Vanessa Waddell

Acting Chief Executive Officer
BSc(Hons), MBA, GAICD

Vanessa Waddell

Acting Chief Executive Officer
BSc(Hons) MBA, GAICD

Vanessa is an executive manager with 20 years’ experience in commercialization of pharmaceuticals, biological products, and medical devices. Vanessa joined PolyActiva as Head of Commercial Operations and Business Development in 2017 and is responsible for operational management, finance, HR, and business development. Vanessa has held senior management roles in private and publicly listed biotechnology companies across core business competencies including general management, business development, IP management, project management (preclinical and clinical), and finance. Prior to joining PolyActiva Vanessa held positions with Starpharma Pty. Ltd., Prima Biomed Ltd., Velacor Therapeutics, and Pathway Therapeutics. Vanessa has a BSc. (Hons) from the University of Sydney, an MBA (Brookes Scholar) from Deakin University, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr. Andrew Donohue

Head of Chemistry
BSc(Hons), PhD

Dr. Andrew Donohue

Head of Chemistry
BSc(Hons), PhD

Andrew is a medicinal chemist with over 20 years’ experience within the drug discovery, biotechnology and pharmaceutical field with an established record as a team leader. He joined PolyActiva in 2010 and as the Head of Chemistry he oversees the team responsible for the innovation, optimization, development and manufacture of the company’s proprietary drug-monomer conjugates and co-monomers. Prior to joining PolyActiva Andrew held positions at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) and Cytopia working on modulators of protein-protein interactions and small molecule inhibitors of inflammation and cancer. He is an inventor on five of the PolyActiva patent families and is a co-inventor on the patent for the drug Momelotinib, for the treatment of myelofibrosis. Andrew has a BSc. (Hons) and PhD. in organic chemistry from Monash University, Australia and completed post-doctoral research at CSIRO Molecular Science and the Dyson-Perrins Laboratory at the University of Oxford.

Dr. David Valade

Head of Polymer Materials
PhD

Dr. David Valade

Head of Polymer Materials
PhD

David is a polymer chemist with over 15 years’ industry experience covering diverse areas such as pharmaceuticals, energy, paints, electronics and advanced manufacturing. David joined PolyActiva in 2014 and is the Head of Polymer Materials. David leads the research, development and production of drug-polymers conjugates and manages the development of implant administration devices. Prior to joining PolyActiva David worked as a research fellow at the University of New South Wales and the University of Queensland and worked as a research scientist at TotalEnergies and CNRS (France). David completed his PhD at the University of Montpellier II (France).

Dr. Justine Walter

Head, Product Development and Technical Affairs
BSc (Hons), PhD

Dr. Justine Walter

Head, Product Development and Technical Affairs
BSc (Hons), PhD

Justine joined PolyActiva as Head of Product Development and Technical Affairs in 2019 and is responsible for the management of CMC activities for PolyActiva’s drug delivery products in development. Justine has 20 years of experience across pharmaceutical and specialty chemical manufacturing. She has experience with process development, GMP manufacture, analytical chemistry and leadership of cross-functional teams to deliver product for clinical development. Prior to joining PolyActiva, Justine held positions as Operations Manager at Boron Molecular and Project Leader at IDT Australia. Justine has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Melbourne.

Dr. Nicky Wallis

Clinical Development Manager
BSc (Hons), PhD

Dr. Nicky Wallis

Clinical Development Manager
BSc (Hons), PhD

Nicky joined PolyActiva as the Clinical Development Manager in 2021 and manages the clinical trial portfolio. Nicky brings to PolyActiva a breadth of experience in clinical and nonclinical research, in both the academic and biotech settings. Nicky spent the last ten years employed in medical writing and clinical research, and she has managed local and international Phase I-III clinical trials in oncology, endocrinology, neurology, and psychiatry. Prior to this, Nicky completed a PhD in molecular neuropharmacology at the Florey Neurosciences Institute, after which she pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Melbourne. Subsequently, Nicky took up a lecturing position at Monash University, teaching into the MBBS program at Churchill, a position that inspired her to carve a path into clinical research.

Sheena Emslie

Head, Quality

Sheena Emslie

Head, Quality

Sheena has more than 20 years’ experience in pharmaceutical product development, manufacturing, quality management and over 10 years in management roles. She has worked in both sterile & non-sterile pharmaceutical manufacturing with extensive experience in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) under the regulations of the ICH, PIC/S and audited by TGA, FDA, WHO & SAHPRA. Sheena has also held Quality Assurance roles in both a Clinical Research Organization & Bioanalytical Laboratory under Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines. Sheena has experience working in both small and large organizations in different sectors of the industry. Her skills are Quality Assurance, Quality control, project and operational management, Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), GMP, GCP and Quality Assurance.

Dr. Chris Nave

Chairman and Non-Executive Director
PhD MAICD

Dr. Chris Nave

Chairman and Non-Executive Director
PhD MAICD

Chris Nave has been a director since January 2011. He is a founding partner of Brandon Capital Partners and CEO of the Medical Research Commercialization Fund. Chris has experience in the management, fundraising, and successful spinouts of various companies in the life sciences industry. He previously was Director of Commercialization at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. Prior to this, Chris was Manager of the Biotechnology Team at Melbourne Ventures, the commercialization company of the University of Melbourne. Concurrently he was an Investment Manager for, and on the investment committee of, Uniseed Pty Ltd. Chris has international experience working for the Business Development group of Leiras Pharmaceuticals in Finland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Schering AG. Chris is currently a Director of Azura Ophthalmics, Certa Therapeutics, EBR Systems, Global Kinetics Corporation, OccuRx, Osprey Medical, PolyActiva and Que Oncology. Chris has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a PhD in Endocrinology and Physiology from the University of Melbourne.

Dr. James Williams

Director
BSc(Hons) PhD MBA GAICD

Dr. James Williams

Director
BSc(Hons) PhD MBA GAICD

James Williams has been a Director of PolyActiva since January 2013. He is a Founder and Investment Director of Yuuwa Capital LP. Prior to establishing Yuuwa Capital, James was Managing Director of two medical device companies, ASX-listed Resonance Health Ltd and Argus Biomedical Pty Ltd. He has been and CEO and is now Chairman of ASX-listed Dimerix Ltd. He also co-founded and is a former CSO and Director of iCeutica Inc., a nano drug reformulation company that was acquired in 2011. James is an alternate Director of Yuuwa investee company Adalta Ltd. He is also a Director of the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, a Member of the Australian Federal Government’s Entrepreneurs Program Committee, and a member of the “Panel of Experts” for the University of Western Australia’s Pathfinder Fund. He was previously a Director of Linear Clinical Research. He completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Aberdeen, PhD at Melbourne University and MBA at the University of Western Australia.

Prof. Barrie Finnin

Non-Executive Director
BPharm PhD PhC

Prof. Barrie Finnin

Non-Executive Director
BPharm PhD PhC

Barrie Finnin has been a director since 2011. He was previously a founder and Director of the listed drug delivery company Acrux. He held the personal Chair in Formulation Science in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, Australia. Barrie has more than 15 years’ experience in the management of commercially funded research in an academic setting. He has conducted projects at various phases of drug development and manufacture for major pharmaceutical companies, and was responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of a GMP manufacturing facility. Barrie was responsible for the preparation of successful applications for the approval of over 20 pharmaceutical products by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). He also served as an external evaluator of new drug applications for the TGA.

Tracy Valorie

Non-Executive Director
BSc MBA

Tracy Valorie

Non-Executive Director
BSc MBA

Tracy Valorie is a strategic business consultant and the owner of TMV Associates LLC since July 2019. Tracy has 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Tracy served as the senior vice president, general manager of the U.S. pharmaceutical and surgical businesses at Bausch + Lomb (July 2012 to May 2019). Prior to joining B+L in 2012, Ms. Valorie served as commercial lead of ophthalmology at Pfizer Inc. where she had global responsibility for the ophthalmology brands as well as responsibility for long-range strategic planning of the portfolio. In addition to PolyActiva, Ms. Valorie currently sits on the boards of Layer Bio Inc., Samsara Vision, and Visus Therapeutics. From the Fall of 2014 to Fall of 2018 she served as a member of the board of Ophthalmic World Leaders (OWL) and since mid-2019 sits on their newly formed advisory board. Ms. Valorie holds a Masters in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, CT.
Dr Ingmar Wahlqvist

Dr. Ingmar Wahlqvist

MBBS
MBA, GAICD

Dr. Ingmar Wahlqvist

MBBS
MBA, GAICD

Ingmar Wahlqvist is a Senior Investment Manager at Brandon Capital Partners and has been an Alternate Director (since 2011) and Director of PolyActiva since March 2021. Prior to Brandon Capital Partners, Ingmar was at Melbourne Ventures, commercializing technologies from The University of Melbourne. Before this he worked for Sanofi, in France, in the Cardiovascular Franchise of Global Marketing on Plavix, which during this time grew to be the 2nd-biggest selling drug in the world. Earlier he worked with Boston Consulting Group and several health-related start-up companies. He began his professional career as a medical doctor, spending several years in clinical medicine. Ingmar is currently a director of George Medicines and Denteric. Ingmar has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from The University of Melbourne and an MBA from Melbourne Business School. Ingmar is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr. Francis S. Mah

MD
Dr. Mah is a practicing ophthalmologist with an emphasis in laser and cataract surgery. After graduating from Cornell University and Dartmouth College, he attended the Medical College of Ohio, graduating at the top of his class. As a resident at the University of Pittsburgh, he earned a fellowship in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery. Dr. Mah has received numerous awards such as the Pharmacia and Upjohn Outstanding Resident Award and the AAO Senior Achievement Award. Dr. Mah joined Pitt’s faculty, serving as director of the Clinical Vision Research Center and the Charles T. Campbell Ophthalmic Microbiology Laboratory, co-director of the Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery Service, and director of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Fellowship. Dr. Mah serves in several leadership positions, including Chair of the Cornea Clinical Committee, U.S. FDA Committee for American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and as Co-Chair of the Cornea Preferred Practice Patterns for the AAO. Dr. Mah is the Director of the Cornea and External Disease Service and Co-Director of the Refractive Surgery Service at Scripps Clinic Medical Group in California.

Dr. Ike K. Ahmed

MD FRCSC
Dr. Ahmed has been a leader in novel treatments for glaucoma, cataract, and lens implant surgery. His pioneering work in innovative glaucoma surgery includes coining the term microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). An assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Professor at the University of Utah, also a research director at Kensington Eye Institute and director of the Glaucoma and Advanced Anterior Segment Surgery (GAASS) fellowship, both at the University of Toronto. In addition, He is the head of the ophthalmology division at Trillium Health Partners, Mississauga, Ontario. He’s recognized as one of the most experienced complex eye surgeons in the world.

Dr. Thomas W. Samuelson

MD
Dr. Samuelson specializes in glaucoma and anterior segment surgery. He received his subspecialty training in glaucoma at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. He is a founding partner of Minnesota Eye Consultants in Minneapolis and Adjunct Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota. He is the past president of ASCRS and served on the Executive Board of the American Glaucoma Society for nearly a decade. He is also past president of the Wills Eye Hospital Spaeth Glaucoma Fellows Society. Dr. Samuelson has served as chairman of the ASCRS Glaucoma Clinical Committee and Associate Secretariat for AAO annual meeting. In 2015 he received the AAO Secretariat Award and is a recipient of the AAO Junior, Senior and Lifetime Achievement Awards. Dr. Samuelson’s investigational interests include the research and development of numerous MIGS devices. He has traveled worldwide lecturing and performing surgery, including ORBIS trips to Mongolia and Indonesia.