Antisense Therapeutics appoints new Non-Executive Director

Written by: Editor
Published on: 24 Mar 2021

The Board of Directors of Antisense Therapeutics Limited [ASX:ANP | US OTC:ATHJY | FSE:AWY], (the Company) is pleased to announce the appointment of Charmaine Gittleson M.D as a Non-Executive Director of the Company.

Dr Gittleson is a senior executive with extensive international experience as a pharmaceutical physician and enterprise leader in pharmaceutical drug development, governance and risk management gained during her 15-year tenure (2005-2020) with global specialty biotechnology company CSL Limited (ASX: CSL). During her time at CSL, Dr Gittleson had at various times accountability for clinical research, medical safety, medical and patient related ethics for development and on market programs, providing leadership in strategic product development, planning and implementation across multiple therapeutic and rare disease areas.

At CSL Dr Gittleson held the key leadership roles of: Senior Director, Head Safety and Clinical Development (2006-2010) in Melbourne Australia; Vice President Clinical Strategy (2010-2013) and Senior Vice President Clinical Development (2013-2017) in Pennsylvania United States; and Chief Medical Officer in Melbourne from 2017 until her recent retirement from corporate roles in 2020. Dr Gittleson was Chair of the company’s Global Benefit Risk Committee, overseeing overall product safety which facilitated regulatory approvals in USA, EU, Japan, South America and Asia-Pacific; Chair of CSL’s Bioethics Advisory Forum; and Chair of CSL’s Strategic and Technical Risk Committee, tasked with delivering development programs on time with quality and within budget, achieving five new major global product approvals and launches within a 24-month period, which included a number of rare disease therapies.

Notably in her role as Senior Vice President Clinical Development, Dr Gittleson led all clinical and safety strategic and operational R&D functions (over 350 staff) with teams in USA, Europe, Japan, China and Australia and was responsible for overseeing a large annual clinical development budget and was a key participant in regulatory agency negotiations, due diligence activities, industry meetings and annual analyst briefings. Dr Gittleson has been a scientific speaker at multiple medical conferences and regulatory workshops (FDA and EMA) and a keynote speaker at Women in Pharma & Leadership conferences for Women in ASX200 listed companies 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Dr Gittleson is a qualified medical physician and holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery both from the University of Witwatersrand and an Australian Medical Council Qualification. Dr Gittleson is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Stanford University’s Company Directors Course.

In welcoming Dr Gittleson to the Board, Antisense Therapeutics Chairman Bob Moses said “Dr Gittleson brings to our Board absolutely ideal clinical development, regulatory and commercialization experience at the perfect time for the Company as we approach launch of our Phase IIb clinical trial of ATL1102 for treatment of Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy. We are extremely pleased to have attracted someone of Charmaine’s caliber. Charmaine will add an immediate, constructive, and very welcome contribution to the Board. In my opinion, Dr Gittleson’s acceptance is an outstanding endorsement of Antisense Therapeutics and its technology development pipeline.”

Dr Gittleson added “I am thrilled to be joining the Antisense Therapeutics Board at this key juncture in the development pathway of ATL1102. My corporate career has been dedicated to working in rare diseases and the communities and being able to continue contributing, now to the Duchenne’s community with a novel and robust scientific approach is inspiring.”

Dr Gittleson’s appointment is effective immediately and will be confirmed with shareholders following the 2021 Annual General Meeting at which time Dr Graham Mitchell, current non-executive director of ANP intends to retire from the Board of Directors and so will not seek re-election.

The Board of Antisense Therapeutics would like to take this opportunity to thank Graham for nearly 20 years of invaluable contribution to the growth and successful stewardship of ANP as it has advanced from drug discovery into late-stage clinical development and is now on the path to drug commercialisation. Graham is expected to continue to support the company in an ongoing consultant capacity.

Dr Mitchell said “It is wonderful to be passing the baton to another CSL executive. I am particularly happy to have contributed to the earlier research and clinical stages of the company’s development, which aligned with my science background. I am pleased that the appointment of Charmaine truly reflects the advanced stage of product development within the Company. The prospects are such that I look forward to having ongoing active interest in assured successful progress of ANP.”