WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading developer of innovative products that rapidly and effectively penetrate the mucosal barrier to enable effective local treatment of serious diseases, announced today that it has appointed ophthalmic industry veteran Charles McDermott as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Mr. McDermott will be responsible for leading and executing the company’s business development strategy for Kala’s Mucosal Penetrating Product (MPP) technology platform as it continues to generate novel topical product candidates and to advance its lead ophthalmic candidates towards first in man clinical studies.
“Charlie McDermott is joining Kala at an exciting time in the company's evolution. We are rapidly gaining momentum within the ophthalmic industry and Charlie shares our vision to make a difference in the lives of patients suffering from ocular diseases. Based on his experience at Allergan, he fully appreciates the potential of Kala’s MPP technology to transform clinical practice and to enable effective local treatments for serious diseases,” commented Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., Kala’s CEO. “Charlie will play an important role in leading our business development strategy and will work diligently to foster collaborations with leading pharma companies so that Kala can realize the full potential of its MPP platform.”
“Kala’s elegant platform has the potential to rapidly create novel locally delivered therapies for serious ocular diseases with significantly less manufacturing, safety, and pharmacology risks than traditional approaches,” said Mr. McDermott. “I am excited to be joining the Kala team at this time and look forward to working to create a variety of differentiated therapeutic opportunities by leveraging the MPP platform’s full potential.”
Mr. McDermott has nearly 20 years of operating experience in the biotechnology and ophthalmology industry. He has taken on positions of increasing responsibility in drug discovery, regulatory affairs and business development. He most recently served as Vice President of Business Development, Eye Care and Drug Delivery at Allergan, an ophthalmic industry leader. During Mr. McDermott’s eight year career at Allergan he served as a the leader within the global business development team that was focused on eye care and drug delivery opportunities. Mr. McDermott completed a variety of transactions and partnerships that involved novel platforms (DARPins, PEMs, siRNA, etc.) to commercial products such as Acular™, Acuvail™, Latisse™ and Lastacaft™. Prior to joining Allergan, Mr. McDermott held a variety of business development positions at deCODE Genetics where he had responsibility for growing and integrating service and platform technology businesses. Prior to his business development roles, Mr. McDermott began his career as a research scientist within the angiogenesis pharmacology group at Agouron Pharmaceuticals where he championed the concept of testing potential cancer treatments for angiogenic diseases of the eye. Mr. McDermott earned his MBA at the University of San Diego, a Master’s degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California Santa Cruz.
About Kala Pharmaceuticals
Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing innovative products which are capable of penetrating mucosal barriers for the treatment of major diseases that affect the eyes, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and female reproductive system.. Mucosal barriers have been largely overlooked as a limitation for drug efficacy. Using the company’s proprietary technology platform, Kala’s Mucosal-Penetrating Products (MPPs) have the unique ability to rapidly and uniformly coat and permeate mucosal tissues leading to highly effective treatments with improved side effect profiles. The company is leveraging its platform as an internal product engine for a wide spectrum of potential applications, including treatments for respiratory, ophthalmic, female reproductive tract and gastrointestinal diseases. Kala is also pursuing collaborations with partners to transform the therapeutic properties of marketed drugs and compounds in development. Kala was founded by leaders in the fields of nanomedicine and biopharmaceutical engineering, Dr. Justin Hanes of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Langer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Colin Gardner formerly of TransForm Pharmaceuticals/Johnson & Johnson and Merck. The company is now backed by leading investors including Lux Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, Third Rock Ventures and, Crown Venture Fund, LLC. For more information, please visit www.kalarx.com.