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Ian Leitch has been Director of Clinical Research of Opthea since September 2011. He has over 20 years of research and management experience from drug discovery through clinical development in biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies.

For the five years prior to joining Opthea, he was a member of the Medical Sciences group at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, California, involved in the development of novel therapeutics in Amgen’s oncology pipeline. In his role as Senior Manager in the Early Development Oncology Therapeutic Area, he had responsibility for the oversight, design, management and execution of Phase 1–2 clinical studies in oncology.

Prior to joining Amgen, he spent eight years at Miravant Medical Technologies in Santa Barbara, California. He held positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Program Manager for Cardiovascular Research and Clinical Study Director for Ophthalmology. At Miravant, he managed preclinical efficacy studies, developed relationships with Key Opinion Leaders and designed Phase 1–2 clinical studies in a collaboration with the cardiovascular device company Guidant Inc.

He previously held the position of NHMRC Senior Research Officer at the University of Newcastle and was based at the John Hunter Hospital in Australia. He received his BSc (Hons), PhD from the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, at Monash University and completed part of the doctoral studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.