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Ocular Therapeutix announces executive chairman as new CEO

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Ocular Therapeutix, Inc. announced a leadership change, with executive chairman Pravin U. Dugel, MD, taking over as president and chief executive officer (CEO).

Refresh me on this company.

A biopharmaceutical company, Ocular Therapeutix is formulating, developing, and commercializing therapies for ophthalmic diseases and conditions via a proprietary bioresorbable hydrogel-based formulation technology.

The company’s first commercial drug product: DEXTENZA (dexamethasone ophthalmic insert) 0.4 mg, an FDA-approved corticosteroid intended for the treatment of ocular inflammation and pain post-ophthalmic surgery as well as ocular itching associated with allergic conjunctivitis.

See here for the most up-to-date coverage of the company’s ongoing clinical trials.

Gotcha. So who is Dugel replacing?

Antony Mattessich, who is stepping down as president and CEO after nearly 7 years.

He stated: “I ‘pass the baton’ to Pravin with enthusiasm and optimism for all that lies ahead. The Company could not be in better hands.”

So what’s this new CEO’s background?

In addition to serving as executive chairman of Ocular Therapeutix’s Board of Directors, Dugel’s experience extends to serving as:

  • President
    • Iveric Bio, Inc.
  • Managing partner
    • Retinal Consultants of Arizona and the Retinal Research Institute
  • Clinical professor
    • Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC)
  • Founding member
    • Spectra Eye Institute (Sun City, Arizona)

What else?

Per Ocular Therapeutix, Dr. Dugel is “internationally recognized as a major clinical researcher and has been a principal investigator in over 100 multicenter clinical trials.”

He is a member of multiple academic societies in the U.S. and across the globe and has served as chair of the Scientific Advisory Boards for clinical companies such as:

  • Novartis
  • Roche
  • Genentech
  • Allergan, an AbbVie company
  • Oxurion (Thrombogenics)
  • Oculus, Inc
  • Alcon, Inc

And on a global scale?

Dr. Dugel is also noted as a member of Orbis International’s Board of Directors as well as chair of the global nonprofit’s Medical Advisory Board.

With this organization, he “travels to developing countries to teach surgical techniques to local ophthalmologists and provide free surgery,” according to Ocular Therapeutix.

Further, he also travels to the Navajo, Hopi, and Pima Indian Reservations to treat Native American patients diagnosed with preventable blindness.

Interesting … so when is this executive change effective?


Now circling back to the company; what’s the latest clinical update?

Back in January 2024, Ocular Therapeutix announced that the FDA had agreed to modify a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for its pivotal phase 3 clinical trial (NCT06223958) on AXPAXLI (aka OTX-TKI) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

See here for those details.

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