Board of Directors

 

Rob B Thomas AO, BEc, MSAA, SF Fin, FAICD, FRSN

Non-executive director (appointed 4 December 2013)

Chairman from 13 June 2014

Mr Thomas has a strong background in financial services and capital markets and is a non-executive director of several Australian listed companies. Formerly Mr Thomas was a Partner of Potter Partners (now UBS) where he was also Head of Research.

Mr Thomas is the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of County NatWest Securities and then became CEO and then Chairman of Citibank Corporate and Investment Bank in Australia. Mr Thomas has also held the position of Chairman at Australian Wealth Management Ltd (ultimately IOOF Ltd), TAL (Australia’s largest life insurance company) and HeartWare® International Inc, the second largest global manufacturer of left ventricular assist heart pumps. Mr Thomas is currently a non-executive director of ASX-listed Biotron Limited and Clarity Pharmaceuticals Limited. Mr Thomas is also Chair of AusBio Ltd, Grahger Retail Securities, Co-Chair of the State Library of NSW Foundation and a director of O’Connell Street Associates.

For many years Mr Thomas was regarded as one of Australia’s leading financial analysts and regularly lectured with Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA). He has considerable expertise in Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) and capital markets including advising on the floats of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Qantas, and vast experience in Audit and Risk Management. Mr Thomas is also approved under the NSW prequalification scheme for Audit and Risk Committee Independent Chairs and Members for government/public sector agencies and has previously served as the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of Virgin Australia Limited (for 11 years), HeartWare® International Inc, REVA Medical Limited and the State Library of NSW.

Mr Thomas holds a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University, a Diploma of Business (Accounting) from Swinburne and is a fellow of FINSIA. Mr Thomas is also a Master Stockbroker, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

Specific skills and experience areas

In addition to Mr Thomas’ significant finance and M&A/capital markets experience, Mr Thomas’ non-executive roles with various ASX listed companies have deepened his skills and experience in relation to accounting/corporate finance; audit and risk; governance; licensing and commercialisation of innovation; strategy and risk management; occupational health & safety (“OH&S”); and remuneration. He has also had significant experience with US-based companies as they progress from research to commercialisation.

Committee membership: Member of Remuneration & Nomination Committee; Member of Audit & Risk Committee

 

Cheryl Maley, B.Sc, DipEd, MBA, GAICD

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director (appointed 8 January 2024)

Cheryl has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including 20 years in leadership roles at well-known and leading organisations, including Novartis and AbbVie/Abbott. Her roles include nine years at Novartis in senior commercial and executive roles and various sales and marketing positions with AbbVie, Servier Laboratories, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

Cheryl has had extensive experience in leading pharmaceutical innovation, marketing, commercialisation and delivering business growth across Australia, Asia, and international markets. She has a strong commercial background with a proven record in successful product launches and patient access and reimbursement to innovative medicines.

During her nine-year career at Novartis, Cheryl held a number of senior leadership positions where she had responsibility for new products, commercialisation and strategy, as well as reimbursement matters. Cheryl was Country Head and President of Novartis Philippines, where she was responsible for the Pharmaceutical Division and oversaw the cross-divisional leadership team, including the Oncology, Sandoz and Alcon business units.

In her most recent Novartis role as General Manager, Oncology, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Cheryl led Novartis’ oncology division in the ANZ region, with P&L responsibility and oversight of all business functions, including medical, commercial/sales, finance, operations, legal, market access, and compliance. In this role, Cheryl oversaw the successful launch of Australia’s first CAR T cell therapy, Kymriah®, for the treatment of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, one of Novartis’ top 20 medicines by sales in 2022.

Cheryl has most recently been serving as the Acting CEO and Strategic Advisor at Biointelect, a firm that specialises in strategic planning and commercialisation for the biopharmaceutical and medical device sector. During this time, she has supported a number of research institutions and biotech companies to achieve their goals of growth, transformation and successful commercialisation.

Specific skills and experience areas

With more than 25 years of experience in senior leadership and executive positions for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Cheryl has significant knowledge and leadership skills in pharmaceutical innovation and development, product commercialisation, business development, sales and marketing, strategy and risk management.

 

David McIntyre CPA, LL.B., MBA and B. Econs (Acc)

Non-executive director (appointed 1 March 2020) – resides in the United States

Mr McIntyre has more than 20 years of executive experience including 18 years in the life sciences sector, having held various C-suite level roles at Tessa Therapeutics, Inc., AVITA Therapeutics, Inc., HeartWare® International, Inc., and Braeburn, Inc.

Mr McIntyre’s experience also includes seven years as a Partner at Apple Tree Partners, a multibillion- dollar life science venture capital and growth equity fund, giving him a deep knowledge of, and extensive contacts in, the US pharma, medical device and biotech markets. During this time, Mr McIntyre served as a non-executive director of several US life science companies.

Prior to entering life sciences, Mr McIntyre practiced as a senior attorney at Baker & McKenzie and KPMG specialising in M&A, initial public offerings, and corporate law and also held various senior finance roles in both multinational companies and small growth companies. Mr McIntyre is based in the US and brings to the table an international lens on life science licensing and commercialisation, marketing and business and development, and M&A/capital markets. Mr McIntyre has significant experience in the areas of accounting/corporate finance, audit and risk, strategy and risk management.

Mr McIntyre holds a Bachelor of Economics (Accounting) from the University of Sydney, Australia, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University Fuqua School of Business (Fuqua Scholar) from Durham, North Carolina, in the US. Mr McIntyre is a Certified Practising Accountant and is also admitted as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and of the High Court of Australia.

Specific skills and experience areas

With more than 20 years of executive experience including 18 years in the life science sector, Mr McIntyre’s experience covers all key areas described in the Board skills matrix. In particular, Mr McIntyre has substantial expertise in accounting/corporate finance, audit and risk; M&A/capital markets; governance; licensing and commercialisation of innovation; strategy and risk management, having held executive roles including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. He has also had significant experience with US-based companies in the medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.

Committee membership: Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

 

Lynda Cheng B.Com, LLB (Hons), GAICD

Non-executive director (appointed 1 August 2021) 

Ms Cheng has a strong background in finance with more than 25 years of experience as a finance executive including more than 15 years at Visy Industries/Pratt Holdings and 10 years in investment banking. She has significant commercial and international corporate expertise including experience in financial services, manufacturing, export finance, infrastructure, education as well as market entry, growth and technology.

Ms Cheng is currently Director of Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions at Visy Industries / Pratt Holdings and has held various other roles in the group including CFO. Ms Cheng’s earlier roles include as a lawyer at Blake Dawson, before moving into investment banking with J.P. Morgan in its Melbourne, Sydney, San Francisco and New York offices.

Ms Cheng is currently an independent, non-executive member of the board of directors at JRJJ Capital, the parent company of Merricks Capital, in an observer/advisory capacity. Ms Cheng previously served as a non-executive director of Export Finance Australia, a member of the Australian Government’s International Development Policy Expert Panel and Deputy Chair and Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk committee of South East Water.

Ms Cheng holds a Bachelor of Law (Honours) and Commerce degree, majoring in actuarial studies and economics, from the University of Melbourne, and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Specific skills and experience areas

With over 25 years’ experience as a finance executive, including substantial international experience and several non-executive directorships, Ms Cheng’s experience covers the majority
of key areas described in Starpharma’s Board skills matrix. In particular, she has substantial expertise in accounting/corporate finance, audit and risk; M&A/capital markets; strategy and
risk management; governance; as well as business development. Ms Cheng has had involvement in the commercialisation of new innovations during her tenure at South East Water and also while working with disruptive technology companies in Silicon Valley.

Committee membership: Chair of Remuneration & Nomination Committee; Member of Audit & Risk Committee

 

Dr Jeff Davies PhD, BSc (Hons)

Non-executive director (appointed 1 April 2022)

Dr Davies is a former CSL executive with over 35 years of biopharmaceutical experience, holding senior executive roles at CSL, including Executive Vice President & General Manager at CSL for the Asia-Pacific region, and Global Head of Plasma Product Research and Development at CSL-Behring, Switzerland.

As Executive Vice President & General Manager at CSL for the Asia-Pacific region, Dr Davies had overall P&L responsibility for the commercial and operational aspects of the business and oversaw the pharmaceutical, plasma, vaccine, and diagnostic businesses in Australia, New Zealand, China, and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

As the Global Head of CSL-Behring’s Plasma Product Research and Development portfolios, Dr Davies oversaw and played an important role in the development of leading products, including the multi-billion-dollar Privigen® immunoglobulin product. Dr Davies was part of CSL’s due diligence teams, which led to the acquisitions of the Plasma Fractionation businesses of Swiss Red Cross (2000) and Aventis Behring (2003), thus transforming CSL into a global company.

Dr Davies is a partner and founding director of Centre for Biopharmaceutical Excellence, a pharmaceutical consulting firm. Dr Davies has held a number of senior industry board and advisory roles, including representation on the Pharmaceutical Industry Council, the Australian Red Cross Advisory Board and Medicines Australia.

Dr Davies holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Monash University and is a graduate of the London Business School’s Senior Executive Program.

Specific skills and experience areas

With over 35 years of experience within the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr Davies is an accomplished executive skilled in R&D, product development and commercialisation strategy;
business development, manufacturing and clinical and regulatory affairs. Dr Davies has significant leadership skills and experience in commercialising scientific research for healthcare products.

Committee membership: Member of Remuneration & Nomination Committee

 

Dr Russell Basser PhD, BMBS, MD, FRACP

Non-executive director (appointed 20 February 2023)

Dr Basser is a medical oncologist and former corporate executive with over 30 years of international medical and biopharmaceutical experience, including 21 years at CSL. Dr Basser has substantial expertise in international drug and vaccine development, having held multiple senior executive roles at CSL, including Senior Vice President (SVP) of Research and Development at CSL Seqirus; Chief Medical Officer at CSL Limited/CSL Behring; and SVP of Global Clinical Research and Development at CSL Behring/CSL Limited.

During his time at CSL, Dr Basser was responsible for globalising CSL’s Clinical Research and Development group and for conception and execution of CSL’s clinical trial strategies across a broad range of therapeutic areas from Phase 1 to commercialisation. Dr Basser was a founding member of CSL Seqirus’ executive leadership team in 2015 as SVP of Research and Development until his retirement in April 2022. Prior to joining CSL, Dr Basser was a practicing medical oncologist at the Royal Melbourne and Western Hospitals and had an appointment at the Ludwig institute for Cancer Research.

Dr Basser is also a non-executive director of Doherty Clinical Trials Ltd and Medical Developments International.

Specific skills and experience areas

With over 20 years of executive experience in the biotechnology industry and 10 years as a practicing clinical oncologist, Dr Basser has significant leadership skills and experience in
healthcare/scientific research; pharmaceutical product development; international executive experience and skills in regulation/public policy; commercialisation of innovation; business development; governance; strategy; and risk management.

Committee membership: Member of Remuneration & Nomination Committee

 

Jacinth (Jackie) K Fairley BSc, BVSc (Hons), MBA, GAICD, FTSE

Advisor to the Board

Dr Jackie Fairley, the former Chief Executive Officer of Starpharma (2006 - 2023), has more than 30 years of operational experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries working in senior management roles with companies including CSL Limited (CSL) and Faulding (now Pfizer). In those roles Dr Fairley had responsibilities which included clinical, regulatory, business development, product development management and general management. At Faulding Dr Fairley was responsible for global product development, regulatory affairs and business development for Faulding’s hospital business which operated in more than 60 countries.

Dr Fairley holds first class honours degrees in Science (pharmacology and pathology) and Veterinary Science from Melbourne University and was a practicing veterinary surgeon prior to joining CSL. Whilst at CSL Dr Fairley obtained a Master of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School, where she was the recipient of the prestigious Clemenger Medal. Dr Fairley is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Fairley is a non-executive director of the listed investment company Mirrabooka Investments Limited and a member of the Invest Victoria Advisory Board (IVAB) and Carnegie Venture Capital’s investment Committee. Dr Fairley has previously served on the Melbourne Business School Board, the Australian Federal Government’s Commonwealth Science Council and Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group, and the Australian Federal Ministerial Biotechnology Advisory Council.

Specific skills and experience areas

With more than 30 years’ experience in executive roles up to and including as CEO and executive director of ASX listed and unlisted pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Dr Fairley’s experience covers all key areas described in the Board skills matrix. In particular, Dr Fairley has significant leadership skills in healthcare and scientific research; pharmaceutical development; international experience; licensing and commercialisation of innovation; business development; strategy and risk management; and M&A/capital markets.