Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director
Dr Megan Baldwin was appointed CEO and Managing Director of Opthea Limited in February 2014. Dr Baldwin has over 20 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 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. Dr Baldwin is on the board of Ausbiotech and is a member of the Australian Institute for Company Directors.
BSc(Hons), ACA, MAICD
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) & Company Secretary
Mike Tonroe, was appointed Opthea’s Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary in May 2014. He is accountable directly to the board, through the chair, on all matters to do with the proper functioning of Opthea’s board. Prior to joining Opthea, Mike was the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary at the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne where he assisted the board in winning operational funding to 2020. Mike qualified as a Chartered Accountant with big-four firms of accountants, Deloitte and KPMG in the UK and Hong Kong. He has over 20 years’ experience of financial management in board-level positions for private and listed companies in Australia, UK, the US and Canada. Industry experience encompasses research, technology, manufacturing, testing, engineering, education, to travel and utilities/energy. Mike has been the CFO of companies during several equity events, including listed capital raising, public funding, private equity, venture capital and corporate acquisition while handling the changes brought on by rapid growth. Mike is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mike holds a graduate degree in Business Studies from Buckingham University, UK.
Head of CMC Development
Mike Gerometta has been Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls (CMC) Development for Opthea since 2008 with responsibilities encompassing outsourcing of Opthea’s biopharmaceutical research and cGMP manufacturing activities for its therapeutic and diagnostic portfolio, as well as oversight of internal laboratory activities. Mike has over 30 years’ experience in the Australian biotechnology industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Q-Gen, the manufacturing facility of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. He has extensive experience working with numerous Contract Manufacturing Organisations overseas and locally in all facets of translational CMC from concept through to Phase II studies, in the process successfully guiding the manufacture of five biologics through to Phase 1/2 clinical trials, including oversight of two nonclinical programs, as well as associated regulatory interactions in North America, Europe and Australia. He has also directed the development of numerous in vitro diagnostic products through to the market over 19 years at Agen Biomedical, ultimately as Research and Product Development Director. Mike 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 of Clinical Research
Ian Leitch has been Director of Clinical Research of Opthea Technologies Ltd since September 2011. He has over 15 years of research and management experience from drug discovery through clinical development in biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies. For the five years prior to joining Opthea, 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 preclinical 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.
Director of Clinical Development
Clare Price was appointed Director of Clinical Development at Opthea in July 2016. Clare has over 20 years of clinical and drug development experience, garnered from both a large multinational pharmaceutical company, and small biotechnology companies. Clare started her career in the main R&D function of SmithKline Beecham in Harlow, UK. She spent over 8 years in various clinical roles within the company with responsibility for the design, management and execution of clinical studies from phase 1 to 4 across a number a therapeutic areas. For the remaining three years Clare formed part of the project management group of the newly merged GlaxoSmithKline, responsible for the project management of full drug development programmes from molecule inception through non-clinical and clinical studies, regulatory aspects and commercialisation. She then moved to Melbourne, where she has held senior clinical roles in ASX-listed biotechnology companies, firstly Acrux, and then Starpharma. Over the nine years that Clare spent at Starpharma she successfully built, implemented and delivered phase 2 and 3 clinical programmes, including extensive regulatory interaction and negotiation, which led to the successful commercialisation of the lead candidate product. Clare is a registered pharmacist, with a degree in Pharmacy, from the University of Bath in the UK.
Director, Clinical Research
Annette Leahy commenced at Opthea in August 2017 as Director of Clinical Research. Annette has 20 years clinical research experience including operational and project management roles across biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and CRO industries. Prior to joining Opthea Annette held senior operational roles at Swisse and Novotech successfully building clinical trial teams and departments. Annette also has 12 years project management experience including leading a global influenza clinical trials program under a US government contract at Biota, managing early phase clinical studies in a Phase 1 unit at Nucleus Network and managing European clinical projects while living in the UK and working for Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Europe. Annette has a Bachelor of Health Information Management form La Trobe University.
Head of Intellectual Property
Richard Chadwick, who joined Opthea in February 2008, is qualified as both a European and Australian patent attorney. Richard joined Opthea from FB Rice & Co, where he had been working 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 Limited and five years working as an in-house attorney at Unilever.
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.
Annie Lee joined Opthea in 2006 and since then has performed different accounting roles within the company. Prior to joining Opthea, she was the Executive Assistant to the Chairman in an ASX listed company and held various roles in operations and accounting over a 12 year period with Emma Page Jewellery. Annie has accounting, audit and taxation experience gained in public accounting firms and businesses across various industries. Annie holds a Master of Commerce in Professional Accounting and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting. Annie is a Member of the Institute of Public Accountants, Australia.