Renowned Retinal Disease Thought Leaders to Help Guide Development of Novel Vision Protection Technology in Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Retinal Detachment
ANN ARBOR, MI – October 14, 2015
ONL Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for preserving sight in a range of retinal diseases, today announced the formation of a scientific advisory board (SAB) comprised of five of the world’s premier retinal disease thought leaders. The newly appointed SAB will provide ONL with scientific expertise and insight to help guide the optimal development of the company’s novel vision protection technology platform in key retinal diseases and conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinal detachment. ONL’s unique approach to retinal disease treatment is focused on blocking the programmed cell death (apoptosis) of key retinal cells, including photoreceptors, which is the root cause of vision loss and leading cause of blindness.
Members of ONL’s newly formed SAB include:
Joan W. Miller, M.D., Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and Chief of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Mass General Hospital
Dr. Miller, an internationally recognized expert on retinal disorders, is co-credited with developing verteporfin (Visudyne®), the first AMD treatment approved in the U.S. and around the world. She is also recognized for co-discovering the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in eye disease and demonstrating the therapeutic potential of VEGF inhibitors. Dr. Miller was a co-recipient of the 2014 Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award, which is the highest distinction in ophthalmology and visual science. Dr. Miller continues investigations to elucidate the molecular pathophysiology of vision loss and to develop improved therapies for retinal disease. Her current clinical and research interests focus on retinal disorders, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.
Allen C. Ho, M.D., Director, Clinical Retina Research Unit and Retinal Surgeon, Wills Eye Hospital; Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine
Dr. Ho is an internationally recognized retina specialist and a leader in the development of new medical and surgical treatments for retinal disease. He currently serves as attending surgeon and director of retina research at Wills Eye Hospital, one of the most active retinal disease treatment facilities in the country. Dr. Ho is the principal investigator at Wills Eye Hospital for several collaborative clinical trials evaluating new treatments for age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. He is editor-in-chief at Current Opinion in Ophthalmology and chief medical editor of Retina Today, a global publication that features new treatments for retinal disease.
Peter K Kaiser, M.D., Chaney Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology Research and Professor of Ophthalmology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
In his roles as professor of ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and staff surgeon in the vitreoretinal department at the Cole Eye Institute, Dr. Kaiser is sought after for his expertise in retinal diseases and disorders. Actively involved in retinal clinical research, Dr. Kaiser is study chairman of numerous major, multi-center, international clinical trials and is a principal investigator in many other trials. He is editor-in-chief of Retinal Physician and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, Retina, Retina Today, and Ocular Surgery News. Highly-regarded for his expertise, Dr. Kaiser is also the team ophthalmologist for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Naresh Mandava, M.D., Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Chair in Retinal Diseases and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado
One of the foremost experts in the medical and surgical management of retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment, Dr. Mandava has spent years spearheading research into cutting edge treatments in these areas. An active author, he has written more than 200 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and reviews, research presentations, and scientific abstracts and posters spanning a broad area of retinal research. Dr. Mandava holds five issued patents, which have all been licensed by industry, and has developed four technologies currently in human clinical trials. In addition, he is a co-founder of several medical and device companies in the field of ophthalmology. As chair of ophthalmology for the past decade, he has grown the faculty to 65 members and has led the expansion of the University of Colorado Health Eye Center to one of the premier and largest eye centers in the country.
Charles C. Wykoff, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Greater Houston Retina Research Foundation with Retina Consultants of Houston
A highly-regarded thought leader in retinal diseases and disorders, Dr. Wykoff is director of one of the country’s highest volume retina practices and research foundations. After graduating from MIT and Harvard Medical School, he completed ophthalmology residency and vitreoretinal fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he was awarded the Heed and Ronald Michels Awards. He previously earned a Ph.D. from Oxford University while on the prestigious Marshall Scholarship. He is an expert in clinical trial design and coordination with research interests pertaining to AMD, retinal vascular disorders, and surgical retinal pathologies. He has received the AAO Achievement Award, is active in all of the major US retinal societies and is the Vit-Buckle Society Academic Program Director.
“We are gratified that such an impressive collection of the country’s top retinal disease thought leaders is interested in supporting our research and development of novel, first-in-class vision protective agents. We believe that this speaks directly to the potential impact that the inhibition of apoptosis within the retina can have in preserving sight in a range of retinal diseases and conditions,” said David Zacks, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and chief science officer of ONL Therapeutics. “We expect that the collective expertise of these individuals will play a vital role in our development strategy for ONL1204 in both retinal detachment and age-related macular degeneration. We thank them for their membership on our scientific advisory board and look forward to the important contributions that each will make.”
About ONL Therapeutics
ONL Therapeutics (ONL) is a biopharmaceutical company committed to protecting and improving the vision of patients with retinal disease. By advancing a novel breakthrough technology designed to protect key retinal cells, including photoreceptors, against programmed cell death (apoptosis), ONL is pioneering an entirely new approach to preserving sight. The death of key retinal cells, including photoreceptors, is the root cause of vision loss and leading cause of blindness worldwide, and is implicated in a wide range of retinal diseases.
ONL is developing ONL1204, a novel, first-in-class, small molecule peptide for the protection of key retinal cells, including photoreceptors, and expects to advance the compound into clinical trials in retinal detachment in the first half of 2016. While initial development efforts are focused on retinal detachment, a condition for which the company has been granted orphan drug designation, preclinical in vivo data along with a growing body of literature support potential application in age related macular degeneration (AMD) and other chronic retinal diseases. For more information about ONL Therapeutics, please visit www.onltherapeutics.com.
ONL Therapeutics, Inc.
John Freshley, President and Chief Executive Officer
Vida Strategic Partners (On behalf of ONL)
Stephanie Diaz (investors)
Tim Brons (media)