CMC Development in December 2008 and is principally responsible for the outsourcing of the company’s research and cGMP manufacturing activities. Mike has over 20 years’ experience in the Australian biotechnology industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Q-Gen, QIMR’s translational research, manufacturing arm. He has also spent 19 years at Agen Biomedical, occupying a variety of positions and roles, most recently as Research and Product Development Director. In this role he was responsible for the chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC), pre-clinical program and patent management for Agen’s ThromboView® project, a blood clot imaging agent. Previously, he has worked at Biotech Australia, Sydney, and together with earlier positions at Agen, developed numerous successful immunodiagnostic assays for the medical, veterinary and food industries across various diagnostic platforms for the laboratory and point-of-care. He was awarded his PhD in biotechnology from the Queensland University of Technology and has a degree in chemistry from the University of Technology in Sydney.
director – clinical research
Ian Leitch has been Director of Clinical Research of Opthea since September 2011. He has over 20 years of research and management experience from drug discovery through clinical development in biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. For five years prior to joining the company, he was a member of the Medical Sciences group at Amgen Inc in Thousand Oaks California involved in the development of novel therapeutics in Amgen’s oncology pipeline. In his role as Senior Manager in the Early Development Oncology Therapeutic Area, he had responsibility for the oversight, design, management and execution of Phase 1-2 clinical studies in oncology. Prior to joining Amgen, he spent eight years at Miravant Medical Technologies in Santa Barbara California. He held positions of increasing responsibility including Senior Program Manager for Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Study Director for Ophthalmology. At Miravant he managed pre-clinical efficacy studies, developed relationships with Key Opinion Leaders and designed Phase 1-2 clinical studies in a collaboration with the cardiovascular device company Guidant Inc. He previously, held the position of NHMRC Senior Research Officer, at the University of Newcastle, and was based at the John Hunter Hospital in Australia. He received his PhD from the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine at Monash University in 1993 and completed part of the degree at the University of California, Santa Barbara as part of an Education Abroad Program Scholarship.
head of intellectual property
Richard Chadwick joined Opthea Limite in February 2008. Richard is qualified as both a European and Australian patent attorney. Richard joined the company from FB Rice & Co, where he worked for five years in the Biotechnology Group. Prior to that, Richard had 10 years’ experience in intellectual property in the UK. This included working as an in-house attorney at Dow Corning and five years as an in-house attorney at Unilever.
senior research scientist
Angus Tester has held the position of Senior Research Scientist since February 2009. He is responsible for conducting and managing the pre-clinical research undertaken at the Opthea research laboratory, located within CSIRO. Angus completed his PhD in Biochemistry at Monash University and subsequently spent over 10 years working in cancer research. He has gained extensive skills and experience using models of human cancer within laboratories based in Australia and North America.
Melinda Lowe has been a Project Manager with Opthea since 2010. Melinda holds a PhD in Medicine from Monash University and has over 20 years’ experience in Australian biomedical research, principally in immune mediated disease and virology. She moved into project management in 2005 while at Starpharma Holdings Limited, a company developing nanotechnology products for pharmaceutical, life-science and other applications. Since then, as a Senior Development Manager with Medicines Development Limited, Melinda has worked on the development of a novel lipopeptide vaccine technology, and a practical and affordable conjoint treatment option for chronic viral infections.