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Neo-Bionica appoints internationally recognised CEO and Chair

Neo-Bionica, a joint venture between Bionics Institute and The University of Melbourne is pleased to announce the appointment of two extremely well credentialled individuals to lead our journey. Dr Ludovic Labat has been appointed as CEO and Lusia Guthrie has been appointed Chair of the Board.

A world leading centre for medical development and manufacture, Neo-Bionica is the first and only facility in Australia with the bioengineering expertise and technology required to create first-in-human prototypes for clinical trials.

Dr Ludovic Labat has been appointed as CEO. After completing his PhD at Le Havre University in France, he has gained over 20 years of medical device and technology industry experience with increasing levels of responsibility. This includes 13 years working at the Fortive group of companies (NYSE: FTV), most recently serving as APAC Integration Leader at Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP).

He initially joined Fortive as part of Invetech, a medtech innovation firm in Melbourne where he held a broad range of roles including VP Engineering and Manufacturing. Ludovic spent several years in the USA for Fortive as Global VP of Sales for Invetech and as a General Manager at Tektronix. His skills, qualifications and experience will be an enormous asset to Neo-Bionica.

Dr Labat says: “I am very humbled and excited to join Neo-Bionica. Our team encompasses electro-mechanical and biomedical engineering expertise, highly skilled device fabrication technicians and broad experience in regulated devices development.

“Uniquely located in St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne Campus with connections to leading clinicians, our world class facilities and two ISO7 cleanrooms are equipped with the latest technology. This means we can enable our client’s success through providing excellence in medical device prototyping services from early ideation to clinical testing”.

Neo-Bionica is also proud to announce that it has appointed Mrs Lusia Guthrie as its initial Chair. With over 35 years in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries, Lusia is a highly experienced and respected executive and medtech entrepreneur.

Lusia started her career as a medical laboratory scientist before joining the manufacturing division of pharmaceutical company FH Faulding & Co. She then went on to co-found medical technology innovation company LBT Innovations Limited (ASX: LBT) where she served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director until 2016 and Chair, Clever Culture Systems, Zurich (LBT’s European joint venture company) until 2018.

Lusia’s passion and proven track record in bringing innovative products to global markets, embracing the entire process from company formation, capital raising and concept development to product launch and sales is an enormous asset for Neo-Bionica.

Her current Board roles include Chair, BioMelbourne Network; Non-Executive Director, 4Dx Limited; and Chair, Australian Lung Health Initiative (ALHI). Lusia is also a Member of industry advisory committees at the Australian Institute for Machine Learning and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute.

Lusia says “I am extremely excited to be asked to oversee the development of Neo-Bionica. I am a major believer in the excellence of Australian innovation and the possibilities it provides for the development of Australia, both economically and for the training of our future generations. I very much look forward to working with Ludovic, his team and the scientists at Bionics Institute and University of Melbourne to create something very special.”

Bionics Institute CEO Robert Klupacs says that the combination of Dr Labat’s background in engineering research early in his career combined with broad experience in the industry and Mrs Guthrie’s experience in transforming innovation to products will take Neo-Bionica to the next level.

He said: “We are delighted to welcome Ludovic and Lusia to Neo-Bionica and look forward to transforming Australia’s medical device prototype manufacturing capabilities in the future.”

University of Melbourne Executive Director of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation Ken Jefferd said research translation is a critical priority for both the University and the Victorian Government, which generously funded fit out of the new facility through the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund.

“We would like to extend a warm welcome to Ludovic and Lusia. Through their leadership Neo-Bionica will strengthen Victoria’s reputation as a global biomedical powerhouse and boost the economy”.

For more information about Neo-Bionica, go to: www.neo-bionica.com

About the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF)

The Victorian Government is supporting the establishment of Neo-Bionica with a $4 million contribution from the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. The fund is a $350 million investment in the Victorian tertiary education sector and supports universities with capital works, applied research and research infrastructure to support jobs and the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.

About the organisations involved in Neo-Bionica

The Bionics Institute, The University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital are partners in the ACMD – Australia’s first hospital-based biomedical engineering research centre located at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. The Bionics Institute is a world leader in the research and development of innovative medical devices to treat and diagnose a wide range of conditions, including hearing impairment, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease and diabetes.

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