Staff

Epichem Board of Directors

Professor John Horton - Chairman of the Board


John is a medical practitioner with 25 years experience in drug development in industry. For the last 17 years John has worked exclusively in Developing World Medicine – malaria, helminths, leishmaniasis, diarrhoea etc. and was the moving force and "father figure" of the tropical disease initiatives in GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

John was closely involved in establishing the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, and was a member of GATB scientific advisory committee. At GSK, John ensured involvement in 3 Public Private Partnerships with the WHO (Lapdap, Lapdap + artesunate and an early stage antimalarial) and in developing concepts for access in public health to these products. John was intimately involved in establishing the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GPELF), having initiated both the original studies that formed the basis of the programme, and the concepts behind the global programme.

Over the years John has acted as an advisor in a number of WHO programme initiatives (e.g. global helminth elimination). Although now retired from GSK, John continues to work part time for WHO in their drug development programmes, and holds academic appointments in Liverpool and in Perth, and is a founding trustee of the Malaria Consortium, a UK NGO.


Dr Wayne Best - Managing Director


Wayne has over 30 years experience in synthetic and medicinal chemistry both in academia, government and industry. Wayne obtained his BSc (Hons) and PhD in Organic Chemistry from The University of Western Australia. He then spent two years at Imperial College in the UK where he obtained a DIC, followed by a year at the Australian National University in Canberra. Wayne then took up a position with ICI Australia's Research Group in Melbourne where he spent over four years designing and synthesizing a range of biologically active compounds, particularly agrochemicals. During this time Wayne was seconded for six months to ICI Agrochemicals' Jealott's Hill Research Station in the UK to work on the rational design of a novel herbicide target. Following ICI, Wayne returned to Western Australia and spent the ten years preceding Epichem at the Chemistry Centre (WA) where he was responsible for the formation and running of the Medicinal & Biological Chemistry Section which undertook collaborative R&D into drug discovery and contract synthesis for the drug discovery and pharmaceutical industries.

Wayne is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of Western Australia. He is also a Director of Epichem's parent company, PharmAust Ltd, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Dr Rebecca McCrackan - Director


Rebecca has over 15 years experience in the life science and resource sectors, presently working as Senior Intellectual Property Advisor for the global mining and metals group Rio Tinto. Rebecca’s intellectual property (IP) law experience spans traditional IP roles in private practice as a patent and trade marks attorney, research and development, and innovation deployment programmes. Rebecca has experience with both in-licensing and out-licensing of technologies, global IP strategies for a wide range of technologies and a comprehensive understanding of the IP and legal frameworks that underpin the successful commercialisation of innovation.

Rebecca obtained a first class honours degree in biotechnology from Murdoch University and holds a PhD in biomedicine, undertaken at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, having spent a further two years as a postdoctoral scientist at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre. Rebecca is a Registered Patent and Trade Marks Attorney, holds a Masters in Intellectual Property, is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute.


Dr Roger Aston - Director


Roger currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of PharmAust's wholly owned subsidiary, Pitney Pharmaceuticals. Roger served as Chief Executive Officer of Mayne Pharma Group until 15 February 2012. During his career, he has been closely involved in start-up companies and major pharmaceutical companies. Aspects of his experience include FDA and EU product registration, clinical trials, global licensing agreements, fundraising through private placements, and a network of contacts within the pharmaceutical, banking and stock broking sectors.

Roger is both a scientist and seasoned biotechnology entrepreneur, with a successful track record in both fields. Roger holds a B.Sc. (Hons) and a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester from 1975 to 1981.


Mr Robert Bishop - Director


Robert has 30 years’ experience in corporate finance and equity capital markets.

Having worked extensively in London and Sydney, first as a lawyer at Linklaters & Paines and Allen, Allen & Hemsley; and then as a stockbroker and investment banker at Ord Minnett, Robert Fleming and, since 1998, at his Sydney based corporate finance business, First Capital Markets. He has extensive experience in the areas of stock market flotations, licensing and compliance work.


Mr Sam Wright - Director and Company Secretary


Sam Wright is experienced in the administration of ASX listed companies, corporate governance and corporate finance. He is a Director and Company Secretary of Epichem's parent company; PharmAust Limited, and is the Director (alternate for Robert Bishop) and Company Secretary for Epichem Pty Ltd.

Sam has over fifteen years’ experience in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industry and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia, and the Chartered Secretaries of Australia.

Sam is currently Company Secretary of ASX listed companies; Buxton Resources Limited, Cove Resources Limited and Structural Monitoring Systems plc. Sam also has filled the role of Director and Company Secretary with a number of unlisted companies.

He is the Managing Director of Perth-based corporate advisory firm Straight Lines Consultancy, specialising in the provision of corporate services to public companies.


Epichem Key Staff


Dr Martine Keenan - Head of Drug Discovery


Martine is a medicinal chemist with 10 years professional experience in drug discovery, including 8 years in a multinational pharmaceutical company. Following a PhD in natural products synthesis at Kings' College in London, and post-doctoral studies in Germany developing chiral catalysts for asymmetric hydrogenation, Martine took up a medicinal chemistry position in the neuroscience division of Eli Lilly in the UK.

Martine has expertise in identifying novel hits, designing new analogues, computer-aided drug design, using SAR analysis to develop compounds into new leads and optimising molecules towards drug candidates.

Martine moved to Perth, Australia and joined Epichem in 2008 working primarily in the field of infectious diseases, and managing drug discovery projects.



Dr John Moursounidis - Head of Fine Chemicals and Technical Services


John has worked 20 years in research and development for multi-national companies in the pharmaceutical industry in the Rx, OTC, Consumer Health and Personal Health sectors. This was followed by a 5 year term as General Manager of two pharmaceutical manufacturing companies before his setting up of a product development and regulatory affairs consultancy primarily in the pharmaceutcial and biotechnology sectors. John has experience in primary pharmaceutical and chemical research, product development, regulatory affairs, product listing and registration (for both pharmaceuticals and foods), quality management and general management and has been Head of Fine Chemicals and Technical Services at Epichem since June 2015. John has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Univeristy of Western Australia and has held a post doctoral fellowship at Indiana University (USA) in Organic Chemistry.