At George Medicines our mission is to extend and improve the lives of millions of people suffering from the world’s leading causes of death and disability, such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. We are developing innovative, single-pill combinations of best-in-class existing treatments, in novel and unique dosage strengths, that we believe have the potential to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases on patients, families, health systems and economies.
George Medicines is a venture-backed spin-out company from George Health, initially established to commercialise the research of The George Institute for Global Health, one of the world’s leading health research institutes.
We use the research base and scientific expertise of The George Institute to pursue the late-stage development of our single-pill combination therapies. We also use the commercial expertise of George Health and the infrastructure of George Clinical, the global clinical research organisation, for the formulation and clinical development of our portfolio.
We are backed by leading biotech venture capital investor Brandon Capital Partners, the largest life science healthcare fund in Australasia, whose expertise is directed toward supporting its portfolio companies along the path to commercialisation and the MRCF (Medical Research Commercialisation Fund) focused on taking the most promising medical discoveries into the latest medical therapies to save lives and improve quality of life, while generating returns for investors.
George Medicines Team
George Medicines is led by an experienced and respected team with a proven track record in pharmaceutical development and commercialisation, global health and the management of non-communicable diseases.
Stefan KönigChief Executive Officer
Mr König was appointed CEO of George Medicines in June 2021, joining from Takeda Pharmaceuticals where his most recent role was Vice-President and Global Franchise Head Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). In his role, he was responsible for Takeda ́s most significant asset Entyvio (vedolizumab). Under Stefan ́s leadership the vedolizumab franchise grew to become the gold standard therapy for IBD patients with around USD 4bn in global revenues and a significant lifecycle plan for further, sustained expansion. In this role Stefan chaired the senior, cross-functional Global Program Team (GPT) and oversaw design of global commercial strategy, guiding execution to regions and affiliates. During his tenure Stefan shaped not only Takeda ́s first global biologic franchise, but also oversaw multiple, innovative partnerships across IBD and devices.
Prior to that, Mr König was the General Manager for Takeda in Austria, where he led integration of the significant Takeda and Nycomed legacy organisations and transformed the business from a Primary Care organisation to become an agile specialty care and oncology player. Given his passion for market access, Stefan also held the position as Vice-Chair of the Board of the National Industry Association in Austria and had an active role to shaping the local healthcare environment.
Mr König’s earlier roles at Takeda included Regional Managing Director for a cluster of countries in Central and Eastern Europe, based in Slovenia. Stefan also spent almost 10 years in Mexico and Latin America, working in areas such as business and corporate development and marketing for various companies, including Novartis and Merck KGaA/EMDSerono.
Dr Karl RobertsChief Operating Officer
Dr Roberts has over 30 years’ experience in various commercial, general management, consultant, and strategic roles in both the branded and generic pharmaceutical sector and in contract manufacturing.
Dr Roberts has extensive global experience in strategic licensing and M&A and a proven track record in brokering deals in both established and emerging markets.
Professor Anthony RodgersChief Medical Officer
Professor Rodgers has a track record in cardiovascular disease prevention, innovation, and public-private partnerships, with an interest in scale-able interventions to address major risks to health. He is currently Director of the Cardiovascular Division at The George Institute, Australia and Chair of Clinical Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College of London.
Professor Rodgers was the Principal Author of the 2002 World Health Report, the main annual publication for WHO. Professor Rodgers has led developments of an affordable four-in-one cardiovascular combination pill (‘polypill’). He led a clinical trial programme in economically developed and developing countries, funded by the Wellcome Trust, European Union, National Health and Medical Research Council and others. He has also been instrumental in developing the field of low-dose combination therapy in hypertension, helping initiate several clinical trials in the area.
Professor Rodgers also developed a world first cell phone based smoking cessation programme for youth, which disseminated proven health support messages in an age-appropriate, affordable medium. Over 6,000 patients were involved in clinical trials that demonstrated a 50% increase in quit rates. The service has been rolled out by Departments of Health in NZ, UK and India, with over 2 million users to date.
Professor Rodgers trained in medicine in the UK, has a PhD in Epidemiology, post graduate qualifications in Public Health, is a member of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Scott FeatherstonChief Financial Officer
Scott Featherston is Chief Financial Officer for George Medicines and Chief Financial Officer and Director for Corporate Development for George Health. He is also an Honorary Professorial Fellow at The George Institute. Mr Featherston also has interests in education. He founded Caerus Capital, a boutique private investment firm that invests in the private education sector in Sub-Saharan Africa and he sits on the board of Luminus Education in Amman, Jordan.
Mr Featherston was formerly the Global Health Sector Leader and a Principal Investment Officer for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group. During his time at IFC (2005-2015), Mr Featherston led numerous transactions in the health and education sectors in Africa, MENA, South/East Asia, and Europe and founded the World Bank’s Health in Africa initiative. Mr Featherston’s early career was in engineering and finance.
Mr Featherston holds master’s degrees in international affairs and engineering science.
Erin CorstanjeNew Product Development Project Management Director
Erin Corstanje is New Product Development Project Management Director at George Medicines. Prior to joining George Medicines, Ms Corstanje was Group Director NPD and Technical Support, for packaging company Petainer and Project Manager at Reckitt Benckiser. Ms Corstanje has a decade-long experience in innovation and product development and is passionate about building effective teams that deliver products for the global market.
Professor Stephen MacMahonChairman (Founder & Board Director, George Health Principal Director, George Institute)
Chairman of the Board for George Medicines, as well as co-founder of The George Institute and George Health, Professor MacMahon is a leading authority on the treatment of non-communicable diseases as well as a recognised social entrepreneur.
Professor MacMahon is a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine UNSW Sydney; Chair of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London; and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, British Academy of Medical Sciences and American College of Cardiology. Stephen has published more than 300 scientific papers and delivered more than 200 invited lectures. For his work in the field of cardiovascular disease, he has received numerous awards, fellowships and honours from various governments, universities and learned societies.
Mustapha Staph Leavenworth BakaliBoard Director
Mr Leavenworth Bakali is President and Chief Executive Officer, and Director of George Health. Previously Mr Leavenworth Bakali was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). Mr Leavenworth Bakali has has over 30 years of senior executive and board level experience. He has successfully led both large complex and small start-up health organisations in established and emerging markets in the global health and life sciences sector. Staph has a proven track record in delivering impact and creating significant shareholder value including exits via M&A and IPO. Previously Staph was President & COO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. He serves on a number of boards as an advisor and as a non-Executive Director and Chairman. He holds a First-Class Honours Degree from City of London Polytechnic and an MSc (With Distinction) from London Business School.
Ingmar WahlqvistBoard Director
Ingmar Wahlqvist is a Senior Investment Manager at Brandon Capital Partners. Previously, Dr Wahlqvist was at Melbourne Ventures, commercialising technologies from The University of Melbourne. Before this he worked for Sanofi, in France, in particular in the Cardiovascular Franchise of Global Marketing on Plavix, which during this time grew to be the 2nd-biggest selling drug in the world. Earlier he worked with Boston Consulting Group and several health-related start-up companies. He began his professional career as a medical doctor, spending several years in clinical medicine.
Dr Wahlqvist currently serves as a Director of Denteric and PolyActiva.
He has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Monash University and an MBA from Melbourne Business School. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Charmaine GittlesonNon-executive director
Dr Charmaine Gittleson is a senior executive with international experience as a pharmaceutical physician and enterprise manager in pharmaceutical drug development, governance and risk management.
During her 15-year tenure with global ASX-listed specialty biotechnology company CSL, Dr Gittleson had accountability for clinical research, medical safety, medical and patient-related ethics for development and on market programmes, providing leadership in strategic product development, planning and implementation across multiple therapeutic and rare disease areas. She also held a range of leadership roles including Senior Director, Head of Safety and Clinical Development in Melbourne, Australia, Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Senior Vice President of Clinical Development in Pennsylvania, USA, and Chief Medical Officer in Melbourne, Australia. She retired from corporate roles in 2020.
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 in 2017, 2018 and 2019.