Saturday, September 15, 2007

Trounson's Business Activities

Alan Trounson, just named as president of the California stem cell, agency, has said he will divest any interests he has in stem cell companies. Here is a list of companies that Trounson founded. The list was provided by CIRM.

Abstracts of Companies Founded by Alan Trounson
1. Infertility Medical Centre/ Monash IVF Pty Ltd (http://www.monashivf.com )

- Established 1978 as a company providing services to infertile couples. In 1982 the original company was absorbed by Monash University as 51% ownership, with the majority other ownership by private gynaecologists who manage the patient treatments. The primary activity is now to service patients requiring IVF and related therapies and diagnosis of inheritable genetic diseases using preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Largest provider in Australia – New Zealand. Clinics in Victoria and Queensland. Presently in sale mode for $100mill+

2. Sydney IVF Pty Ltd (http://www.sydneyivf.com )

- Founded by Trounson and Dr R Jansen in 1986 for provision of infertility services in Sydney. Sydney IVF has international clinical and business relationships in infertility services and stem cell provider activities (eg. GMP embryonic stem cells to ESI Pte Ltd., Huntington’s Disease embryonic stem cell lines to US distributor)

3. Intergramed America Inc (http://www.intergramed.com )

- The company was founded by Robert Moses (foundation CEO), Vicki Baldwin, David Beams and Trounson in 1984 as IVF Australia Inc/ then IVF America Inc, initiating new IVF clinical services and for provision of services in women's health care and physician practice. The management company focuses on infertility and assisted reproductive technology. Raised $20mill as public float on NYSE. Present market cap ~ $80mill. Services provided to clinics nationally across the US and is one of the largest providers in the US.

4. Embryonic Stem Cells International (ESI) Pte (http://www.escellinternational.com )

- Founded by Trounson and Drs Pera, Reubinoff, Bongso in 2000 to support our research in embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Commercial rights and IP to the initial 6 ESC lines developed by the founders were transferred to ESI. These ESCs are part of the “NIH recognised” cell lines and were the subject of the change in ESC support by NIH when Trounson and colleagues applied for NIH funding under President Clinton’s administration. The initial investment was obtained equally from Business Angels associates from the Melbourne community and the Economic Development Board of Singapore. The company was registered in Singapore. Carl Strachan (Melbourne) chaired the Board and the foundation CEO was Robert Klupacs (previously Commercial Manager of Institute Reproduction and Development under Trounson’s directorship}. The company provided the initial financial support for


Trounson and Pera at Monash, Reubinoff at Hadassa Medical Center, Jerusalem and Bongso at National University of Singapore. The company focused their commercial interests under Alan Coleman (CEO) for ESCs and diabetes (funding Drs Elefanty and Stanley in Trounson’s Centre) and ESCs and cardiac therapy (funding Dr Christine Mummery, Utrecht, Holland).
Trounson and his wife exited all shareholdings in ESI Pte in 2002 to avoid conflict of interest of management with the award of the National Stem Cell Center.

5. Maccine Pte (http://www.maccine.com)
Maccine was founded by Trounson in 2002 with Australian investors to provide primate discovery support services to Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies worldwide. The initial facilities were based at the Primate Research Center in Bogor, Indonesia and was moved to Bin Tan Island under Singapore lease to develop a new state of the art primate center to service Singapore and world commercial interests. The Singapore Development Corporation now has the majority ownership and the Australian parent company (Trounson – Chairman of Board) is being dissolved. The business involves the development of primate efficacy models in various therapeutic areas (e.g. cognition, diabetes, cardiovascular, pain, oncology); pharmacokinetic screening and ranking; and early toxicokinetic evaluation of candidate drugs for use in human medicine.

6. CopyRat/InjenKO Pty Ltd.
CopyRat is a spinout company from Monash University founded by Trounson in 2001 that was developing novel gene-targeting and stem cell technology in the rat in order to supply Knockout animals as models for human diseases.
IngenKO was a subsidiary of CopyRat Pty Ltd, a company formed in 2002 by Drs Hertzog and Trounson that aimed to become a world leading supplier of mouse and rat models of human disease to the biomedical industry. The investment was limited to $4mill by local Melbourne investors and despite limited cash flow from providing mouse Knockout and Knock in services to non-profit organizations and biotech companies, Monash University decided to close the merged company in 2005 because of the limited capital available.

7. National (Australian) Stem Cell Center (http:// www.nscc.edu.au/ascc)
- Trounson (with help of David de Kretser, Monash University, now Governor of Victoria), Dianna DeVore (US patent attorney), Bob Moses (biotechnology business leader) and colleagues won the national competitive grant for the first Australian Biotechnology Centre of Excellence, the National Stem Cell Center (now the Australian Stem Cell Centre - ASCC) in 2002. Funding was from the Australian Government to the tune of ~A$110 million over 10 years supplemented by other Federal and State funds, and provided support for a national endeavour for building strong platforms in adult and embryonic stem
cell research. The key scientists at the onset included Paul Simmons (adult mesenchymal stem cells), Peter Rathjen (mouse embryonic and neural stem cells), Martin Pera (human ES cells), Bernie Tuch (clinical diabetes research), Harvey (adult cardiac stem cells and heart repair), Mal Horne (neural stem cells and Neuro degeneration), Andrew Elefanty and Ed Stanley (embryonic stem cells differentiation into blood and pancreatic lineages), Richard Boyd (thymic immunology and stem cells) and Trounson (embryonic and adult stem cells and respiratory repair). A Board of Governors drawn from business, law, academia, ethics and politics heads the ASCC. A Stakeholders Committee represents the Research and Academic Institutions involved and reports to the Australian Government through a Deed of Agreement. The founding Chairman of the Board was R. Moses, CEO was Trounson, and COO was DeVore. Trounson stepped down to head a new research institute at Monash 2004 (Monash Immunology and Stem cell laboratories) and was made Deputy Chairman of the Board and Global International Strategic Advisor. These positions were concluded in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
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