Julie Curphey has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Helius Therapeutics – New Zealand’s largest licenced medicinal cannabis company. Prior to taking up the role on 1 May, she spent two months as Helius’ Director of Commercial Operations.
“Announcing Julie as our CCO reaffirms that Helius has a globally experienced team that’s busy getting the job done. We are now well and truly in delivery mode – serving Kiwi patients first and foremost then soon unleashing our export strategy,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.
With extensive experience in technology, pharmaceuticals, consumer healthcare and FMCG, Julie Curphey brings a strong track record in international product commercialisation and marketing, market research and customer insight, and change management.
“Given her success in highly competitive markets, Julie joins Helius as our commercial head at the perfect time. With Helius focused on innovation, scientific and technical prowess, Julie’s proven international business intelligence cements our leadership team’s highly complementary skill sets and diversity of thinking,” says Ms Doran.
Before joining Helius, Julie Curphey spent five years as Chief Marketing Officer at Blis Technologies based in Dunedin.
For 11 years she was with Pfizer overseas, joining as Group Manager – Business Intelligence & Market Research at Pfizer Australia, then transferring to Pfizer UK as Business Intelligence Team Leader. She was appointed Head of Customer Intelligence for Pfizer Europe’s Primary Care Business Unit, then European Brand Team Leader for Viagra, and most recently, Director of Business Operations/Chief of Staff.
As well as earlier roles with Research International, Colmar Brunton, New Zealand Dairy Board and HortResearch, Ms Curphey has a Bachelor Consumer & Applied Science (Food Science) from the University of Otago and a Master of Business Administration (Distinction) from the Graduate School of Management, University of Western Australia.
The new CCO says she’s delighted to be part of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis industry which in the past year has transitioned from an aspirational space to one of delivery. Under New Zealand’s Medicinal Cannabis Scheme, every New Zealand GP can prescribe medicinal cannabis for any health condition with local products now available.
“It is great to be part of a company that is driven by patient needs. There is considerable unmet need out there and much work to do to make medicinal cannabis as accessible as possible,” says Ms Curphey.
Helius was New Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis business to achieve a GMP Licence for Manufacturing Medicines in July 2021, covering the first products to market. Last month, Helius was awarded the industry’s first licence renewal and expansion to enable it to produce both New Zealand grown and made CBD active ingredients and products.
Ms Curphey says 100%-Kiwi owned Helius has been a trailblazer for the country’s newest industry, delivering for Kiwi patients desperate for local medicines they can trust and afford.
“Medicinal cannabis has the potential to become one of New Zealand’s largest export earners with the overseas demand for plant-based therapeutics expediential. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for our country as we recover post pandemic,” says Ms Curphey.
“As well as getting new products out domestically and opening doors internationally, a key part of Julie’s work will be delivering some comprehensive initiatives and educational support for Kiwi patients and prescribers. Quality of life is at the heart of everything Helius does and that means getting medicines to those who need them most,” says Carmen Doran.