Health Care

Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) – Dr. Graham Kelly



The CEO Mindset - Dr. Graham Kelly is the Executive Chairman, CEO and Founder of Noxopharm (ASX:NOX)

Dr. Graham Kelly is the Executive Chairman, CEO and Founder of Noxopharm (ASX:NOX), an Australian publicly-listed clinical stage drug development company. The clinical stage drug candidate is Veyonda® (previously known as NOX-66). Veyonda® is a first-in-class, dual-acting cytotoxic and immuno-oncology drug candidate designed to enhance the effectiveness and safety of both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

What’s your journey in becoming a CEO?
Over a span of 25 years, I worked in university medical research at The University of Sydney. During these years I was appointed Senior Research Fellow in Experimental Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine and I was passionate about making important contributions to human health. In 1994, after developing a theory around dietary isoflavones and their role in human health, I left academia and founded an Australian biotech company which listed on the ASX and then dual-listed on NASDAQ in 1998.

I enjoyed the transition to CEO as it allowed me to use my medical research knowledge in a new capacity. Since then I have held various roles as CEO, Executive Chairman, Executive Director and Non-Executive Director across several listed biotech companies and I have founded two more Australian listed biotech companies; Noxopharm Limited (ASX:NOX) and Nyrada Inc. (ASX:NYR).

Tell us a bit about your business and how you are commercializing?
Noxopharm is a drug discovery and development company based around isoflavonoid chemistry. These are naturally occurring compounds with unique poly-pharma (multiple biological functions) and evident high degrees of safety. The functions are relevant to human degenerative diseases, particularly cancer. The Company takes these naturally occurring compounds and then derivatises them to create new and more potent-acting compounds, while retaining their shown good safety profile. Noxopharm seeks to commercialise these compounds through a variety of different avenues.

How are you managing with the current COVID-19 pandemic on both business and personal front?
COVID-19 has not had a major impact on Noxopharm, due in part to our virtual business model. The vendors and collaborators which we manage globally were only minimally affected by the COVID-19 restrictions and did not cause any workflow issues. Overall, the staff have experienced an easy transition to working remotely and we have even seen an increase in productivity due to reduced travel times.

What’s the most exciting thing about running your business?
Discovering new drugs with the potential to save lives is an exciting basis for any business. It also means that new opportunities for our compounds regularly present themselves expanding their potential and helping to create additional value for shareholders.

How do you measure success?
Commercially, we measure success through the intellectual property we are able to develop around our compounds and ultimately, their monetisation for shareholders.

On a personal level, we measure success by the satisfaction of seeing drug discoveries progress into the clinic and deliver tangible benefits to patient outcomes.

What do you think is the most important quality of being a CEO of a listed company?
I believe the most important quality a CEO can have is an ability to lead and to inspire people.

If you weren’t in your current career what would you have done?
If I had followed another path, it would have been as a Veterinary Surgeon as this is what I originally trained to do.

What message do you want to send to our readership in Asia?
 Noxopharm is a bold and scientifically creative biotech company that believes it has the potential to deliver meaningful survival prospects to people with end-stage prostate cancer after failing to respond to all current available therapies.

How can people connect with you?
Company Website:

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Dr. Graham on the Finance News Network speaking about the DARRT-1 program in prostate cancer (2 Dec 2019)

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