RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Envisia Therapeutics today announced that it has named Benjamin Yerxa, PhD as the company’s President, effective immediately. Dr. Yerxa joined Liquidia Technologies in August 2012 and was critical to the company’s formation of Envisia in November 2013 where he has since served in the dual role of Chief Scientific Officer for both companies. Neal Fowler will remain Chief Executive Officer of Liquidia Technologies and serve as a director on the Envisia Board of Directors.
“Ben has been instrumental in the formation and launch of Envisia, as well as in the tremendous progress that has been made in advancing the company’s pipeline, all while also maintaining his responsibilities as Chief Scientific Officer at Liquidia,” said Neal Fowler, Chief Executive Officer at Liquidia. “With ENV515 in phase 2 development and earlier stage products advancing through the pipeline, we believe it is the right time to focus Ben’s proven leadership, passion and expertise in ophthalmology on achieving Envisia’s objectives.”
Throughout his 25-year career in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, Dr. Yerxa has been involved with the discovery and development of several investigational new drugs (INDs), phase 3 clinical programs, new drug applications (NDAs) and drug approvals. His experience spans a variety of therapeutic areas including ophthalmology, pulmonary, cardiovascular and HIV. Dr. Yerxa has more than 50 U.S. patents to his name, led a variety of licensing deals and has built several R&D and corporate functions from inception.
“I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead Envisia Therapeutics, which I believe has the people, leadership and technology required to fundamentally transform the future of ocular therapeutics,” said Ben Yerxa, PhD. “I look forward to building on the tremendous progress we have already made, including advancing ENV515 through phase 2 development and exploring additional ways to leverage the PRINT® technology for the development of other promising product candidates across multiple areas of interest in ophthalmology.”
Envisia also announced the appointment of Gary Phillips, M.D. as Executive Chairman of the Envisia Board of Directors. Dr. Phillips has been a director of the board since July 2014 and brings more than 20 years’ experience in strategy, business development and licensing, commercial operations, business analytics, and clinical medicine in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. He is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
“Envisia is truly a visionary company that has the talent and technology required to put their vision within reach. I am honored for the opportunity to support the company as Executive Chairman and to work with other members of the board to lead Envisia through a very important and exciting stage in its life cycle,” said Gary Phillips, M.D. “Since the company’s formation in 2013, Envisia has made great strides toward very aggressive objectives, but I believe the best of Envisia is still to come and I look forward to being a part of that journey.”
Envisia uses the power of the proprietary PRINT (Particle Replication In Non-Wetting Templates) technology to create particle-based ocular therapeutics, which can deliver both small and large molecules in multiple formats. Envisia is also exploring how the company’s unique technology can address other important ocular diseases, such as AMD and ocular inflammation.
ABOUT ENVISIA THERAPEUTICS™
Envisia Therapeutics, formed by Liquidia Technologies in 2013, is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the development of novel ocular therapies. Envisia is leveraging the unique and powerful properties of the PRINT® technology to develop therapies for a variety of ocular conditions, beginning with ENV515 for glaucoma. ENV515 is a novel, extended-release formulation of a marketed prostaglandin analogue with the potential to significantly limit disease progression and vision loss through improved product performance and patient compliance. In January 2015, the company initiated a phase 2a clinical trial to investigate the safety and tolerability of ENV515 in patients with glaucoma. Envisia is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For more information, please go to www.envisiatherapeutics.com.