Hopkins to head Zelda Therapeutics

22/05/2018 - 13:07

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Perth-based medicinal cannabis specialist Zelda Therapeutics has appointed former Phylogica and PharmAust chief executive Richard Hopkins as its managing director.

Richard Hopkins says he is looking forward to adding value to Zelda's strategic direction.

Perth-based medicinal cannabis specialist Zelda Therapeutics has appointed Phylogica co-founder Richard Hopkins as its managing director.

The biopharmaceutical company has also announced its chairman Stewart Washer will step down from his executive position and revert to a non-executive director of the organisation.

Dr Hopkins will take up his position with Zelda as of July 2018, having spent the past year as chief executive of clinical trials company PharmAust.

He has more than 11 years’ experience in corporate leadership roles with public biotechnology companies, having founded Phylogica in 2001 and then moved onto the role with PharmAust in 2017.

Dr Hopkins said it was an exciting time to be joining Zelda, as the company was poised to deliver on the significant pre-clinical and clinical foundations laid down in recent years.

“I look forward to adding value to the strategic direction of the company and accelerate plans to make its medical cannaboid-based therapies available for patients,” he said.

Zelda chairman Harry Karelis said Zelda was preparing for its next stage of growth after developing relationships across the globe since inception in 2015 and was pleased to have someone of Dr Hopkins’ calibre to join the team in a leadership position.

“We are in very capable hands and we will be working closely together to build on our success to date,” Mr Karelis said.

Zelda develops cannaboid-based treatments for a variety of medical conditions.

It is currently undertaking human clinical trials focused on insomnia, autism and eczema, while running pre-clinical research programs examining the effects of cannabinoids in breast, brain and pancreatic cancer.

PharmAust executive chairman Roger Ashton said the board thanked Dr Hopkins for his time and achievements.

“We have achieved much during the past 14 months during Richard’s tenure, including a successful capital raise and the recent signing of a new option agreement with Elanco,” Dr Ashton said.

He said Dr Hopkins had been helping PharmAust facilitate a smooth handover and it was advanced in discussions with a leading candidate to take up the chief executive position.

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