Oculis Elects Anthony Rosenberg and David A. Weber - Veterans of the Global Pharmaceutical and Eye-care Industries - to its Board of Directors
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, September 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Oculis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation topical treatments for acute and chronic back- and front-of-the-eye diseases, announces the appointments of Anthony Rosenberg as Non-Executive Chairman and David A. Weber, Ph.D. as Non-Executive Director. Together, they bring more than 60 years' experience from the global pharmaceutical and eye-care industries to the Company's Board of Directors.
"This is an exciting period for Oculis, as we look to advance and expand the clinical development of our lead candidate OC-118, a potential transformative topical treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). The addition of Anthony and David strengthens Oculis' Board with extensive experience in innovative pharmaceuticals and eye-care product development. We are confident that they will both provide valuable strategic and operational guidance to assist us in the development both of OC-118 and of a broader pipeline of topical treatments for sight-threatening eye diseases," said Dr. Riad Sherif, CEO of Oculis.
Anthony Rosenberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, added: "I'm delighted to be joining the Board of Oculis at this stage of the Company's development. Oculis has an exciting lead candidate in OC-118, which has shown promising early clinical data indicating its potential to improve the sight of DME patients; and an innovative platform technology, which presents multiple opportunities to generate sight-saving topical treatments for a range of ophthalmic diseases. I look forward to working with the excellent management team and Board to help the Company deliver on its strategy and capitalize on OC-118 and its world-leading technology."
Mr. Rosenberg has more than 35 years' experience in the pharmaceutical sector. He is a Managing Director at MPM Capital and previously served as Global Head, M&A and Licensing (Corporate) for Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland. In this role, he oversaw the Novartis portfolio transformation, a comprehensive set of transactions announced in 2014 to focus Novartis on its global businesses in innovative pharmaceuticals, eye care and generics. Mr. Rosenberg is a Board member at MPM portfolio companies Radius, Cullinan and TriNetX. In addition, he is also an independent Board Member at argenx BV.
Dr. Weber has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 25 years, including ten years in ophthalmic drug development. He is currently President, CEO and Director of Otonomy, Inc. (NASDAQ: OTIC), a company developing innovative therapeutics to treat hearing and balance disorders. Prior to Otonomy, he was CEO at MacuSight, Inc., a developer of a sustained delivery formulation of sirolimus for the treatment of severe ophthalmic diseases, and acting CEO at Oculex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of intraocular pharmaceuticals and drug delivery systems, which was acquired by Allergan. Dr. Weber also held various management positions at Oral-B Laboratories and Procter & Gamble.
Dr. Weber commented: "Current treatment of back-of-the-eye diseases require repeat intravitreal injections or invasive implants, increasing costs and risks for patients and clinicians, as well as limiting care to those patients without access to specialists. Development of topical therapeutics would be transformative for the treatment of retinal diseases across the world. Oculis' founders have been working to address this clinical challenge and they have made exciting progress in this field."
Oculis is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation topical treatments for acute and chronic ophthalmic diseases. These topical treatments represent an unprecedented technical advance for patients with back-of-the-eye diseases that are currently managed only by intra-ocular injections or implants; while topical treatments for front-of-the-eye disease are designed to improve patient outcomes by increasing drug bioavailability, reducing dosing frequency and improving patient compliance.
The Company's lead candidate OC-118 is in a Phase IIb study and is aiming to be the first topical treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema, the leading cause of blindness in developed countries.
OC-118 has been developed from Oculis' solubilizing nanoparticle (SNP) technology, a proprietary platform that enables the formulation of a wide range of drugs as non-invasive topical treatments and enhances their bioavailability in the relevant eye tissues. The Company is leveraging this proprietary technology to generate a pipeline of topical drugs targeting sight-threatening eye diseases.