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Key people

Management.

Dr James Garner

Managing Director & CEO

Dr James Garner is an experienced life sciences executive, whose career has focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for diseases with high unmet medical need.

Over the course of a twenty-year career in industry, James has worked principally with Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB), Takeda (NYSE: TAK), and Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY), in regional and global roles. He has overseen more than thirty national product approvals, more than a dozen multinational clinical trials, several partnering transactions, and numerous scientific collaborations. His experience spans multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, immunology, CNS, and orphan diseases.

In his seven-year tenure as CEO and Managing Director of Kazia Therapeutics (NASDAQ: KZIA), James drove a transformation of the company’s pipeline by in-licensing clinical-stage assets from Genentech and Evotec, deployed an extensive pipeline of more than a dozen clinical trials across multiple oncology indications, and inked partnering deals with Simcere (HKSE:2096) and Vivesto AB (STO: VIVE). James has raised approximately US$ 40 million in equity financing for Kazia, and the company has also benefited significantly from non-dilutive opportunities.

In addition to his medical qualifications and MBA, James holds a master’s degree in continental philosophy and a bachelor’s degree in the history of medicine, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). 

Anthony Filippis

Chief Operating Officer

Anthony Filippis is an accomplished executive with over 25 years’ experience as a senior leader, with deep understanding and knowledge of the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, healthcare and investment industries. Prior to joining Antisense Therapeutics in November 2022, Anthony was CEO and Managing Director at NeuroSciences Victoria, a role held since 2017. Anthony has international expertise and key skills in business development, corporate strategy, operations, and senior management in ASX-listed and private companies. He has a strong track record in negotiating transactions, partnering (in- and out-licensing), M&A and raising capital. Anthony will have responsibility for the negotiation and execution of partnering transactions, investor relations, and accessing additional development capital, with a strategic focus on global markets.

Phillip Hains

Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary

Phillip Hains is a Chartered Accountant operating a specialist public practice, The CFO Solution, now part of Acclime Australia. The CFO Solution focuses on providing back office support, financial reporting and compliance systems for listed public companies. A specialist in the public company environment, Mr Hains has served the needs of a number of company boards and their related committees. He has over 30 years experience in providing businesses with accounting, administration, compliance and general management services.

Andrew McKenzie

Director, Clinical Development

Dr McKenzie is a clinical development professional with over 23 years experience in industry.
Dr McKenzie moved to global speciality biotechnology company

CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) in 1999. During his time at CSL Limited, he worked in varying roles within the Research and Development organisation including research and assay development, clinical operations, and clinical safety. For the last 11 years, Dr McKenzie was a member of the global clinical development organisation, most recently as an Associate Director. His experience spans early to late phase clinical development across multiple therapeutic areas, including vaccines, plasma derived products, immunology, respiratory, and orphan diseases.

Dr McKenzie received his PhD from the University of Melbourne in 1999.  His studies in transplantation immunology (1996-1999) were undertaken at the Walter And Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.

George Tachas

Principal Scientist

Dr Tachas, received his Ph.D from the University of Melbourne in 1988 and a Diploma of Intellectual Property Law in 1994. Dr Tachas Ph.D studies (1984-88) were in gene transfer, cloning and characterising of genes important in immunology at the Centre for Cancer and Transplantation (now the Austin Research Institute) at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Tachas’ three years’ post-doctoral studies (1989-1991) were in the molecular and cellular biology of vascular smooth muscle cells in cardiovascular disease as Head of Molecular Biology at the Cardiovascular Research Unit of the University of Melbourne’s Anatomy Department. It was during this time that he first used antisense oligonucleotides as research tools and developed an interest in antisense as potential therapeutic agents.

Dr Tachas made the move to a leading Australian patent attorney firm, Griffith Hack and Co, in late 1991 where he spent 3 years as a biotechnology assistant and from 1995 to 1998 was a biotechnology-patent law consultant inter alia to the patent firm, Callinan Lawrie. Dr Tachas is well versed in biotechnology patent prosecution, opposition, infringement and licensing, portfolio management and the use of patents as a business tool.

In 1997 Dr Tachas planned to start up an antisense company. Synergy with interests of the Circadian group of companies in also setting up an antisense company led to his roles as exclusive consultant first to Syngene Ltd and then to ATL (2000-2001). Since the ASX listing of ATL Dr Tachas has directed the company’s efforts in expanding its product pipeline and managing the company’s IP portfolio.

Board of directors.

Dr Charmaine Gittleson

Non-Executive Chair

Dr Gittleson has extensive international experience as a pharmaceutical physician and enterprise leader in pharmaceutical drug development, governance and risk management gained during her 15-year tenure (2005-2020) with global specialty biotechnology company CSL Limited (ASX: CSL). During her time at CSL, Dr Gittleson had at various times accountability for clinical research, medical safety, medical and patient related ethics for development and on market programs, providing leadership in strategic product development, planning and implementation across multiple therapeutic and rare disease areas.

Dr Gittleson held the key leadership roles of: Senior Director, Head Safety and Clinical Development (2006-2010) in Melbourne Australia; Vice President Clinical Strategy (2010-2013) and Senior Vice President Clinical Development (2013-2017) in Pennsylvania United States; and Chief Medical Officer in Melbourne from 2017 until her recent retirement from corporate roles in 2020.

Dr Gil Price

Non-Executive Director

Dr Price is an experienced biotech executive and entrepreneur with depth of expertise across clinical asset investment strategy, evaluation, financing and execution. Additional leadership experience within R&D, Medical, and strategic corporate functions.

Dr. Price was previously responsible for the strategic and tactical management of all business at Drug Safety Solutions. After a successful 20-year history, Drug Safety Solutions was acquired in June 2017 by Linden Capital Partners. From that date to January 2020, Dr. Price served as the Chief Medical Officer for the global ProPharma Group, a Linden subsidiary.

Over the years Dr. Price has served on multiple corporate boards, including public, private, and not-for-profit.

His board duties have included the Chairman’s role on Compensation and Governance as well as a member’s role on Audit. He has served on boards that report to; TSX, NYSE American, and NASDAQ.

His most recent experience, Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE American: RNN) he served on Compensation, Governance, and Business Development. In his previous role with Sarepta Therapeutics NASDAQ: SRPT, he helped to guide the company transition from $80 million market (2008) to its 2019 market cap of $8.4 billion.

Dr. Price is a clinical trial Medical Monitor and Pharmacovigilance expert. He has years of experience as the head of Safety Management Teams (SMTs), multiple Data Safety Monitoring Boards, as well as protocol development and safety support from FIH to Phase IV clinical trials.

While his therapeutic horizon is broad, it has been dominated by oncology, infectious disease, and rare disease.