Director of Innovation & Productivity appointed at Helius – Helius Therapeutics

Angela Freiden has been appointed Director of Innovation & Productivity at Helius Therapeutics, New Zealand’s largest licenced medicinal cannabis company.

The Director of Innovation & Productivity will be responsible for coordinating an innovative pipeline of projects and products for Helius, instilling groundbreaking thinking and productivity measures.

“Angela will be responsible for driving continuous improvement and innovative inhouse processes. This will ensure that Helius delivers products in the most efficient way possible, shortening lead times and lessening costs. It’s work which will ultimately result in greater choice and better outcomes for patients,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.

To support Helius’ extensive R&D programme, Ms Freiden will develop and grow innovative collaborations across New Zealand and around the world. She will lead key funding applications to ensure the development and timely delivery of next-generation medicines.

In July, Helius became New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis business to be awarded a GMP Licence to Manufacture Medicines. The Medicinal Cannabis Agency has since announced that two new local medicinal cannabis products have met the minimum quality standard, with the 100% Kiwi-owned company to unleash its exporting strategy from 2022.

“Helius has achieved GMP and is delivering on the promises of New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme. Angela’s appointment shows that Helius is now clearly turning its eyes to the future, continuing its development of novel, safe and efficacious therapeutics for patients here and aboard,” says Ms Doran.

“We’ve achieved some major operational and production milestones this year. However, we’re only just getting started. Ultimately, Helius is focused on developing pharmaceutical, clinically-trialled medicines, produced in our world-class manufacturing facility.

“Importantly, like many others at Helius, Angela also brings considerable animal health experience, which will be a huge asset for our sister company Hale Animal Health as it continues to develop its R&D pipeline for the future,” says Ms Doran.

Angela Freiden was previously General Manager and Non-Executive Director at New Beta and New Alpha Innovation in Hamilton, developing biopharmaceutical products for humans and animals.

She was Regional Pharmacy Manager at Baxter Healthcare leading a team of 120 people. Earlier in her career, she held Production Management roles at BioCSL, BASF and Slade Healthcare. She has also spent three years as a Pharmaceutical Consultant.

Ms Freiden holds an MBA in Health Administration from Massey University and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Pharmacology from Auckland University. She has a National Certificate in Pharmacy from Auckland University of Technology and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

“Angela’s well-rounded background will be a huge asset as Helius advances its commercialisation goals and establishes world-leading collaborations to deliver innovative therapeutics for patients,” says Carmen Doran.

Angela Freiden will work closely with Marten Vos, who’s also been recently announced as the Director of Research & Development.

Their appointments follow the announcement of Candace Kinser as the new chair of the board at Helius. The accomplished chief executive and non-executive board director brings significant experience in high-growth start-ups, technology transformation, healthcare, biotech, and agribusiness commercialisation.

Since 2018, Helius has raised $48m in capital. It has invested significantly in its 8,800sqm state-of-the-art indoor cannabis cultivation and manufacturing complex in East Auckland.

Helius Therapeutics is the foundation sponsor of MedCan Summit 2022, which will take place on 10 and 11 February next year at the Cordis hotel in Auckland.