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News & Trends - Biotechnology

Former government officials join science innovators

Health Industry Hub | May 22, 2024 |

Biotech News: Former government figures have been appointed as new board members of scientific organisations; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Australian biotech company HaemaLogiX.

Terry Moran, former secretary of the Department of Prime Minister in Cabinet in the Rudd-Gillard years, will join the CSIRO board as a member.

During the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, he helped to lead the development of Australia’s highly successful policy responses. He also chaired the Advisory Group on the Reform of Australian Government Administration, which developed a blueprint for reform of the Australian Public Service.

Prior to joining PM&C, Moran held a number of senior positions at state and federal level, including secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria, director-general of education in Queensland and CEO of the Australian National Training Authority.

HaemaLogiX, an Australian biotech company specialising in novel immunotherapies for blood cancers and B-cell diseases, has appointed Professor the Hon Greg Hunt, former Federal Minister for Health, to its Board as a Non-Executive Director. This move marks Prof Hunt’s first corporate directorship post his tenure as Minister for Health.

Established in 2014, HaemaLogiX stands as the pioneer in developing antibody therapy targeting kappa myeloma antigen (KMA) and lambda myeloma antigen (LMA). These antigens, unique to malignant plasma cells, offer promising avenues for treating multiple myeloma and AL amyloidosis, diseases with limited treatment options. HaemaLogiX’s clinical trial programs, conducted in collaboration with global hematology leaders at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) and Alfred Health, signify a crucial step in addressing unmet medical needs.

Expressing his decision to join the Board, Prof Hunt stated, “HaemaLogiX addresses a critical treatment gap through innovative science, recognised by leading scientific authorities. Having witnessed the transformative potential of immunotherapy and emerging therapies first-hand, I am optimistic about the prospect of safer and more effective treatments for patients with multiple myeloma and related conditions.” Prof Hunt also acknowledged the appeal of collaborating with HaemaLogiX’s esteemed team, noting their impressive leadership and the calibre of their Scientific Advisory Board.

Backed by Australia’s pioneering research institutions, Alfred Health and Peter Mac, HaemaLogiX conducts cutting-edge clinical programs. Prof Andrew Spencer’s leadership at Alfred led to a Phase 2b efficacy study showcasing promising results with the KappaMab program, including an 83% overall response rate in relapsed multiple myeloma patients. Furthermore, HaemaLogiX and Peter Mac are actively advancing a CAR-T development program targeting KMA, with plans to initiate Phase 1 clinical trials.

CEO Damian Clarke-Bruce emphasised the synergy between HaemaLogiX’s research focus and Prof Hunt’s dedication to patient outcomes and scientific innovation. He expressed excitement about Prof Hunt’s addition, citing his wealth of advisory experience and commitment to advancing new treatments.

Dr John Cullity, Non-Executive Chairman, underscored Prof Hunt’s significance, envisioning a collaborative effort to elevate HaemaLogiX within Australia’s life science sector and on the global stage.

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