Management
Team

Professor Darren Kelly

CEO and Managing Director

Darren Kelly, a biologist, discovered GPR68’s central role as a regulator of fibrotic processes and worked with a chemist Spencer Williams to develop a small molecule inhibitor of GPR68 with the aim of tackling fibrotic diseases upstream of other targeted biological pathways.

 Following years of further development both in-house in specialist biotechnology companies and in the hands of major pharma and biotechnology players, Certa has now brought together a consolidated portfolio of specific molecules which all target GPR68. 

The lead asset in the portfolio is Asengeprast (FT011), which was initially developed by Dr Kelly in a company called Fibrotech which he spun out of the University of Melbourne and was later sold to Shire with Certa then regaining the rights after Shire was acquired by Takeda.

Darren brings over 25 years of management and research expertise in the life sciences and biotech sector. Darren has published over 200 manuscripts in the field of translational research and novel interventions, many of which have had a direct impact on human disease. In 2009, Darren was a recipient of the prestigious TJ Neale award for outstanding contribution to nephrology. In 2015 Darren joined the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund as Venture Partner.

 

Concurrent to this role, Darren is the Executive Chair and Founder of OccuRx, Venture partner (Entrepreneur in Residence) with Brandon Capital, a Board Director at the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and the Director Biomedical Research in the Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne where his research expertise lies in progressing pre-clinical novel interventions and developing experimental models of cardiovascular disease.

Darren has a PhD in Translational Medicine from the University of Melbourne, and an Executive Diploma Business Administration. He is a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology.

Ms Ann Hamer

Chief Operating Officer

Ann Hamer joined Certa Therapeutics in 2018. As the Chief Operating Officer at Certa Therapeutics, Ann is responsible for managing the operational and governance activities of the Company, whilst contributing to the development and implementation of Company strategies, policies and practices.

Ann maintains roles directing the PR and communications strategy for Brandon Capital and BrandonBiocatalyst and holds a position with the University of Melbourne, managing commercial and contract research for the Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital.

Ann was the founding Chief Operating Officer for OccuRx and earlier, Operations Manager forFibrotech Therapeutics, prior to the successful acquisition of the Company by Shire in 2014.

Ann’s expertise is in organisational and operational management with prior management roles within the healthcare and biotech sector ranging from Not-For-Profit, University, and private enterprise positions.

Dr Michelle Bradney

SVP Medical and Scientific Affairs

Michelle Bradney joined Certa Therapeutics in 2022 as Senior Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs where she leads team decisions for medical affairs, clinical operations and clinical development.

Michelle has more than 25 years of successful and progressive experience in medical affairs, clinical development and operations across Asia Pacific, Europe and USA. Prior to this role she was Head of Medical Affairs at Medical Developments International.  

Concurrent to this role, Michelle is COO of OccuRx (2022-2024).

Michelle has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Australian Company Directors (GAICD).  

Dr Michelle Papadimitriou

Research and Development Director

Michelle Papadamitriou joined Certa Therapeutics as a Research and Commercialisation Associate in 2018. She has been Research and Development Director since 2022.

Michelle has more than 5 years of experience in drug development, managing pre-clinical efficacy, safety and toxicology studies to progress drug candidates to Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials. She also has more than 15 years of experience in biomedical research. 

Concurrent to this role, Michelle is Head of Research and Development with OccuRx (2020-2024).

Michelle has a PhD from the University of Melbourne in immunogenetics and has completed a post docotoral fellowship at the Centre for Regnerative Therapies Dresden (Germany). 

 

Dr Simona Carbone

Program Manager

Simona Carbone joined Certa Therapeutics as Program Manager in 2024. 

Simona has more than 15 years of experience in biomedical research in the field of neurogastroenternology. She holds a concurrent role as Senior Research Fellow at Monash University (Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences), where she leads an industry-facing research laboratory. Simona’s research laboratory receives funding from industry, government, and philanthropic sources. Simona brings to Certa Therapeutics her expertise in external relationships management with academics, clinicians, and industry professionals. 

In addition, Simona holds consultancy roles with international biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. She is producer and host of ‘The Lead Candidate,’ a podcast aimed at understanding what makes for a great leader in science.  

Dr Amanda Edgley

Commercial Research Manager

Amanda Edgley joined Certa Therapeutics in 2007 in a concurrent role she holds as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne Biomedical Translational Research Group, Department of Medicine (St Vincent’s Hospital) where she manages the commercial and academic research in the laboratory.

 

Amanda brings to Certa Therpeutics over 17 years of medical research expertise in the field of cardiovascular physiology with an emphasis on the pre-clinical evaluation of novel pharmaceutical interventions in cardiovascular disease.

Prior to her current role she undertook a post-doctoral position at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in Sweden, as part of an NHMRC Industry Fellowship, working in early pre-clinical discovery, evaluating novel compounds for the treatment of diabetic cardiovascular complications – with a focus on regulation of vascular function, inflammation and fibrosis in disease progression.

In addition, Amanda is the University of Melbourne Academic Co-ordinator for research training at the Eastern Hill Academic Precinct.

Amanda has a PhD in Medicine from Monash University.