Lead­ing in de­vel­op­ing af­ford­able bi­o­log­ics

DR NOELLE SUNSTROM CEO, NeuClone, Aus­tralia

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Bio Content -

Dr Noelle Sunstrom is a Syd­ney based molec­u­lar bi­ol­o­gist and CEO of NeuClone, a bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany that de­vel­ops and com­mer­cial­izes high qual­ity biosim­i­lars. She has over 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try in­clud­ing more than 10 years of ex­ec­u­tive ex­pe­ri­ence in bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies.

Us­ing ground­break­ing tech­nol­ogy that en­hances the pro­duc­tion of bi­o­logic drugs and re­duces the cost of man­u­fac­ture, NeuClone is mak­ing biosim­i­lars to treat dis­eases such as can­cer and au­toim­mune dis­or­ders. Un­der her lead­er­ship NeuClone cur­rently has 10 biosim­i­lars in the pipe­line, in­clud­ing a copy­cat ver­sion of the highly ef­fec­tive breast can­cer drug Her­ceptin. That biosim­i­lar will go through clin­i­cal tri­als in the first quar­ter of 2018 and then on to global tri­als for reg­u­la­tory ap­proval and li­cen­sure around the world. Dr Sunstrom ex­pects it to be on the mar­ket by 2022 and pos­si­bly ear­lier in In­dia. From 2018 on­ward, NeuClone will have two drugs per year en­ter­ing clin­i­cal tri­als.

Un­der her lead­er­ship, NeuClone’s

Right from the Start frame­work al­lows it to pro­duce biosim­i­lars of high qual­ity while also re­duc­ing Dr Noelle Sunstrom man­u­fac­tur­ing costs down­stream.

The Serum In­sti­tute, world’s lead­ing vac­cine player is able to com­ple­ment this by pro­vid­ing ac­cess to large scale man­u­fac­tur­ing at the low­est pos­si­ble cost, al­low­ing both com­pa­nies to de­liver the high­est qual­ity drugs af­ford­ably.

In her il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer span­ning across academia and in­dus­try, Dr Sunstrom has led teams in prod­uct de­vel­op­ment from bench to the mar­ket. Speak­ing about her cur­rent role, Dr Sunstrom said, “I ex­pected that start­ing a com­pany would be dif­fi­cult with many un­fore­seen chal­lenges. Ac­knowl­edg­ing this fact helps me cope with un­ex­pected set­backs. I am most proud of build­ing out­stand­ing teams within the or­ga­ni­za­tion (sci­en­tific, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment, strat­egy and fi­nance). To­gether we have in­creased sub­stan­tially com­pany and share­holder value.”

Orig­i­nally from Canada, Dr Sunstrom ob­tained a PhD from McGill Univer­sity in Mon­treal be­fore mov­ing to Aus­tralia on a post-doc­toral schol­ar­ship with the John Curtin School of Med­i­cal Re­search at the Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity. She be­gan her aca­demic re­search ca­reer at the Univer­sity of New South Wales, where she led a team in pro­duc­ing mon­o­clonal an­ti­body drug ther­a­pies , col­lab­o­rat­ing with big pharma in tak­ing those drugs to mar­ket. She and her team de­vel­oped cut­ting-edge ways to pro­duce com­plex bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals for com­mer­cial pro­duc­tion.

In 2000, Dr Sunstrom co-founded Acyte Biotech, which com­mer­cial­izes in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty from the mam­malian cell re­search groups at the Univer­sity of New South Wales and Univer­sity of Queens­land. At Acyte Biotech, as Sci­en­tific Di­rec­tor she de­vel­oped gene ex­pres­sion sys­tems for the pro­duc­tion of bio­phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts in CHO cells. She was also the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, in­volved in set­ting strate­gic di­rec­tion, de­vel­op­ing re­search ini­tia­tives and prac­tices; writ­ing com­pany doc­u­ments in­clud­ing in­vest­ment and busi­ness plans.

On chal­lenges, Dr Sunstrom ob­serves, “I don’t be­lieve in “toot­ing my own horn”. I per­son­ally feel that one does not have to brag about one’s achieve­ments. Such be­hav­ior de­pre­ci­ates one’s suc­cesses. With this phi­los­o­phy, it is dif­fi­cult to be heard above the noise of oth­ers pro­claim­ing their bril­liance.

DR NOELLE SUNSTROM

CEO, NeuClone, Aus­tralia

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