Mr Geoffrey Kempler announced as new AusBiotech Chair

AusBiotech is pleased to announce that experienced biotechnology Chair and director, Mr Geoffrey Kempler, has been appointed as non-executive director of AusBiotech and will lead the Board as its incoming Chair.

Mr Geoffrey Kempler is a highly-experienced chair, company director and CEO in the global biotechnology industry. His wealth of experience in working across markets in Australia, Asia, US, and Europe will support and advance AusBiotech’s vision of being the leading Australian industry body representing and advocating for organisations doing business in and with the global life sciences economy.

Mr Geoffrey Kempler said: “The Australian biotechnology sector is a vibrant and active community that continues to positively impact on global healthcare, having played a role in developing new diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and life science products.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the power of healthcare innovation in its response, and the Australian biotechnology industry has been centre stage with its early work in mRNA, rapid diagnostic tests, and prophylactics.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and privilege to lead the next phase of AusBiotech’s maturation.”

Mr Kempler has previously held roles as Chairman and non-executive director of Opthea Limited (ASX: OPT) from December 2015 until October 2020. Opthea is a global healthcare company that specialises in developing novel treatments for chronic eye diseases. Mr Kempler led Opthea’s strategic growth plan leading up to its NASDAQ listing.

Mr Kempler was a founder and leader of Alterity Therapeutics (ASX:ATH) (formerly Prana Biotechnology) for nearly 20 years. Alterity is a biotechnology company dedicated to developing disease modifying treatments for neurodegenerative conditions. Mr Kempler led the company’s commercialisation programme, partnering with the world’s leading clinicians, scientists and patient advocacy groups and was responsible for the company’s listing on both the ASX and NASDAQ. Mr Kempler remains with the company as its Chairman.

Mr Kempler’s substantial experience in investment markets includes a strong domestic and international network of specialist and sophisticated investors.

The announcement was made after Ms Michelle Burke retired as Chair and from the Board of AusBiotech, having completed a nine-year tenure as non-executive director, the maximum possible under the AusBiotech Constitution. Ms Burke has significantly and successfully contributed to the AusBiotech Board, organisation, and industry, and the Board sincerely thanks her for her generous commitment and leadership over the years.

AusBiotech’s CEO & MD, Lorraine Chiroiu, said, “The calibre and generosity of the AusBiotech Board, past and present, is inspiring, and its effectiveness is the result of the acumen, drive and dedication of the individuals on the Board and within the organisation. AusBiotech is an active champion of our sector, and intimately understands the new opportunities ahead of us; I welcome and look forward to working with Geoffrey as we seize these: emerging from the pandemic we will begin implementing the new Biotechnology Blueprint decadal strategy, and launch a refreshed AusBiotech strategy. The future is bright.”

Mr Kempler also sits on the Industry Advisory Board of the Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, bringing together world-class researchers with cutting-edge research infrastructure from a range of disciplines and faculties. Geoffrey is a qualified psychologist and holds a B.Sc. degree in science from Monash University and Grad. Dip. App. Soc. Psych. degree from Swinburne University.

Mr Kempler will be supported by AusBiotech’s Deputy Chair Dr Megan Baldwin, CEO & MD, Opthea Ltd; Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO & MD, AusBiotech; Serg Duchini, Director, AusBiotech; Dr Jan Tennent, Founder & Principal, ConnectBio; Dr Dean Moss, CEO, UniQuest Pty Ltd; Dr Serge Scrofani, Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development, CSL Ltd; Linda Peterson, COO and Company Secretary, BioCurate; and Dr James Campbell, CEO, Patrys Ltd.

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