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ResApp Health Ltd (ASX:RAP) – Tony Keating

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The CEO Mindset - Tony Keating, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at ResApp Health (ASX:RAP)

Tony Keating is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at ResApp Health (ASX:RAP), a developer of digital healthcare solutions to assist doctors and empower patients to diagnose and manage respiratory disease. ResApp is creating easy to use, affordable, clinically-validated and regulatory-cleared diagnostic tools that only require a smartphone. Their solutions are designed to be easily integrated into existing telehealth solutions and they are also working on apps to provide respiratory disease diagnosis and management directly to consumers and healthcare providers.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
After completing my PhD at The University of Queensland, I moved to the US to work at the University of Maryland as a Postdoc. At UM I worked on research projects that were funded by the US DoD and NASA. After two years in Washington DC, I moved to Boston to join Exa Corporation. Over 90 manufacturers in the automotive and aerospace industry used Exa’s engineering software to optimise the performance of their products. At Exa, I started in research and moved quickly into a technical business development role, helping develop and execute our aerospace market entry strategy. I returned to Australia in 2010 and joined UniQuest, the commercialisation company of The University of Queensland. At UniQuest, I led the commercialisation of engineering technologies, including identification and development of opportunities as well as sourcing and negotiating transactions with investors and strategic partners. During that time, I acted as interim CEO for a number of start-up companies. In my portfolio were a number of biomedical engineering technologies, one of which was the technology that become ResApp. Working closely with Brian Leedman, Dr Udantha Abeyratne (the inventor of the technology) and Dr Paul Porter (our clinical partner), we spun the ResApp technology out of the university and raised the first round of funding by listing the company on the ASX.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercialising?
ResApp is a digital health company that is focused on respiratory disease. Our core technology uses machine learning algorithms to analyse sounds (such as cough, breathing or snoring sounds) to screen for, diagnose and manage respiratory disease. By using sound, we are able to deploy our technology on an off-the-shelf smartphone, such as an Apple iPhone, without the need for any accessories or other hardware. Since starting the company, we have focused on generating the clinical data and achieving regulatory approvals for our technology. I’m pleased that we now have excellent clinical data from multiple clinical studies and have received CE Mark and TGA approval for two breakthrough products.

ResAppDx uses cough sounds to diagnose respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, asthma exacerbations and COPD exacerbations. It has been demonstrated in large clinical studies to identify these diseases at high sensitivity and specificity. ResAppDx is clinically valuable as a triage tool in traditional settings such as an emergency department, urgent care clinic or GP’s office where it can provide a rapid point-of-care result, but it is in telehealth where we have an extremely strong value proposition. We are able to provide telehealth clinicians with an accurate way to asses a patient’s lungs without a stethoscope or imaging which are obviously not available in the telehealth setting. We are working closely with telehealth providers, including our announced deals with Coviu and Phenix Health, to integrate our algorithms into their platforms to provide a seamless experience for both patients and clinicians.

SleepCheck is a direct-to-consumer screening tool for obstructive sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a major health issue, with 3 in 10 men and 2 in 10 women suffering from sleep apnoea, and up to 80% of those with sleep apnoea being undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Untreated, sleep apnoea doesn’t only result in daytime tiredness, but increases your risk of heart disease significantly. To be diagnosed with sleep apnoea today takes multiple steps, including a referral and a sleep study which involves trying to sleep with multiple contact sensors (chest straps, EGC patches on your skull, etc.), typically in an unfamiliar environment. SleepCheck reduces the barriers to diagnosis, by placing your smartphone on your bedside table when you go to sleep, you wake up to a score which assesses your risk of sleep apnoea, advising you on the next steps you can take.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
COVID-19 has changed the way governments, providers and the general public think about healthcare. This pandemic has accelerated the growth of telehealth and remote monitoring of patients. Telehealth providers such as Ping An Good Doctor (China) and Teladoc (USA) have seen huge increases in the number of telehealth consultations so far this year. Our Australian telehealth partners, Coviu and Phenix Health, have seen exponential growth since the Australian government opened up Medicate rebates for telehealth here. With this growth comes the responsibility to deliver quality care and we fill a unique position in providing the only scalable solution for remote respiratory diagnosis. Without a way to know what is happening in a patient’s lungs it is difficult for a telehealth clinician to effectively diagnose a patient who has respiratory symptoms.

COVID-19 itself represents a challenge for the global medical community and there are a number of ways we can assist. We are exploring ways of identifying the virus itself through cough, but also see an immediate opportunity to assist in managing patients with COVID-19 remotely, by identifying mild patients (i.e. patients where the disease has not progressed to a lung infection) and keeping them at home, reducing the load on hospitals and other facilities.

Operationally, our business is working well under the current restrictions. Our team have used Slack for internal comms since we founded the company and continue to make great progress even with the team working from home. Travel restrictions certainly limit our in-person visits to customers and partners, however, like all businesses, we have moved most of our business development efforts online to platforms like Zoom. We recently employed a very experienced sales and marketing leader for Europe who is based in London which certainly increases our capability there.

Personally, I’m spending a lot of time on Zoom rather than in hotels, airports and airplanes. There have been a few Zoom interruptions from kids, but that seems to be something that everybody around the world is getting used to.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The things our team are able to achieve. Our team has grown quickly and has achieved major milestones such as regulatory approval and our first customer deals, while facing and overcoming some setbacks along the way. Very few companies globally have experience in the areas where we operate. Our small team has developed technology, clinical and regulatory strategies that put us in a very unique position of being one of the very few companies in the world who have achieved what we have achieved.

How do you measure success?
I’ll always measure success by the creating products we create that help patients. These products will help doctors better take care of their patients, or will empower patients themselves to make more informed decisions about their health. If we do this then we will deliver strong returns to our shareholders.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
Time management and communication. It’s important to ensure that I listen to our shareholders and communicate effectively with them, but also balance that with running the business, which is all about listening and communicating with our team.

What is your favourite book?
I don’t think I really have a favourite book, but the most recent book I finished was The Antidote: Inside the World of New Pharma by Barry Werth. The story of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, it describes the ups and downs of healthcare, especially when developing brand new and novel products, and the persistence required to be successful.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
ResApp has achieved much over the last 5 years, resulting in regulatory approvals for two products, ResAppDx, targeting clinical diagnosis of respiratory disease, and SleepCheck, targeting at-home self-assessment of obstructive sleep apnoea. Both of these products are entering huge global markets in 2020. While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed global business growth, it has shone a spotlight on respiratory disease and telehealth.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
tony@resapphealth.com.au
ResApp Website: https://www.resapphealth.com.au/

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Anteris Technologies (ASX:AVR) – Wayne Paterson

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The CEO Mindset - Wayne Paterson is the Chief Executive Officer of Anteris Technologies Ltd (ASX:AVR)

Wayne Paterson is the Chief Executive Officer of Anteris Technologies Ltd (ASX:AVR), a structural heart company. The company’s core technology is its ADAPT® tissue technology. Initially commercialized to treat congenital heart defects, ADAPT® is the only engineered tissue with clinical data to support ten years of anti-calcification.

Anteris Technologies is now focused on the development of next-generation technologies using its ADAPT® tissue. Its 3D single-piece aortic valve DurAVR™ combines the clinical superiority of ADAPT® with a groundbreaking design, to create the world’s most durable aortic heart valve, for the treatment of aortic stenosis, one of the most common forms of heart valve disease affecting people over the age of 65.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
I left Australia over 20 years ago, and during that time I have had the privilege of working and living in seven different countries. Working in Big Pharma, I was promoted to roles of ever-increasing revenue and human resource responsibility. I went from heading up commercial operations in China for Roche, to CEO roles in Korea and Japan. As well holding CEO roles for whole regions (emerging markets), and then finally CEO of Europe where I managed 30 countries and billions in revenue, I also held the role of Global Head of Cardiovascular Medicine for a major pharma company. Each one of these roles gave me insights to operations, national cultures, performance metrics and health care systems all over the world.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Anteris is a structural heart company that has a novel and unique technology, ADAPT®, which is backed by validated and widely published science. The market space we are addressing has a value of more than US$8 bn and we are well on the path to registration at the moment, conducting clinical trials for our 3D single-piece aortic valve DurAVR™, that will lead to regulatory approval and commercialization. Commercialization of our TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) device will be in partnership with one of the major companies in the MedTech space.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
Due to the restructure that we completed last year, we are in a good position from a business perspective. Our operations have seen little to no impact and we are on track with our 2020 plan. On a personal front, the current COVID-19 pandemic presents its challenges as the role of the CEO is very much a face to face and hands on role. Whether it’s with staff, funds or other stakeholders that we deal with, we have managed to do most things remotely. Due to the time zones we operate across (my usual day goes from about 8am to 10pm), and because we have all staff working from home, I am able to do a lot of my work from the office alone and this has been very valuable.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The Anteris team inspire me and the science excites me. It is increasingly apparent that we have real clinical benefits above and beyond what’s currently in the market and the knowledge that we will bring this to patients all over the world in the near future is very exciting.

How do you measure success?
There are 3 key areas that I consider are markers of success.

1) Developing a team of engaged, high performing and motivated individuals which leads to;
2) developing science and products that are significant, clinically superior and high value, which leads to;
3) higher shareholder returns

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
High work ethic, transparency, and integrity.

What is your favourite book? 
I have two. Authentic Leadership by Bill George (former CEO of Medtronic) and the book I give all my executives is the Art of War by Sun Tzu.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Having lived in China, Korea, Singapore and Japan, I have a huge affiliation for the talent, drive and work ethic in Asia. My message to the region is to keep embracing the opportunities that the highest growing markets bring, and to keep innovating! I am confident that when we launch our TAVR product into the region, it will be highly successful due to the skills and drive of the teams in this region.

How can people connect with you?
Email: WE-AUAnterisTech@we-worldwide.com
Website: https://anteristech.com/

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

AVR’s CEO Wayne Paterson During A Patient’s Heart Surgery

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Nyrada Inc (ASX:NYR) – James Bonnar

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The CEO Mindset - James Bonnar is the Chief Executive Officer of Nyrada Inc (ASX:NYR)

James Bonnar is the Chief Executive Officer of Nyrada Inc (ASX:NYR), a preclinical stage, drug development company. The Company specialises in the development of novel small molecule drugs pertaining to the underlying pathological processes involved in cardiovascular, neurodegenerative and chronic inflammatory diseases.

What is your journey in becoming a CEO?
Working at the laboratory bench, and moving into quality assurance, regulatory affairs and management has given me a diverse skillset in the pharmaceutical industry and made the transition to CEO feel like a logical progression. An analytical chemist by training, I have over 25 years of experience in the industry. In the last 13 years I have mainly been involved in neurology clinical research, working in a broad variety of director and C-level roles, taking drugs from the laboratory and through preclinical and then human testing. Along the way, I also spent several years working in China where I established and managed a successful healthcare product manufacturing operation.  Being a people person, I am now relishing the opportunity to front Nyrada to the investment community.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercialising?
Nyrada Inc (ASX:NYR) is an innovative pharmaceutical company with a focus on discovery and early stage development of novel treatments in areas of unmet clinical need and significant commercial potential. Our business model is to commercialise early, after safety and initial efficacy proof-of-concept has been established in the target patient population. Nyrada has two lead programs: a small molecule cholesterol-lowering drug (PCSK9 inhibitor) to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and a drug to treat brain injury including traumatic brain injury and stroke. Shareholder value will be realised through licencing or the sale of drug assets and our cholesterol-lowering drug is expected to enter the clinic in late 2021.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
COVID-19 has had minimal impact on Nyrada operations. We operate largely as a virtual company, a model successfully adopted by a growing number of discovery and early phase pharmaceutical companies, and so the transition to working from home was seamless. Operations at our contract laboratory in China were affected for a short time only, causing minimal disruption. By the time lockdown occurred in India, where our drug synthesis vendor is located, we were able to implement a contingency plan, utilising a second facility in China. Transport and logistics are now back at full capacity meaning there are no delays anticipated in the movement of materials. One negative was that several investor events were cancelled or postponed meaning we had to adapt. In response we held an investor webinar instead which was very well attended, and I can see this engaging format becoming more popular in future.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Getting to interact everyday with so many bright and talented individuals. Also, travelling together as a team on a journey of discovery to help address serious and life-threatening diseases is very exciting and a key motivator. Previously, I worked on a brain injury study and saw first-hand the devastating affect it has on patients and their loved ones. Also, I lost a close friend to brain injury following a motorcycle accident a couple of years ago and it was extremely sad and frustrating knowing that the treatment options were so limited.

How do you measure success?
On a personal level, success is about meeting the standards I set for myself and living up to my values which are honesty, integrity and the search for truth, a fundamental tenet in science. In terms of Nyrada, success is underpinned by creating and clearly communicating to stakeholders our vision, adopting the right business model, conducting high quality research, and successfully executing on the optimal strategy. Long-term success will be judged by myself and our shareholders on developing safe and effective drugs that maximise return on investment. Success along the way is measured by delivering key milestones on time and within budget.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
I believe self-awareness and maintaining high ethical standards are two key attributes. The former because it drives learning and improvement, and the latter because it builds trust, which is vital in establishing and building relationships, and in fostering the right corporate culture. If you have these attributes, are smart, have a good work ethic and are passionate about what you do then you will be successful as a CEO.

What is your favourite book?
Two books I read recently that were hard to put down:
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight the creator of Nike, for entrepreneurial inspiration and because it highlights the value that passion, persistence, and a great team can bring to a business.

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, the extremely interesting yet sorry tale of Theranos, for how not to operate a technology company, where there was vision and of entrepreneurial spirit in spades, but poor science coupled with bad ethics and leadership.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
Recent events have made us think more about the importance of our health and the fragility of life and this has raised the profile of technology companies developing new medicines to treat life-threatening diseases. Nyrada has two very exciting programs, both of which have huge commercial promise. Our cholesterol-lowering drug has the potential to improve and extend lives and our brain injury drug will offer hope to stroke and traumatic brain injury patients who currently have limited treatment options.

How can people connect with you?
Email: James.Bonnar@nyrada.com
Website: https://www.nyrada.com/

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

From Left: James Bonnar (CEO), Benny Evison Ph.D (Chief Scientific Officer), Alex Suchowerska (Neuroscience Researcher) and Jasneet Parmar (Research Scientist)

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Nanollose (ASX:NC6) – Raffaele (Alfie) Germano

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The CEO Mindset - Raffaele (Alfie) Germano is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Nanollose (ASX:NC6)

Raffaele (Alfie) Germano is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Nanollose (ASX:NC6), an Australian based company that has developed technology which can take various liquid waste streams and create a scalable PLANT-FREE raw material called microbial cellulose. This microbial cellulose that can be transformed into fibres for textiles and other industrial applications.

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
Working from the ground up. I have been blessed to have commenced life inside a manufacturing family. This provided me with a lot of early skills that steered me well through college. As the sunset on Australian manufacturing in the early ’90s, the sun rose in Asia. I spent 25 years in Hong Kong and other countries working inside some of the largest Textile and Apparel companies on the planet where I zig-zagged up the corporate ladder. I think what prepared me for this role is saying yes to every challenge along with varied tasks and the accountability that came with it. I think a CEO must have a Swiss Army Knife skill set.

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Nanollose is an Australian based “Future-Tech Bio-Materials” company that is developing a Clean-Tech process and supply chain ecosystem that will utilize organic liquid waste from the food and beverage sectors to extract a natural raw material called microbial cellulose that is then applied to multiple industrial applications. Our initial commercial focus is textiles. In short, we take liquid waste and make clothes.

Over the past 18-24 months, we have been developing and paving our commercial path in all the 3 traditional industrial sectors.

In the Primary Sector: We have signed supply agreements with 2 food processing companies in Indonesia and China that allow us access to early bulk amounts of raw material for trails and initial commercialization. Also, in this space, we have been developing tech and IP around alternative waste streams, accelerated fermentation methods along with industrializing the actual raw material processing towards large tonnage scale. This sector is an import space of us to develop as it ultimately the fulcrum to which all our tech is based on. We had many interactions with stream provides that are keen to develop an alternative to just wastewater treatment.

In the Secondary Sector: Nanollose has signed a collaboration agreement with Aditya Birla-Grasim this past January. We are not only happy but enthused to have an industrial partner and a platform to commercially develop within that ultimately results in producing nullarbor fibre (Tree-Free). We are in the process of mapping out schedules around trials and form their commercialization steps. At this point, all our focus is on optimization.

In the Tertiary Sector:  We don’t just see ourselves as only a technology developer and fibre provider, but also as a brand. Our names and trademarks have been a powerful tool in communicating our vision and branding. We want to be the Bluetooth in our space.

Given our scale, exclusive amounts, and initial higher costs we have targeted apparel sectors that have larger margin elasticity opportunities. This is within the Designer/High fashion apparel sectors. Here is where we have had significant interest and engagement.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
Alfie: The current COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge with the greatest headwind for us being how to navigate around the slower logistical speeds that include the ability to travel.

Much of our work now is around delivering raw material, making fibre and activating product with brand partners. Thought this would seem slower it does present us with other opportunities around bolstering our tech and development.

On a personal level, I am a natural optimist. I often reflect on quotes in times of need, for example. ‘Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path” I view what is happening as a moment and an inflection point in time. Complaining about it will not a winning strategy, be grateful that you are safe and remember “When life gives you lemons make lemonade, and if you are Italian make Limoncello”.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
The excitement doesn’t come from one thing it comes from a cluster of things.

  • Pioneering in our space.
  • Developing a technology that can plug in and play into already existing infrastructure seamlessly.
  • Building an ecosystem that will be able to provide sustainable alternatives to an industry I cherish.
  • Being able to positively contribute to the environment and future generations by stop cutting down so many trees to make clothes.
  • Watching the industry shift and change. Brands, retailers and manufacturers are vocal and urgently seek sustainable alternatives that is all driven by customer demand.
  • Getting closer to making it real both physically and fiscally.

How do you measure success?
In this case measuring success as an end to end scorecard.

  1. Establishing a scaled raw material supply chain that delivers volume, quality, and cost
  2. Optimised tech that converts and scales our raw material into nullarbor fibre
  3. Having 2-4 key up takers brand partners that share and support the same ethos
  4. Building a healthy balance sheet from all of the above.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
To avoid a complex answer, and subject to the business maturity of a listed company, I think one of the most important qualities of a CEO is a vision. Vision is key to what to you want to be, how to set out to do it with resources and how to get it done against market dynamics.

C =Create
E =Execute
O =Operate

We live in a world that is enamoured with acronyms.

What is your favourite book?
Non Fiction: The world is flat.
Biography: To Kill a Mockingbird and Life and Death in Shanghai.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
I have always admired the industrious DNA of Asian people. So much can be achieved with creativity and hard work. Entire industries were built from nothing and most certainly from the ground up.  I would imagine that much your readership has come from histories like this and still bestows these qualities.

In Asia, much of the world’s textiles are either procured, manufactured, assembled, and now even retailed. Being ahead of the curve in the space would come with a high disruptive edge. My message is that we all needed support along the way, Nanollose is not a pipe dream but a strong value partner contender that has the same DNA.

How can people connect with you?
Email:
alfie.germano@nanollose.com
Website: https://nanollose.com/

Want to be on the list next time this company raises capital? Open an account with Fresh Equities and start exploring capital raises – freshequities.com

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