Epichem Leadership Team

"The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet."
-Theodore M. Hesburgh
Mr. Colin La Galia – Chief Executive Officer & Director

Colin brings 25 years of domestic and international pharmaceutical, diagnostics and healthcare senior executive experience to the role of CEO at Epichem and Director on the Epichem Board.

Formerly the Regional Business Director and Commercial Head of Asia Pacific, China and Japan for Abbott Rapid Diagnostics in Toxicology, Colin has also held senior leadership roles for Alere Inc, Origin Healthcare, Hollywood Fertility Centre, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck Sharpe & Dohme.

An accomplished global business and people leader, Colin has a proven record of driving commercial success and revenue growth with considerable expertise in key cross-functional areas of business development and market creation; sales and marketing; commercial strategy; process improvement; operational excellence; coaching and leadership development.

Colin has a passion for driving performance, developing people and is very proud to lead the Epichem team of dedicated professionals in delivering key outcomes in our state-of-the-art facilities in partnership with our Customers and Stakeholders.

Colin holds qualifications in Pharmaceuticals, Business Administration, Project Management and Human Resources and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Justice of the Peace.

Dr Gary Pitt – Head of Chemistry

Gary brings more than 20 years’ experience in drug discovery and small molecule development within the pharmaceutical industry and academia to his role at Epichem. Gary has held multiple senior leadership roles within the drug discovery sector and has a proven record in the field. He was a key inventor on over twenty patents and has led the transition of numerous medicinal chemistry projects through various stages of the Drug Discovery Pipeline from Hit ID, Hit to Lead, Lead Optimisation, Preclinical Evaluation, Scale-up and Phase I “first in man” Clinical Trials. Whilst Gary’s expertise is in medicinal chemistry, during his career he has developed a diverse knowledge of critical aspects of the Drug Discovery Pipeline. Prior to joining Epichem, Gary was Director of the Bioanalytical Chemistry Team at 360biolabs (a BioAgilytix company), one of Australia’s fastest growing Clinical CRO’s. As Program Manager at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, he played a pivotal role in establishing Australia’s first National Drug Discovery Centre (NDDC). Gary holds a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Southampton, UK and a BSc (Hons) degree in chemistry from the Open University, UK both of which he completed whilst working full time.


Gary will be managing and overseeing the medicinal chemistry teams at Epichem. 

Dr James Rixson – Head of Production
James is a technical expert in organic chemistry and a tenacious problem solver. He joined the chemistry team at Epichem in 2014, and leads the Fine Chemicals and Technical Services division in delivering the highest quality custom products, reference standards, impurities and degradants. James has expertise in a diverse range of organic synthesis including natural products, alkaloids, polycyclic aromatics, active pharmaceutical ingredients and their derivatives. He is highly skilled in method development and route planning, isolation, purification and compound characterisation, and can help you with small scale compound library preparation, large scale synthesis and other specialty chemistries such as deuteration and chiral synthesis. He has a proven track record as an expert problem solver and drives innovation through his out-of-the-box thinking style. James has a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Western Australia and joined Epichem after completing an internship at a multinational pharmaceutical company.
Dr. Carol Worth – Head of Analytical Services & Quality Manager

Carol and our team of committed analytical chemists provide a comprehensive array of analytical services. From routine analyses and formal reporting, through to expert problem-solving, technical support and development of a comprehensive array of analytical methods and statistical analyses. Carol understands the need for rapid data turnaround for fast-paced industries.

Carol is a PhD qualified (Phytochemistry) senior scientist, with significant multidisciplinary expertise in research and development, manufacturing, technical operations, quality assurance and regulatory affairs within the pharmaceutical industry in Australia and overseas. As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry with a background in training and mentoring, Carol places great emphasis on collaboration and stakeholder consultation.

Diane Smith
Ms Diane Smith – Corporate Services Manager

Diane is an astute finance professional with decades of experience working in change management, stakeholder relationships, customer service, taxation compliance, cost control, auditing practices, cash flow management and continuous systems improvement.

Diane has the ability to meet tight deadlines and is committed to providing strategic development, finance, and human resources services within Epichem’s leadership team. Diane has a Bachelor in Business (Accounting) and is completing a Masters in Taxation.