Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Managing Director
Dr Megan Baldwin was appointed CEO and Managing Director of Opthea Limited in February 2014. Dr Baldwin has over 20 years of experience focussing on angiogenesis and therapeutic strategies for cancer and ophthalmic indications.
Dr Baldwin joined the company in 2008 and has held various positions, including Head of Preclinical R&D and Chief Executive Officer of Opthea Pty Ltd, which at that time operated as a 100% owned subsidiary of Circadian (now Opthea Ltd), developing OPT-302 for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration.
Prior to Opthea, she was employed at Genentech (now Roche), the world leader in angiogenesis-based therapies for cancer and other diseases. Her experience included several years as a researcher in the group of leading angiogenesis expert Napoleone Ferrara, before moving to Genentech’s commercial division and having responsibility for corporate competitive intelligence activities. In these roles, she developed extensive commercial and scientific knowledge in anti-angiogenic and oncology drug development.
She holds a PhD in Medicine from the University of Melbourne, having conducted her doctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Dr Baldwin is on the board of Ausbiotech and is a member of the Australian Institute for Company Directors.
MD, MBA, MSc
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Joel Naor was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Opthea in March 2022.
Dr. Joel Naor has over two decades of experience leading clinical development programs that target retina conditions encompassing biologics, small molecules, sustained release technologies, stem cells and photodynamic therapy. In his most recent role, he served as Vice President of Clinical Science and Development Operations at Kodiak Sciences Inc. Previously, Dr. Naor was the Chief Medical Officer for Macusight, Inc. until the company was acquired by Santen Inc. in 2010, and subsequently served as Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs for Santen Inc. He has also held leadership positions at Allergan Inc., QLT Inc. and Stem Cells Inc. Dr. Joel Naor received his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and completed training in Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto. He holds a Master of Science (MSc.) in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.
Chief Commercial Officer
Judith Robertson was appointed Chief Commercial Officer of Opthea in January 2022. Ms Robertson was most recently Chief Commercial Officer of Eleusis Ltd and serves on the board of Durect Corporation, a Nasdaq listed company developing therapies for acute organ injury and chronic liver diseases. She was previously Chief Commercial Officer of Aerie Pharmaceuticals where she oversaw the launch of Rhopressa®, the first product in 20 years to target a new mechanism of action for the treatment of glaucoma, and the launch of the combination product Rocklatan®, the first fixed-dose combination of a prostaglandin and ROCK inhibitor for the reduction of intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Prior to Aerie, Ms Robertson was Vice President Immunology and Ophthalmology Global Commercial Strategy Leader at Johnson and Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Vice President, Ophthalmology Global Business Franchise Head at Novartis (formerly Alcon). Ms Robertson’s prior experience also includes sales and marketing roles at Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb and Searle USA.
Ms Robertson earned a BA with honors from Ryerson University, Canada. She also holds an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.
B.BUS, CPA, GAICD, FCG,FGIA
Vice President Finance and Company Secretary
Karen Adams was appointed Vice President Finance in May 2021 and Company Secretary in June 2021. Karen is accountable directly to the board, through the chair, on all matters to do with the proper functioning of Opthea’s board. Prior to joining Opthea, Karen was the Chief Financial Officer of the Victor Smorgon Group in Melbourne.
Karen has over 20 years’ experience of financial management in board‐level positions for private and listed companies in Australia, UK, the US and Ireland.
Karen holds a Graduate Degree in Business from Swinburne University and is a member of the Australian Society of Chartered Accountants, Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Company Secretaries. Karen is also the Company Secretary of the Company’s subsidiary, Vegenics Pty Ltd.
Head of CMC Development
Mike Gerometta has been Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing & Controls (CMC) Development for Opthea since 2008 with responsibilities encompassing outsourcing of Opthea’s biopharmaceutical research and cGMP manufacturing activities for its therapeutic and diagnostic portfolio, as well as oversight of internal laboratory activities.
Mike has over 30 years’ experience in the Australian biotechnology industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Q-Gen, the manufacturing facility of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. He has extensive experience working with numerous Contract Manufacturing Organisations overseas and locally in all facets of translational CMC from concept through to Phase II studies, in the process successfully guiding the manufacture of five biologics through to Phase 1/2 clinical trials, including oversight of two nonclinical programs, as well as associated regulatory interactions in North America, Europe and Australia.
He has also directed the development of numerous in vitro diagnostic products through to the market over 19 years at Amgen Biomedical, ultimately as Research and Product Development Director. Mike was awarded his PhD in biotechnology from the Queensland University of Technology and has a degree in chemistry from the University of Technology in Sydney.
Director of Clinical Development
Clare Price was appointed Director of Clinical Development at Opthea in July 2016. Clare has over 20 years of clinical and drug development experience, garnered from both a large multinational pharmaceutical company, and small biotechnology companies.
Clare started her career in the main R&D function of SmithKline Beecham in Harlow, UK. She spent over 8 years in various clinical roles within the company with responsibility for the design, management and execution of clinical studies from phase 1 to 4 across a number of therapeutic areas.
For the remaining three years Clare formed part of the project management group of the newly merged GlaxoSmithKline, responsible for the project management of full drug development programmes from molecule inception through non-clinical and clinical studies, regulatory aspects and commercialisation.
She then moved to Melbourne, where she has held senior clinical roles in ASX-listed biotechnology companies, firstly Acrux, and then Starpharma. Over the nine years that Clare spent at Starpharma she successfully built, implemented and delivered phase 2 and 3 clinical programmes, including extensive regulatory interaction and negotiation, which led to the successful commercialisation of the lead candidate product. Clare is a registered pharmacist, with a degree in Pharmacy, from the University of Bath in the UK.
Director, Clinical Research
Annette Leahy commenced at Opthea in August 2017 as Director of Clinical Research. Annette has 20 years clinical research experience including operational and project management roles across biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and CRO industries.
Prior to joining Opthea Annette held senior operational roles at Swisse and Novotech successfully building clinical trial teams and departments.
Annette also has 12 years project management experience including leading a global influenza clinical trials program under a US government contract at Biota, managing early phase clinical studies in a Phase 1 unit at Nucleus Network and managing European clinical projects while living in the UK and working for Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Europe. Annette has a Bachelor of Health Information Management from La Trobe University.
Director of Clinical Research
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.
Vice President CMC
Mark O’Neill was appointed Vice President CMC in January 2022. Mr. O’Neill was most recently head of Process Development for Avexis Gene therapies where he orchestrated all product development and technical operations activities pertaining to the startup and licensure of Zolgensma drug substance manufacturing at the Colorado site. Prior to Avexis, he was Vice President and General Manager of the Thermo Fisher Groningen Single Use Biologics Manufacturing Facility in Groningen, The Netherlands, where he oversaw all operations including startup of commercial manufacturing and initial commercial licensure at the facility. Mr. O’Neill has over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals including 20 years with Amgen where he gained extensive experience in all aspects of lifecycle management including Quality, Engineering, Production, Development, Supply Chain and Business Development.
Mark holds a Masters of Science Degree from Colorado School of Mines in Environmental and Chemical Engineering and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado.
Finance & Operations Manager
Annie Lee joined Opthea in 2006 and since then has performed different accounting roles within the company. Prior to joining Opthea, she was the Executive Assistant to the Chairman in an ASX listed company and held various roles in operations and accounting over a 12 year period with Emma Page Jewellery.
Annie has accounting, audit and taxation experience gained in public accounting firms and businesses across various industries. Annie holds a Master of Commerce in Professional Accounting and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Accounting. Annie is a Member of the Institute of Public Accountants, Australia.