IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AERI), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of glaucoma and other diseases of the eye, today announced the appointments of new employees Gary Menichini as Vice President of Sales, Dale Seibt as Vice President of Market Access, and Gerry McKenzie as Vice President of Commercial Operations. In addition, Michael McCleerey has changed positions within the Company and is now Vice President of Portfolio Development. All four positions are newly established and will report to Judith Robertson, Chief Commercial Officer.
In his role as Vice President of Sales, Mr. Menichini will head all product sales activities. Previously, he was Vice President and Head of Commercial at Genoptix, a Novartis company, and prior to that served as Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Alcon Laboratories, also a Novartis Company. Mr. Menichini’s role at Alcon Laboratories included broad commercial responsibility for a large array of ophthalmology products including glaucoma, dry eye, anti-infectives, and anti-inflammatories.
In his role as Vice President of Market Access, Mr. Seibt will lead activities associated with the full spectrum of payor reimbursement. His most recent prior experience was as Head of Market Access, U.S. Pharmaceuticals at Alcon Laboratories, a position he held since 2010. In total, Mr. Seibt has nearly 20 years of market access experience in the ophthalmology industry.
In his role as Vice President of Commercial Operations, Mr. McKenzie will lead the operational functions in support of the field sales organization, including sales reporting, business analysis, sales force targeting and deployment, and third party logistics management. He brings over 20 years of commercial operations experience at Allergan, Inc., where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and Business Practice Management.
Mr. McCleerey’s new role as Vice President of Portfolio Development includes responsibility for evaluating the commercial potential of products in the pipeline, as well as the potential associated with geographic expansion beyond the United States, with a strong marketing focus in close collaboration with other functions in the Company, such as Business Development, Clinical, and Research and Development. This position is designed to provide a broad marketing perspective on the many potential growth opportunities the Company will be exploring on an ongoing basis.
In connection with the acceptance of their positions as Vice President of Sales, Vice President of Market Access, and Vice President of Commercial Operations, Mr. Menichini, Mr. Seibt and Mr. McKenzie on a combined basis will receive awards totaling 145,500 stock options and 10,000 shares of restricted stock. The stock options will vest over 4 years, with 25% vesting on the first anniversary of the hire date and the remainder vesting ratably on each of the subsequent 36 monthly anniversaries of the hire date; the restricted stock will vest over a period of 4 years in four equal annual installments on each anniversary of the hire date. These awards were made outside of Aerie’s stockholder-approved equity incentive plan and were approved by the Company’s Compensation Committee as an inducement material to Mr. Menichini, Mr. Seibt and Mr. McKenzie entering into employment with the Company in reliance on NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), which requires this public announcement.
“Aerie is building a strong commercial team, and we are pleased to announce the addition of these seasoned leaders, each possessing successful track records in the ophthalmology industry. At all levels, our team is focused on expanding our product portfolio and preparing for the potential launch of our current product candidates,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
About Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Aerie is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with glaucoma and other diseases of the eye. Aerie's two lead product candidates are once-daiIy intraocular pressure-lowering therapies with novel mechanisms of action to treat patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The NDA for RhopressaTM (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% was submitted to the FDA in February 2017. Aerie’s second product candidate, RoclatanTM (netarsudil/latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%, which is a fixed dose combination of RhopressaTM and widely prescribed PGA latanoprost, currently has two Phase 3 registration trials underway, named Mercury 1 and Mercury 2. If these trials are successful, a RoclatanTM NDA submission is expected to take place in late 2017 or early 2018. Aerie is also focused on the development of additional product candidates and technologies in ophthalmology.
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We may, in some cases, use terms such as “predicts,” “believes,” “potential,” “proposed,” “continue,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “may,” “could,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “exploring,” “pursuing” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the success, timing and cost of our ongoing and anticipated preclinical studies and clinical trials for our current product candidates, including statements regarding the timing of initiation and completion of the studies and trials; our expectations regarding the clinical effectiveness of our product candidates and results of our clinical trials; the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain U.S. Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory authority approval of, or other action with respect to, our product candidates, including the expected timing of NDA filings for our product candidates; our expectations regarding the commercialization of our product candidates; the potential advantages of our product candidates; our plans to pursue development of our product candidates for additional indications and other therapeutic opportunities; our plans to explore possible uses of our existing proprietary compounds beyond glaucoma; our ability to protect our proprietary technology and enforce our intellectual property rights; and our expectations regarding strategic operations, including our ability to in-license or acquire additional ophthalmic products or product candidates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events, competitive dynamics and industry change, and depend on regulatory approvals and economic circumstances that may or may not occur in the future or may occur on longer or shorter timelines than anticipated. We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in the quarterly and annual reports that we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which we operate may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.