Posted: 10 February 2022
Tessara Therapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company developing synthetic human brain micro-tissues as drug screening and neuro-regenerative medicine platforms, has accelerated its growth and cemented its future with a series of significant senior appointments as it seeks to bring its RealBrain® technology to market.
Tessara’s drug screening platform is due for market launch next year and the Company has strengthened its management and scientific team with three key hires this past month.
Peter Girling joined Tessara in January as Chief Operating Officer, adding a unique skill set and significant biotech management experience strategically aligned with Tessara’s drug screening business. A researcher by training, Peter subsequently studied business and entrepreneurship at Babson College (Massachusetts) and the EPFL and USI (Switzerland) prior to co-founding and becoming CEO of CELLnTEC Advanced Cell Systems, a life science company focusing on advanced 3D in-vitro models for research and regenerative medicine.
Peter’s career spans 20 years of technology commercialisation, life science R&D and MedTech product development in Australia, San Francisco and Switzerland, and he will focus his efforts to ensure efficient development and rapid commercialisation of Tessara’s RealBrain® drug screening platform.
Professor Paul Adlard also joined Tessara in January as Chief Scientific Officer. Prof Adlard, a born and bred neuroscientist, spent five years at the Institute for Brain Aging and Dementia at the University of California Irvine before returning to Australia, where he has continued his career for the last 17 years. During this time at The University of Melbourne and The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, his studies have focussed on understanding the progression and manifestation of age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Frontotemporal dementia, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury and then leveraging this knowledge to advance novel therapeutic approaches for these conditions.
Paul’s scientific expertise is complemented with strategic commercial insights and an entrepreneurial spirit. His experience includes assisting with the development and assessment of new therapies through scientific consultancies with companies such as, Armaron Bio, CSL and Alterity Therapeutics.
Rounding out the recent appointments is Tessara’s new Principal Scientist Dr Mark Greenough who joins the Company this month, having previously held a Senior Research Fellowship at The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
Mark has an extensive background in mental health and brain science research based on a series of other senior research roles he held at the Mental Health Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.
Commenting on the appointments, Tessara’s CEO Dr Christos Papadimitriou said: “These are significant appointments for us. Being able to attract some of Australia’s best brains in the industry is testament to the strength of our products and our vision of helping patients by creating technologies to protect, restore and rebuild the brain.”
Tessara is developing its RealBrain® micro-tissue technology as a more physiologically relevant and reproducible model of healthy and diseased brain tissues, so the biopharmaceutical industry can utilise these models to discover and develop better drugs. It is also developing micro-tissues as implantable grafts for neuro-regenerative tissue therapeutics, with an initial focus on developing a disease modifying therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
“Tessara is at the forefront of converging innovations in biology, robotic automation, neuroscience, AI, data and materials science to commercialise our RealBrain® technology”, said Dr Papadimitriou.
“Having Peter, Paul and Mark on board will enable us to more efficiently develop our technology and speed up our time to market.”
Tessara Therapeutics is developing RealBrain® technology to break therapeutic barriers in the biopharmaceutical industry. RealBrain® technology is based on human mimetic 3D neural micro- tissues designed to have high physiological relevance, manufactured at industrial scale for unprecedented reproducibility. Priority applications are a high-throughput drug screening platform that includes a range of models of healthy and diseased brain tissue, and a regenerative medicine platform to develop next generation safe and efficacious tissue therapies for significant unmet neurological medical needs, with an initial focus on TTX-001 for Parkinson’s disease. www.tessaratherapeutics.com