Professor Darren Kelly

CEO and Managing Director

Darren is the Executive Chair of OccuRx, bringing over 25 years of management and research expertise in the life sciences and biotech sector. 

Concurrent to his role with Certa Therapeutics, Darren is CEO and Managing Director of Certa Therapeutics, 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 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.

Darren has a proven history in translational research. He was previously Founder, CEO and Director of Fibrotech Therapeutics, a company that developed orally active anti-fibrotic inhibitors to treat underlying pathological fibrosis in kidney and heart failure, which was ultimately acquired by Shire Plc for a record 75 million USD upfront including milestone payments up to 600 million USD.

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.

Dr Michelle Bradney

Chief Operating Officer

Michelle has over 25 years of progressive global clinical development, clinical operations and medical affairs experience working across Australia, Asia Pacific, Europe and USA. 

With extensive experience across a range of therapeutic areas, Michelle has provided in-depth scientific, medical and clinical knowledge in both device and pharmaceutical environments.

Michelle has worked in start-up biotechnology companies and global pharmaceutical and device companies where she has led successful IND and IDE approvals across multiple jurisdictions as well as leading their clinical programs and medical affairs operations. Michelle’s experience includes several roles at Allergan in the APAC region alongside experience in leading the strategy and operations for clinical development for ASX listed companies.

As the Chief Operating Officer at OccuRx, Michelle is responsible to lead and manage OccuRx’s drug development, clinical trial execution and business operations.

Michelle completed a PhD with the Department of Medicine, Melbourne University before moving into the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Gareth Lewis


Gareth has over 25 years of R&D experience spanning drug and clinical development, portfolio strategy, pre-launch commercialisation, business development and licensing as well as on-market commercial responsibility.

Having worked in a range of therapeutic areas, this development and commercialisation expertise includes a range of products and technologies, with broad multinational experience from time working in Australia, USA, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Gareth’s pharmaceutical career started with AstraZeneca in the UK and Sweden, before moving to the Australian biotech sector. After gaining additional experience with generic injectable products at Hospira, he moved to Mayne Pharma, undertaking successive commercial leadership roles with increasing executive responsibilities in Australia and the USA.

As the Chief Commercial Officer at OccuRx, Gareth is responsible for the strategic development and commercialisation of the company’s drug candidate assets as well as leading all Corporate and Business Development activities.

Gareth completed a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Bristol in the UK and was awarded a Royal Society Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Dr Michelle Papadimitriou

Head, Research & Development

Michelle has 10 years of medical research training and experience in the field of immunology, with a specific emphasis on the role of innate immune cells in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. 

After completing a 3.5 year postdoc at the Centre for Regenerative Therapies Dresden, Germany, where she developed a single-cell gene expression assay. Michelle joined OccuRx as a Project Manager in 2017 before becoming Head of R&D in 2020.

Michelle completed her PhD in the Immunology and Diabetes Unit at St Vincent’s Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

Ms Nicole Kruger

Director of Clinical Operations

Nicole has over 25 years’ experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, with over 20 years in the clinical research field. 

Starting as a Clinical Trial Assistant and progressing through Clinical Research Associate, Project Manager and Operations Manager roles, she has worked with major pharmaceutical companies, Contract Research Organisations and medium to small biotechnology companies to implement and manage their clinical research programs and projects.  Nicole is responsible for ensuring delivery of high quality clinical trials at OccuRx