Patients first
through innovation

Transforming the lives of patients with a safe, secure, sustainable supply of therapeutic plasma products

Aegros is Latin for patient. Every day we strive to place the patient first by providing therapeutic plasma products they would not otherwise be able to access.

At Aegros we believe access to life saving therapeutic plasma drugs is a human right and not a privilege.

A timeline of Aegros' history is available.

Aegros Global Leadership Team

Founding Executive Chair

Prof Hari Nair

Prof Nair graduated with honours in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Aberdeen and has a PhD in Medicine and Clinical Science from the Australian National University with specialty in cardiovascular medicine and haematology.
Prof Nair has received a number of awards from international organisations including being specially recognised for his role in coagulation research by the Australian Capital Territory government. He has run biotechnology companies in Australia, the US and Singapore. Prof Nair has been heavily involved in mergers and acquisitions especially in the US and Europe and has US financial experience. Prof Nair’s corporate experience includes financial raisings, corporate public relations and organisational integration strategies, Human Resources, IP strategy and management, financial management and Research and Development.

In 2022 Prof Nair was conferred with an Adjunct Professorship with the University of Queensland and its Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN).

Prof Nair is an international expert in Coagulation Science with a special emphasis on fibrinogen. Prof Nair is the author of over 100 research publications and has had over 50 patents on various aspects of electrophoretic plasma separation technologies, including the CyMES  and their applications in both plasma protein separations, renal dialysis and cellular separations. He discovered the use of nano carbon particles in the radiographic imaging of blood clots. Prof Nair is the principal inventor of the CyMES  having developed and patented the plasma protein fractionation applications in the late 1990s to early 2000s. Prof Nair together with Mr John Manusu also ran the then world’s largest independent plasma collection organization based in the United States. This business collected both normal and specialty plasmas, including hyperimmunes for the US Government bioterrorism program. Prof Nair has served on the boards of a number of international biotechnology companies and US state Commercialisation Boards for Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Prof Nair and Mr Manusu recently received the first cGMP certification for a new plasma fractionation technology anywhere in the world for the last 40 years of the industry.
Founding Managing Director

Mr John Manusu

Mr Manusu has over 30 years experience running biotechnology companies worldwide. He has been involved in the development of the Aegros technology since its invention in 1985. Mr Manusu was also involved in the US plasma collection business creating, along with Dr Nair, the then world’s largest independent plasma collection organisation. This business collected both normal and specialty plasmas, including hyperimmunes for the US Government bioterrorism program. Throughout this period he has undertaken a number of significant cross border restructures, mergers, acquisitions and divestures. Finally, Mr Manusu has raised over $200 million in public funding and government R&D grants. Mr Manusu has a degree in Commerce and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. Mr Manusu has worked in the Australian, Asian and U.S. Biotechnology markets and is best described as a biotechnology entrepreneur.
Executive Board Director
Quality & Regulatory

Ms Janet Bowen

Ms. Janet Bowen has almost 30 years of experience in the areas of sterile pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, oral solid dosages, and medical devices. During her career, she has held management positions in quality, regulatory, compliance, batch/lot release, and compliance/regulatory consulting. Ms. Bowen has worked for Sterling Drug, Sanofi, Abbott Laboratories, CAI Consulting, and PrIME Biologics prior to joining Aegros. She hosted numerous successful inspections from the FDA, EMA, CMDA, TGA, Health Canada. While she was with Sterling Drug and Abbott, the sites received approval of 30 plus new products over five (5) year time span. Many of them were generic drugs approved based on the data in the product dossier and without an onsite inspection. She has prepared companies for many different agency inspections, setting up quality systems, and to prepare the associated submissions. Ms. Bowen is knowledgeable in the requirements of FDA, HSA, EMA, CFDA, PMDA, TGA, and Health Canada, as well as other agencies. During her time in the industry, she has successfully registered over 50 products with the US FDA, EMA, TGA, HSA, and Canada. Ms. Bowen has a B.S. in Chemistry and a B. S. in Business Management. During her career, she has given presentations on Process Validation, Inspection Readiness, Combination Products, Quality by Design, and Aseptic Processing as well as others. She is a member of ISPE, PDA, ASQ, RAPS and is an active member of several regulatory Interest Groups within these organizations.
Deputy Managing Director

Damian Thornton

Damian Thornton is Chief Executive Officer for Aegros Replications and is responsible for the management of the Replications organisation, developing business plans, budgets and strategies, identifying and managing operational and corporate risks for the organisation, leading the development of the company’s short- and long-term strategy, creating and implementing the Division’s vision and mission, evaluating the work of other executive leaders within the company.
He brings more than 30 years of international experience in the design, construction, Qualification and operation of Biopharmaceutical facilities, including Process design, optimisation, inter disciplinary design team management and multi-million dollar D&B project management and supervision.
Damian has more than 15 years of executive leadership with Executive and Operational experience in Asia, Europe, North and South America. He has experience in Business Strategy, Corporate expansion and transformation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Digital Strategy, Sales leadership and IPO.
Prior to joining Aegros, Damian held a variety of Senior Executive positions at international organisations such as CH2M Hill, M&W Zander, Commissioning Agents and Diaceutics.
Damian holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Queens University Belfast and is a member of Whos who in Engineering and Construction.
Group Chief Financial Officer

Alexander Stuke

Alexander Stuke is Chief Financial Officer for Aegros Group and is responsible for Corporate Finance, Financial Control, Financial Planning, Statutory & Management Reporting, Taxation, Legal, Information Technology and Human Resources.
He brings more than 35 years of international cross-functional experience in Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Digital Strategy, Business Transformation & Innovation, Robotics Process Automation, Advanced Analytics and Corporate Advisory.
Prior to joining Aegros, Alexander held a variety of Senior Executive positions at organisations such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Qantas Airways, AMP Group, GE Capital (Australia & NZ), GE Capital (Europe), General Electric Industrial Systems (Europe), QBE, BlackRock, Ernst & Young, Vodafone, Pulse Markets, and NSW Office of State Revenue.
His industry experience covers Financial Services, Investment Management, Capital Markets, Banking, Insurance, Aviation, Big-4 Consulting, Telecommunications, Manufacturing and Public Sector.
Alexander holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of NSW, Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investments, is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & NZ, Fellow of CPA Australia, Fellow of Finance & Insurance Institute of Australasia, Senior Associate of Australian & NZ Institute of Insurance and Finance and a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Alexander is an Australian Citizen, lives in Sydney with his wife, two sons and two Maine Coon cats.
Chief Operating Officer

Leighton Hopper

Leighton Hopper is Chief Executive Officer for Aegros Therapeutics and is responsible for the management of the Therapeutics organisation.
Leighton Hopper has both an Honours degree in Organic Chemistry and a MBA in Strategy Innovation. Leighton’s background includes senior management positions both in Australia and internationally in the pharmaceutical, chemical & FMCG industries including CPSA, Univar, Selleys and Dulux. He was the CEO and CFO of CPSA, acquired by Aegros and has experience in the management of finance, strategic funding, working capital, supply chain & operations.
Chief Medical Officer

Dr Guy Gavagna

Dr. Guy Gavagna commenced his career as an emergency department medical officer within NSW Health. He subsequently obtained postgraduate qualifications in drug development and an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He has since gained broad therapeutic area experience in drug development over 20 years within the pharmaceutical industry, leading and developing high performing medical teams at several global biopharmaceutical companies.
Guy’s areas of expertise are in medical affairs, clinical research, and market access. He has a strong track record of delivering medical outcomes to ensure the successful launch of multiple innovative medicines; most recently he re-established a large affiliate of a multinational within the oncology therapeutic area, prior to that he successfully launched the local subsidiary of an emerging biopharma in rare diseases.
Guy has served on the executive of the Australian Pharmaceutical Physicians Association (APPA), on the Australian Prescriber Advisory Editorial Panel, and was for many years a lecturer in Pharmaceutical Medicine & Drug Development at UNSW.
Chief Scientific Officer

Emeritus Professor Stephen Mahler

Emeritus Professor Stephen Mahler recently retired as the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation and Deputy Director of the National Biologics Facility, Queensland Node. He was also a Senior Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), and Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland. He has been involved in the research and development of biologic medicines for over 25 years. He was appointed to the AIBN in January, 2007.

Scientific Advisory Committee

Chairman

Emeritus Professor Stephen Mahler

Emeritus Professor Stephen Mahler recently retired as the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation and Deputy Director of the National Biologics Facility, Queensland Node. He was also a Senior Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), and Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering, The University of Queensland. He has been involved in the research and development of biologic medicines for over 25 years. He was appointed to the AIBN in January, 2007.
Committee Member

Prof. Tom Kotsimbos

A/Professor Tom Kotsimbos has successfully combined multi-disciplinary specialist training in clinical medicine (Respiratory and Infectious Disease) with a strong commitment to basic science, translational and clinical research (MD, NHMRC funding, PhD trainees, innovative diagnostic testing, novel therapeutic strategies and clinical trials). Following his MD Thesis [University of Melbourne/WEHI], he was awarded the prestigious Canadian Ludwig Engel Research Scholarship which enabled him to undertake post-doctoral studies at McGill University [Meakins Christie Laboratories]. Upon his return to Australia he was appointed as a full-time Staff Specialist Physician at The Alfred Hospital with primary responsibilities in Adult Cystic Fibrosis care, Lung transplantation and General Respiratory Medicine. He is an Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Monash University and and has over 180 international peer reviewed publications that span the clinical breadth and scientific depth of the art and science of respiratory medicine. He has been a member of the Influenza Specialist Group/Immunisation Coalition for over 10 years and as the Chairman of the TSANZ 2009 Pandemic Influenza task force he was instrumental in providing the foundational pillars for FluCAN (InFLUenza Complications Alert Network). In keeping with his clinical, scientific and public health background and interests, he remains actively engaged in all aspects related to the ever-present problem of emergent respiratory viral infections (including the recent SARS-COV2 pandemic) and their potential solutions.
Prof Susan Shafstein
Committee Member

Prof. Susan Shafstein

Susan Sharfstein is a Professor of Nanobioscience at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York. Professor Sharfstein received her B.S. in chemical engineering with honors from Caltech in 1987 and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley in 1993, receiving graduate fellowships from the university and the National Science Foundation.  She received a National Institutes of Health Individual Research Service Award to pursue postdoctoral studies, initially at UC Berkeley and subsequently at the UCLA Medical School.
Dr. Sharfstein joined the faculty at the University of Toledo in Bioengineering in 1996. In 2000, she received a National Science Foundation POWRE award to study glycobiology at the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Laboratories. In 2001, she joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and in 2007, she received a dual appointment in Biology. In 2010, she joined the faculty at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering.
Professor Sharfstein received an NSF CAREER grant in 2000 for her work on hyperosmotic stress responses of hybridoma cells and the School of Engineering Education Excellence Award and the Class of 1951 Outstanding Teaching Award in 2007. Professor Sharfstein’s research interests include mammalian and microbial cell bioprocessing, control of protein glycosylation, metabolic engineering, biosensing, and development of systems for high-throughput screening of nucleic acids and small molecules. Professor Sharfstein served as the subject editor for biotechnology for the Elsevier Major Reference Work Life Science Module from 2015-2018. She is the author of over 70 papers and book chapters in the fields of biotechnology and bioprocessing. She was a 2017-18 recipient of a Fulbright Global Scholar award and spent her sabbatical at Dublin City University, in Dublin, Ireland and University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia performing proteomic analysis of Chinese hamster ovary cells and studying bispecific antibodies. She currently serves as a Fulbright Alumni Ambassador in addition to her research and teaching activities.

Our History

We trace our roots back to Dr Joel Margolis who escaped out of Poland as WWII was erupting in September 1939. Joel migrated to Australia with his family and read medicine at Melbourne University before becoming a preeminent researcher in the haematology field. Joel was the first person to develop a process to make FVIII AIDS free in early 1980’s. Joel invented the tangential flow Electrophoresis process as an alternative to NASA’s attempts to do biological separations in space.

Dr Perry Manusu, an Australian Veterinary, Surgeon and entrepreneur, who created the largest vet practice and vet pharmaceutical company, joined with Joel to develop this process which they called The Gradiflow. The first Gradiflow patent was lodged in 1984.

In 1985 John Manusu joined the company and helped take Gradipore public in May 1986. Tangential flow Electrophoresis as applied to plasma protein purification was spearheaded by Dr Hari Nair when he joined Gradipore in 1998 and developed the various applications of the Gradiflow including viral and prion removal.

By early 2002 there were some 50 patent families covering a number of aspects of the Gradiflow technology. In 2004 the 3 founders (Perry, Hari, John) rebuilt Gradipore and acquired Serologics, a US plasma collection business specialising in hyperimmune plasmas through FDA approved centres. They used this acquisition to refine the plasma fractionation process, particularly for hyperimmune products. By 2007 the company, then called Life Therapeutics, was the largest non-fractionator plasma collection business in the world, collecting normal, hyperimmune and bioterrorism plasmas. They agreed to sell the business to the Italian fractionator Kedrion. Having announced this agreement the founders retired, and the new Board sold the collection centers.

In the meantime, John and Hari setup another company called NuSep which developed an IVF application for the Gradiflow technology. A successful clinical study was completed in 2008. In 2010, NuSep was offered a small cGMP facility in Singapore and the company chose to reactivate the plasma separation technology. Hari further refined the fractionation process particularly around the disposable cartridge which enabled the processing of plasma collected from emerging economies.

Dr Joel Margolis
Dr Perry Manusu
Perry and Joel working together with the original Gradipore system
The original Gradipore HQ

In 2013 this business was spun out into a company called PrIME Biologics and was funded by private equity. On 1st July 2016 PrIME Biologics obtained cGMP registration from the Singapore Health Sciences Authority for the fractionation of Albumin from human plasma. This was the critical regulatory approval necessary to enable this process to be used to manufacture a therapeutic plasma product. This was also the first time that a regulatory authority had granted GMP status to a company not using conventional Cohn/chromatography for plasma fractionation.

Hari, John and Janet left PrIME Biologics in April 2017 after it became clear funding of the commercial scale plasma fractionation facility could not be achieved within PrIME Biologics.

In May 2017 Hari, John and Janet established Aegros. Over the next two years Hari developed the HaemaFrac® process to fractionate hyperimmunes from plasma.

In 2013 this business was spun out into a company called PrIME Biologics and was funded by private equity. On 1st July 2016 PrIME Biologics obtained cGMP registration from the Singapore Health Sciences Authority for the fractionation of Albumin from human plasma. This was the critical regulatory approval necessary to enable this process to be used to manufacture a therapeutic plasma product. This was also the first time in the last 40 odd years that a regulatory authority had granted GMP status to a company not using conventional Cohn/Chromatography for plasma fractionation.

Hari, John and Kailing left PrIME Biologics in April 2017 after it became clear funding of the commercial scale plasma fractionation facility could not be achieved within PrIME Biologics.

In May 2017 Hari, John and Kailing established Aegros. Over the next two years Hari developed the ElectroSeparation HaemaFrac® process to fractionate hyperimmunes from plasma.