Leading in developing affordable biologics
DR NOELLE SUNSTROM CEO, NeuClone, Australia
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