SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Altheos, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on next generation treatments for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, announced today that Barbara Wirostko, M.D., has been appointed Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Wirostko is a board certified ophthalmologist with glaucoma subspecialty training. Prior to joining Altheos, she was senior medical director and the glaucoma medical team lead at Pfizer where she was responsible for pipeline strategy in glaucoma, overseeing the pediatric development program and Global Medical Affairs Programs for the Xalabrands franchise. Prior to joining Pfizer, she was chief ophthalmologist specializing in glaucoma at the Huntington Medical Group PC in Huntington, NY. During her 10 years in practice, she was a clinical investigator for a number of pivotal glaucoma clinical trials.
Commenting on the appointment, Henry Hsu, M.D., CEO of Altheos said, “Barbara’s expertise in glaucoma as a clinician and medical director for drug development make her an ideal fit for the Altheos team as we initiate our clinical program for our lead compound, ATS907. She brings broad experience covering the spectrum from leading development strategy teams to marketing and reimbursement considerations at the point of care.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to get involved at the outset of a clinical program that has the potential to become a best-in-class agent for glaucoma, an area that hasn’t seen a new drug approved in the last 15 years,” said Dr. Wirostko. “This class of compounds has very exciting ocular and systemic preclinical data that makes their application in the eye novel and innovative. A selective rho-kinase inhibitor like ATS907 that targets a new mechanism of action and demonstrates optimized pharmaceutical properties in preclinical safety and efficacy studies is an exciting prospect.”
Dr. Wirostko has maintained a clinical glaucoma practice through the years. She currently holds an academic affiliation with the Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, as a clinical adjunct associate professor in ophthalmology. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and a member of the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology, Women in Ophthalmology, the American Glaucoma Society, and is a member of National Association of Professional Women. She serves on the Grant Review Working Group for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), and is on the editorial board of Acta Ophthalmologica. Dr. Wirostko has written numerous peer reviewed articles, serves on journal editorial review boards and advisory boards for drug development, has lectured worldwide in the area of ophthalmology, and was recently awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from Columbia University’s Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute.
About Altheos, Inc.
Altheos, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on development of a new generation of promising novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension. The company is currently focused on the development of ATS907, a selective rho-kinase inhibitor with best-in-class pharmaceutical properties for topical treatment of glaucoma licensed from Tokyo-based Asahi Kasei Pharma. The license also includes a series of highly active compounds developed specifically for treatment for glaucoma. The company was co-founded in 2009 by two experienced pharmaceutical drug development executives and entrepreneurs, Henry H. Hsu, M.D. and M. (Ken) Kengatharan, Ph.D. which in early 2010 completed $20MM series A financing led by Bay City Capital with participation from Novo A/S and Canaan Partners. The company is chaired by Les Kaplan, PhD, formerly President, Research and Development, at Allergan.