NZ: Helius appoints Joanna Perry MNZM to board of directors

Joanna Perry MNZM has been appointed to the board of Helius Therapeutics, New Zealand’s largest licensed medicinal cannabis company. The Chartered Accountant Fellow joins as an Independent Director and will Chair the Board’s Audit Finance Committee.

The appointment of Ms. Perry comes as Helius Therapeutics, a 100% New Zealand-owned private company, prepares to enter both domestic and international markets.

“Joanna’s significant governance experience, combined with her well-known inquisitive probing, will be a real asset. Her nature to challenge and always seek continuous improvement strongly aligns with Helius’ internal cultural value of staying curious,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.

Ms. Perry currently holds other senior independent directorships. As with many previous governance roles, she often leads responsibility for audit and risk. She has held many regulatory, advisory, standards and reporting-related roles, and was a long-time member of the former Crown entity, Securities Commission of New Zealand.

Having raised $48m in capital since 2018, Helius has invested significantly in both its facility and talent. The arrival of Ms. Perry to the board of Helius is timely, with its state-of-the-art, integrated medicines manufacturing facility in Auckland’s East Tamaki begins commercial operations.

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“Our world-class executive leadership team is complete, and our board is equally excited to bring high quality, highly efficacious medicinal cannabis products to market with an exciting R&D pipeline to follow,” says Ms. Doran.

Joanna Perry says it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved with such an innovative biotechnology company, leading the infancy of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis sector.

“I’m delighted to add my governance and financial experience to the vast pharmaceutical and cannabinoid medicine experience of the Helius team. It’s an incredible journey not only for Helius, but for the country,” says Ms. Perry.

The new board member at Helius has previously worked with the company’s cornerstone shareholder and Chairman, Guy Haddleton, and is looking forward to again.

“I respect Guy’s steadfast commitment to business innovation globally. I also admire his personal passion to deliver safe and effective medicinal cannabis here in New Zealand to improve patients’ quality of life. He has built the team to get the job done,” says Ms Perry.

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