Our Team

Howard Moore
Chief Executive Officer

Graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Food Technology. His early career was in the New Zealand dairy industry with NZ Co-op Dairy Co, Alfa Laval, NZ Dairy Board and Kiwi Dairies. He was a driving force in the New Zealand dairy industry committing to invest $150 million in an ag-biotechnology start-up company; ViaLactia.

Howard and the late Professor Ross Clark were co-founders of Tercica, an Auckland start-up company which relocated to the USA, in-licensed and then had IGF-1 approved as a drug and achieved a listing for Tercica on NASDAQ. Howard then returned to New Zealand and became Executive Director for Direct Capital’s $100 million life sciences fund, BioPacificVentures.

Howard has also has spent 6 years working in the dairy industry in China. His career has been hallmarked by fund raising, commercialising technology, developing early stage companies, and sales and marketing.

Amit Somani
Managing Director, Pictor Diagnostics India

Amit has over 15 years of experience in Strategy and Business Growth as an Entrepreneur, Strategy Consultant and Leader in large companies.

Amit is currently focused on helping Pictor grow in India and emerging geographies.

Previously, he has worked in global consulting organisations like Bain Consulting and Deloitte, large conglomerates like Reliance and Technology/ Internet startups like Jio and Flipkart.

He has completed his Engineering from the Pune University and management education from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

He shares his experience in driving consistent and sustainable growth with start ups in internet, home services, and Media/ content.

Maxine Simmons, CNZM
Acting Chair

Founded one of New Zealand’s first biotechnology companies and has since held many influential roles in science commercialisation and early stage biotechnology company development. These include being a founding director of Industry New Zealand (now New Zealand Trade and Enterprise); a director of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology; Chair of NZBIO; a New Zealand representative on ABAC (the APEC Business Advisory Council).

Maxine is currently Executive Director of Cure Kids Ventures, a seed and early stage company investment fund that invests in the commercialisation of healthcare innovations with a potential to benefit child health.

Maxine holds a Master of Science degree in biological sciences from the University of Auckland, is a chartered member of the NZ Institute of Directors and holds a number of private company directorships.

Maxine was recently appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to science, particularly biotechnology.

Dr. Lee Mathias, DHSc
Director Board Member

Lee has a wealth of private and public healthcare experience. She has worked in the health services sector for over forty years, as a clinician, a business owner, a consultant, an educator, and as a board director.

She has made an invaluable contribution to midwifery and maternity care in New Zealand, and utilized her considerable entrepreneurial skills to build successful businesses and enhance the governance of many leading organizations. Dr Lee Mathias was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and is a Chartered Fellow Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

Lee currently Chairs Medicines NZ and the Health Promotion Agency and is a Director of Pictor Limited, Health Alliance NZ Ltd, the Health Innovation Hub and a board member of ADHB.

Paul Kinnon
Director Board Member

Has held leadership positions with Transgenomic Inc., Arch Global Research, ZyGEM Corp., Thermo Fisher (Life Technologies), Guava Technologies and Cellomics.

As President and CEO at Transgenomic, he was responsible for restructuring the Company via M&A activity; divesting two major business units and two product lines generating ~$10 million in non-dilutive funding while significantly reducing losses; maintaining NASDAQ status for over three years; while restructuring the company, and strategically changing its direction.

He has a proven track record for transforming organizations large and small while driving commercial success and growth; broad experience in leadership, capital fund raising, M&A business development, commercial organizations, technology and product development in multiple sectors (oncology, discovery, clinical diagnostics, clinical development and platform development); as well as developing and implementing novel and successful commercial launches, with strong mentoring and exceptional organization/leadership skills and global industry wide network of personal and business contacts.

Champak Mehta
Director Board Member

With formal training in the medical sciences, economics and business, Champak is a former physiology lecturer and NZ Army officer. He joined Fonterra in early 2003 and spent nearly 9 years with them, gaining extensive experience in strategy, business development and general management in a variety of roles in NZ, the US and Singapore.

As an early member of the Fonterra Strategy Team, he worked on several large-scale projects including the Shareholder Services Strategy, the Fonterra Product Mix Review and the Fonterra Strategy Refresh before moving onto the New Ventures Team based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. In his last role, he was based in Singapore for 5 years as the Regional Manager, Asia-Pacific for DFE, the joint venture between Fonterra and Friesland Campina in the pharmaceutical lactose space.

In mid- 2011, after having spent the bulk of Fonterra career offshore, he and his wife returned to NZ, where he worked briefly in a senior management role at The University of Auckland before re-entering the primary sector as the inaugural CEO of Potatoes NZ Inc. in January 2013, a position he held for nearly 3 years.

Champak was the co-owner of a large multi-office real estate business in Auckland for the past 2 years. Over this period, he and his business partner turned the business around, increasing EBIT by over 25% and establishing themselves as market leaders in 4 of their 5 locations.

Born and bred in Taranaki, Champak currently resides in Auckland.

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