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Management

ONL’s management team is comprised of experienced and successful life science industry executives and world-renowned thought-leaders in relevant fields of ocular disease research.

David Esposito

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

David Esposito is an experienced healthcare executive who has built and scaled multiple companies that resulted in successful exits to strategic buyers.

David is the former CEO of Armune BioScience where he led the development and commercialization of blood-based diagnostics to improve the early detection of cancer. The Company successfully launched the only non-PSA blood test to improve the detection of prostate cancer. Armune BioScience was sold to Exact Sciences (EXAS) in 2017.

He was President of Phadia US Inc. (allergy and autoimmune diagnostics) and played a pivotal role in the sale of the business to Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) for in 2011. David began his career as a sales representative with Merck & Co. Inc. and rose through the ranks of sales, marketing and commercial strategy for the US Division.

David is a combat veteran, led an infantry platoon with the 101st Airborne Division through several combat operations, and was recognized with a Bronze Star for combat action in Iraq in 1991. David earned his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his MBA from Syracuse University.

David Zacks, M.D., Ph.D.

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER

Dr. Zacks is an associate professor of ophthalmology and a clinician-scientist at the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center. For over the past 15 years his research has focused on the molecular regulatory mechanisms controlling photoreceptor death or survival in retinal disease. Dr. Zacks is a pioneer and recognized thought leader in the field of retinal neuroprotection and photoreceptor cells physiology. He has demonstrated that the Fas pathway is largely responsible for cell death and has discovered unique molecules that block the Fas receptor and preserve photoreceptors.

A recognized expert in the study of retinal detachment, Dr. Zacks has received numerous honors for his work, including the Macula Society’s W. Richard Green Lecture and Award in 2011. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his residency in ophthalmology and fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School.

Jana van de Goor, Ph.D.

VICE PRESIDENT, DEVELOPMENT

Dr. van de Goor has over 15 years of research & development experience with industry leader Genentech. Most recently, she led global project teams from pre-clinical phase through launch including CMC leadership for 2nd generation Rituxan and the global development team for Trastuzumab emtansine, a first in class antibody drug conjugate for treatment of Her-2 positive metastatic breast cancer (approved in 2013). In her early years at Genentech, she led research to understand the molecular mechanism of cell death of large-scale production cultures and collaborated with V. Dixit to develop novel cell lines expressing apoptosis inhibitors to prolong cell viability.

Prior to joining, Genentech she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco investigating the mechanism of synaptic transmission in D. melanogaster. Jana earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Andrew Kocab, Ph.D.

DIRECTOR, RESEARCH

Dr. Kocab earned his Ph.D. in immunology at the University of Michigan where he studied cell signaling pathways related to cell death and inflammation. Specifically, his work focused on understanding the signaling from receptors closely related to Fas, as well as the effector proteins involved in regulating these processes.

Upon joining the company, Dr. Kocab worked with senior management on a variety of tasks and projects. He also wrote and coordinated the submission of NIH grant applications and Orphan Drug applications, prior to taking a larger role in the company’s research and development operations.