ASX-listed drug discovery company Alchemia (ASX:ACL) has promoted its CFO Charles Walker to CEO with immediate effect.
Walker, who has been with the Brisbane-based firm for the past two years as CFO, has 20 years’ experience in the life sciences industry, firstly as a pharmacologist in the UK before moving into the pharmaceutical industry. He then spent a decade in corporate finance advising international technology companies, and has executed more than 40 corporate transactions including mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and fundraising.
Another key achievement was co-founding a life sciences investment bank in the UK, which was sold to Nomura International in 2005. Walker replaces former CEO Dr Peter Smith, who resigned in January and has assumed a non-executive director’s post.
In a statement, Walker said he saw further opportunities for Alchemia’s fast-growing business in the late-stage drug development to internationalise under his leadership. The company owns the US Food and Drug Administration approved anticoagulant drug Fondaparinux as well as oncology products under its subsidiary Audeo Oncology.
Alchemia failed its bid for a US IPO for Audeo in late 2012, blaming investor concerns about the state of the US economy and market conditions, and stated it would re-evaluate longer-term financing options including a possible listing this year.
“The next 12 months will be transformative both in terms of clinical and corporate development and I am looking forward to building on the strong foundations already established, and continuing to work to unlock value for shareholders,” Walker said.