Allergy immunotherapy company ProTA Therapeutics (ProTA) has announced the appointment of its new CEO.
Former Mesoblast Vice President Operations, Dr Suzanne Lipe, will become ProTA's founding CEO. Dr Lipe will drive the development and commercialisation of the company's investigative treatment for life-threatening peanut allergy.
ProTA has licensed the promising treatment developed at Melbourne’s Murdoch Children’s Research Institute by Professor Mimi Tang.
"The treatment has been found in a clinical trial to induce tolerance to peanut in more than 80 per cent of children treated, allowing them to include peanuts as part of their regular diet," it said.
The treatment combines a probiotic with the gradual introduction of peanut protein, which could potentially provide a long-term cure for all food allergy sufferers, including adults.
OneVentures led the initial $15 million Series A financing for ProTA in 2016.
Further funding will come from OneVentures $170 million Healthcare Fund III, which is dedicated solely to investing in Life Science companies in Australia.
This fund was established as part of government’s Biomedical Translation Fund initiative, funded under the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund, was awarded $85 million that was matched by OneVentures investors.
According to Principal of OneVentures and Chairman of ProTA, Dr Graeme Wald, “The growing problem of food allergies presents ProTA with a multi-billion dollar opportunity, not only in peanut allergies but in several other foods. There is therefore a pipeline of products for the company to develop, which should enhance the company’s value. This is an exciting time for ProTA, as we move forward on developing life-saving treatments for food allergies.”
OneVentures Managing Partner, Dr Paul Kelly, said, “The appointment of Dr Lipe will provide crucial drug development experience to ProTA as we progress our products through clinical development and to achieve commercialisation outcomes.”
Dr Suzanne Lipe said, “I am excited to join ProTA and work closely with founder, Professor Mimi Tang, to develop life-saving treatments aimed at switching off the potential deadly allergic reaction to peanuts, that could lead to a cure for peanut allergy.”
Dr Lipe has over 20 years experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. She has held executive management positions providing strategic direction and operational management for drug development and commercial programs, including clinical trials management, regulatory and drug approvals, manufacturing, sales and marketing, licensing and commercialisation of research through partnering.