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Our vision: Ending viral disease

Kimer Med was founded by Phil Oliver and Rick Kiessig in 2020 while the world was in the grip of the burgeoning covid pandemic. Both were familiar with and interested in Dr Todd Rider’s work on DRACO, published in 2010, and surprised to find that it had not progressed further, in spite of its obvious potential.

With decades of scientific, entrepreneurial and project management experience between them, they decided that this was a worthy endeavour, and founded the company to pursue the vision and promise of broad-spectrum antiviral technology.

You can read more about Kimer Med’s founders and the rest of the team below.

Rick Kiessig, Kimer Med co-founder and CEO

Rick Kiessig

Co-Founder & CEO
Chief Science Officer (CSO)

As Kimer Med’s Chief Scientific Officer, Rick directly oversees the company’s research and development programme. This include the development of an early version of our antiviral protein that is effective against the Dengue virus in vitro, and numerous expression, stability and purification experiments. Alongside this, he manages the day-to-day operations of the company as CEO, based at our head office in Nelson.

Rick has a background in biology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, software, and rocket science. He owned and operated a multi-person consultancy in Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and is an experienced entrepreneur and project manager, having delivered dozens of projects on time and on budget to NASA, Lockheed-Martin, and other high-profile clients.

Rick has written software that’s flown to Mars three times and on several other near and deep space missions, published work in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of biochemistry and aerospace, and is the primary author of five patents.

Rick moved to New Zealand with his family in 2006. His hobbies include ham radio and asteroid tracking.

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Phil Oliver

Chief Technology Officer

Phil is our CTO and manages all the software and IT-related aspects of the business. In addition he contributes to our experiment planning, performs in-depth literature searches and investigations, and is our resident expert on liposomes.

As an experienced software engineer and entrepreneur, Phil brings to Kimer Med an extensive background  in science, IT and engineering. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2012, and has previously worked for a Contract Research Organisation (CROs perform services such as managing clinical trials).

Phil’s four decades of engineering and research experience includes topics as  diverse as methods to improve production yields and lower the cost of medical radioisotopes, improving methods of acquiring, storing, and processing clinical trial data, and improving the stealthiness of gas turbine engines used in military applications. Other projects have successfully addressed widespread medical problems with the development, testing and application of new technology.

Phil has known about the enormous potential of DRACO (now VTose®) for some years and is happy to be working with Kimer Med to turn that potential into reality. He lives with his family in Idaho Falls, USA.

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Dr Mike Schmidt, BDM, Kimer Med

Dr Mike Schmidt

Business Development Manager
Mike’s role is to seek collaborations, build industry relationships and gain a deep understanding of our future customer’s needs as we progress both our scientific and business objectives.

Mike brings to Kimer Med a breadth of science and business experience, with graduate and postgraduate qualifications in both fields (PGC-CE, BSc, MSc, MBA, DBA). He has worked in bacterial, yeast and human genetics, and cytogenetics, in research and diagnostic labs and subsequently in the sales and marketing of scientific equipment, consumables and enzymes.

These experiences have led Mike to business development and leadership roles in the biotech sector locally and internationally. He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Mike is an entrepreneur, a keen squash player, fisherman, writer and fan of life-long learning.

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Andy Clover - photo

Andy Clover

Strategic Communications & Funding
Andy’s role at Kimer Med is primarily to increase our exposure and build  awareness of the work we are doing. He is also tasked with finding sources of grant funding and downstream investment.

Andy has worked as a designer, branding consultant and marketing strategist for more than 20 years. His communications and digital marketing experience covers a raft of sectors including museum and art galleries, avionics, public health, solar, fisheries, tech and craft brewing.

For some years Andy has been interested in innovation, particularly the role of quality design and branding in the trajectory of early stage startups. In 2020 he took advantage of the Covid lockdowns to gain his Postgraduate Diploma in Innovation & Design Thinking.

Andy holds a degree in Visual Art and Design and is actively involved in the art sector, as well as organising Pecha Kucha Nights in Nelson. His interests include politics, art and design, film festivals, football, house renovation, wood fired BBQ, live music and a well crafted chocolate stout.

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