The fifth in AIBN’s Thought Leaders’ dinner series took place at Customs House in Brisbane on the evening of Thursday 11 April. Attendees at the dinner included a strong contingent of senior members of AIBN staff, along with guests representing executive management from a range of local, interstate and international companies.

Special guest speaker for the night was Dr Jim Aylward.  Dr Aylward holds a PhD in Biochemistry from Monash University. He was a CSIRO Principal Scientist prior to leaving the organisation and founding his own drug development company, Peplin, in 1998. On the strength of his patents on the anti-cancer principles from the plant Euphorbia peplus, and as Executive Director, he obtained seed finance, guided the R&D program and grew the company through to public listing on the ASX in September 2000. In 2004, Peplin filed INDs with the FDA for the clinical development of PEP-005 (later ingenol mebutate) for the treatment of actinic keratosis. Leo Pharma (A/S) acquired Peplin in 2010, and in March 2011, successfully filed an NDA with the FDA for ingenol mebutate, which it markets under the tradename “Picato” in the US.

Dr Aylward has continued to help small tech start-ups in a mentoring capacity through iLab in Toowong (2004-2010), and the Mentoring for Growth program (Queensland Government). He was an assessor for the Australian Technology Showcase (2009-2012). Dr Aylward was joint winner of the 2012 LSQ Excellence award, in recognition of his contribution to the life sciences industry.

Dr Aylward will recount the formative years of Peplin, with its attendant trials and tribulations together with ‘lessons learned’ along the way.

About IAP Events

Events for the AIBN Industrial Affiliates Program. Click on a past event to view the event report.