SUDA Pharmaceuticals Limited located in Australia (oro-mucosal drug delivery) has announced Dr. Michael Baker has been appointed CEO, commencing 2 January 2020.
Michael Baker joins SUDA Pharmaceuticals from the leading Australian life science fund, Bioscience Managers, where he was based from 2017. As an Investment Manager, he was responsible for deal sourcing from networks, conferences, universities and research institutes. He also conducted the due diligence to shortlist investment opportunities and managed portfolios, specifically helping investee companies with corporate and operational strategies and fundraisings.
Before that, Michael Baker was a project manager at Hexima Limited which specializes in developing agricultural and pharmaceutical products. He was a senior manager and his role was to lead and motivate a team of 4-8 research scientists and drive project development, ensuring timely completion of milestones, including helping guide a drug candidate from discovery to clinical trials.
Michael Baker is replacing Paul Hopper, who will step down after a hand-over period, as Executive Chairman to resume as Non-Executive Chairman for SUDA Pharmaceuticals.
Paul Hopper said that he welcomed Michael’s new role as CEO. “I am delighted that an executive of Michael’s caliber has agreed to accept the role of CEO. Michael’s expertise across commercialization of technologies, scientific research, and financial investments is a core asset, which is important for SUDA as it repositions itself. Business development will be a major focus of the new role and Michael’s high energy personality will help SUDA focus on the year ahead.”
“With refreshed company management going forward we are striving to rebuild company value and shareholder confidence,” said Mr. Hopper.
“This is a major career step for me and I am utterly determined to make SUDA successful and deliver benefits to shareholders,” said Michael Baker. “In this transformational time, there is a lot of work to be done. Paul Hopper at the AGM laid out new plans, and I look forward to working with him to secure funding, manage costs, focus on deal-making and commercialize ZolpiMist worldwide.”
Michael Baker has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and was also awarded the prestigious Nancy Millis award for the most outstanding thesis for the Faculty of Science, Tech and Engineering, 2010. He was an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the University of Cologne with nine publications – one in the prestigious journal Science. He was also awarded an MBA at Melbourne Business School – Dean’s List.
The key terms of Dr. Baker’s remuneration and incentives are as follows:
Salary: $250,000 gross per annum, excluding superannuation, to be reviewed on 30 June 2020 for the next financial year.
Eligible Bonus: Dr. Baker will be eligible for a bonus payment of up to 33% of the Dr Baker’s Salary on meeting mutually agreed performance targets and subject to SUDA’s sole discretion.
Options: SUDA agrees to issue Dr Baker 2,800,000 unlisted 4-year options on the
commencement date of employment to vest in three tranches. Tranche 1 Options – 1,200,000 options, Tranche 2 Options – 800,000 options, Tranche 3 Options – 800,000 options. Exercise price: Tranche 1 Options – a price equal to the amount that is 145% above SUDA’s 7-day VWAP up to and including the date of commencement of employment (“Market Value”), Tranche 2 Options – a price equal to the amount that is 155% above the Market Value and Tranche 3 Options – a price equal to the amount that is 165% above the Market Value. The options are exercisable at any time after the applicable Vesting Date but before the Expiry Date. Vesting Date: Tranche 1 Options – 30 June 2020, Tranche 2 Options – 30 June 2021, Tranche 3 Options – 30 June 2022. Expiry Date: 4 years from the date of commencement of employment. Options are issued subject to the terms and conditions of the company’s Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP).