Mary Alice Simon has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Helius Therapeutics, New Zealand’s largest licensed medicinal cannabis company.
Ms Simon joins Helius with extensive experience in the pharmaceuticals industry - both in Operations and Quality Assurance. Most recently, she was Head of Operations - Healthcare at API Consumer Brands, following four years as Head of Quality overseeing API’s pharmaceutical and personal care manufacturing plants in Auckland.
Previously, she was Head of Quality Assurance at Diatranz Otsuka Limited - formerly Living Cell Technologies. She also spent five years as Director of Data Management and Process Improvement at Penobscot Community Health Care in the United States.
She has an MBA from the University of Maine, as well as a Master of Science in Microbiology and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry.
Skilled in pharmaceutics and biotechnology, Ms Simon’s previous roles in the US were as Quality Assurance Specialist, Research Scientist, Validation Engineer, Quality Control Manager, and Technical Writer.
“We’re delighted to have Mary Alice join our internationally-experienced team at Helius. She intrinsically understands advanced manufacturing environments and the absolute quality assurance required in controlled medicines production,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics, who was the company’s previous COO.
As Chief Operating Officer at Helius, Ms Simon will substantially contribute to the organisation focused squarely on pharmaceuticals manufacturing, cannabis-based medicines research and development, quality systems and standards (GMP), and plant science.
“As well as delivering ongoing production capability and process improvements, I am looking forward to contributing to Helius’ world-leading innovation and quality rigour. Also exciting is the commercialisation of incredibly efficacious ‘New Zealand Made’ cannabis-based medicines which will soon be available for patients here and overseas,” says Ms Simon.
Last month, Helius announced it had raised a further $15m from private investors, with the Kiwi-owned company so far attracting nearly $50 million in investment. Helius has now completed its $20 million-plus state-of-the-art, integrated medicines manufacturing facility in East Tamaki, Auckland.
“Our latest capital raise enables Helius to start manufacturing pharmaceuticals, while undertaking New Zealand’s first clinical trials, reinforcing our commitment to advancing the safety and efficacy of medicinal cannabis products. Improving patients’ quality of life is at the heart of Helius, and we have the talent to deliver,” says Carmen Doran.