Carina Biotech’s board and management team are delighted to welcome Dr Deborah Rathjen as our new CEO. Deborah’s appointment coincides with Carina completing the first commercial transaction of its CAR-T therapy technology, and signals a new stage in the company’s development with a much stronger focus on market development and commercialisation.

Our founding CEO and Managing Director, Dr Justin Coombs, initiated this change, recognising the importance of bringing strong strategic commercial expertise into the company so that he can focus on driving Carina’s outstanding scientific progress. Deborah and Justin will work closely together to ensure our technological and commercial strategies are closely aligned and integrated.

Deborah brings a wealth of experience in leading private and listed biotech companies, investment and commercial deals, both in Australia and internationally. This experience, combined with her immunology research background, positions Deborah as the ideal CEO to develop Carina’s corporate strategy, secure new capital and position the company for very attractive commercial partnerships and deals.

In the first instance, Deborah is taking a half-time position as Carina CEO, while also continuing her existing part-time role as Executive Chair of a US biotech company in the neuroscience field. Justin’s position as Head, IP and Technology Development will also be a half-time position from August, when he will take on the additional role as half-time CEO of CureCell Ltd, the not-for-profit organisation that was previously CTM CRC. CureCell is working with the Seattle Children’s Research Institute (USA) to establish Cureworks Australia to bring potentially life-saving CAR-T clinical trials for childhood cancers to Australia.