Experienced management team and internationally recognised scientific founders.


 hoto Credit:  Peter Hellberg

Dr. Keats Nelms, CEO & Co-Founder

Dr Nelms has a significant track record in commercial R&D, technology evaluation and business development in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors, early and late-stage start-up management as well as strategic business development across a range of sectors.  Dr Nelms has also served as chairman of Mylexa Pty Ltd, an early-stage pharmaceutical company acquired in 2013. Prior to working at the ANU,  Dr Nelms was co-founder and Director of Phenomix Australia Pty Ltd and Phenomix Corporation (USA). Phenomix raised US$165M privately and established international technology and partnership deals with its technology platform and lead drug development program in diabetes.


 Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Prof. Chris Parish & Dr. Charmaine Simeonovic, Co-Founders

Prof. Parish is an immunologist and cancer biologist and a world leader in heparanase and HS research including the initial cloning of heparanase. He has extensive experience over the last 25 years in translating his research findings into the clinic and his discoveries have contributed to the formation of five biotechnology companies.

Dr Simeonovic has over 30 years experience Type 1 diabetes research and in islet transplantation as a treatment for T1D. She has over 60 publications in this field and is a co-inventor on 2 patents related to the discovery of the critical role for heparan sulfate in beta cell survival and heparanase in the development of diabetes


Prof. Michael Cardew-Hall, Director

Prof. Cardew-Hall, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Innovation) at the Australian National University, provides leadership of strategic initiatives to build growth in research and education outcomes through strategic partnerships with industry, government and not-for-profit organisations. Prof. Cardew-Hall has significant experience in technology transfer, commercialisation and industrial policy and has been involved in a number of spin off start-up companies. He has served as a Director of the Australian Solar Institute, Lithicon AS, Simile Systems, ATPi and is currently Chair of the Boards of Australian Scientific Instruments and the Social Research Centre, and CEO of ANU Enterprise.  Professor Cardew-Hall was previously CEO of ANU Connect Ventures, a pre-seed venture capital fund associated with ANU and holds a seat on the ANU Connect Ventures Investment Committee. He also held the positions of Head Department of Engineering, Deputy Dean, and Acting Dean of the College of Engineering & Computer Science at ANU.

Christopher Pugmire, Director

Mr. Pugmire leads commercialisation of health-related life science programs arising from the world-class research of Australian National University and has broad experience in the commercialisation and development of pharmaceutical and medical technologies.  Previously, he was Senior Business Development Manager at King’s College London where he developed collaborative relationships between with commercial partners in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and worked with spin-outs to attract funding to progress technologies toward market.