Company expands leadership team as it advances lead candidate ONL1204 beyond retinal detachment into the chronic conditions of glaucoma and dry age-related macular degeneration
ANN ARBOR, MI – January 19, 2021
ONL Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapies for protecting the vision of patients with retinal disease, today announced the appointment of Connie Chang to the newly created position of chief operating officer (COO). As COO, Ms. Chang will lead key operational workstreams, build and integrate internal capabilities, engage with external stakeholders and develop the company’s global strategic plans, working closely with CEO David Esposito.
“Connie’s broad experience and leadership skills are well aligned with our immediate plans to accelerate the development of our pipeline, enabled by our recent Series B financing,” commented Mr. Esposito. “With our 2021 plans to complete the Phase 1 study of our lead asset in retinal detachment and to further advance programs for ONL1204 in two additional chronic indications, we welcome Connie to the leadership team as we embark on the critical next stage of ONL’s growth.”
Last month, ONL announced the closing of a $46.9 million Series B Preferred Stock financing round, led by Fort Worth, TX-based Bios Partners. The Series B funding supports the ongoing Phase 1 clinical study of ONL1204 in retinal detachment, as well as the advancement of the asset into the chronic conditions of glaucoma and dry age-related macular degeneration.
“I am thrilled to join ONL Therapeutics at this critical inflection point for the company,” said Ms. Chang. “The potential for ONL’s Fas inhibition platform to bring first-in-class neuroprotection therapies to market and ultimately to help patients suffering from retinal diseases is impressive and compelling, and I look forward to contributing to the company’s mission.”
Ms. Chang brings to ONL a diverse 25-year career spanning large and small biopharma, early-stage technology commercialization and management consulting. She was most recently vice president of corporate affairs at Millendo Therapeutics where she was responsible for building critical infrastructure as the company became publicly traded, including investor and public relations, facilities and operations, information technology and corporate communications. Previously, she was managing director of Fast Forward Medical Innovation at the University of Michigan Medical School, accelerating university-based biomedical technologies through funding, industry collaboration and entrepreneurial support. Prior to that, Ms. Chang was with Sunovion and Pfizer, leading business teams and commercial strategies across multiple categories such as sleep medicine, allergy/respiratory, and cardiovascular. She received her bachelor of arts degree in psychobiology from Harvard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
ONL1204 is a novel, first-in-class small molecule Fas inhibitor designed to protect key retinal cells, including photoreceptors, from cell death that occurs in a range of retinal diseases and conditions. Death of these retinal cells, through both direct and inflammatory signaling pathways, is the root cause of vision loss and the leading cause of blindness. The company’s ONL1204 development program focused its first indication on the treatment of retinal detachment, a condition for which the compound has been granted orphan drug designation by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Clinical trial plans were focused first on the acute indication of retinal detachment, with continuing preclinical work occurring to enable clinical trials in other disease indications, including glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and inherited retinal degeneration (IRD; also known as retinitis pigmentosa).
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 from Fas-mediated cell death, ONL is pioneering an entirely new approach to preserving vision. ONL is developing a platform of products for use in a wide range of blinding diseases, including retinal detachment, glaucoma, AMD, and IRD.
For more information about ONL Therapeutics, please visit www.onltherapeutics.com.