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 open-angle glaucoma and other diseases of the eye, today announced the appointment of Tori Arens as Vice President of Drug Product Manufacturing, reporting to Kenneth Ruettimann, Ph.D., Aerie’s Vice President of Manufacturing. Aerie also announced the appointment of Eric Carlson, Ph.D. as Vice President of Research and Development, reporting to Casey Kopczynski, Ph.D., Aerie’s Chief Scientific Officer.
Ms. Arens will be responsible for defining and implementing drug product development and manufacturing strategies for the clinical and commercial supply of Aerie’s products. Ms. Arens previously held related leadership positions at Biogen and Eisai, and holds an M.S. in Pharmaceutics from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Carlson will provide strategic direction and leadership for Aerie’s research and development activities aimed at advancing the Aerie pipeline. Dr. Carlson was most recently Senior Global Program Head of Ophthalmology at Alcon Pharmaceuticals/Novartis. He was also previously Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, and holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
In connection with the acceptance of their positions, Ms. Arens and Dr. Carlson on a combined basis will receive awards totaling 48,750 stock options and 22,750 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 Ms. Arens and Dr. Carlson entering into employment with the Company in reliance on NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), which requires this public announcement.
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 current product candidates are once-daily intraocular pressure lowering therapies with novel mechanisms of action to treat patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The NDA (new drug application) for RhopressaTM (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2017, and, in May 2017, the FDA set the PDUFA (Prescription Drug User Fee Act) goal date for the completion of the FDA’s review of the RhopressaTM NDA for February 28, 2018. 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, achieved its primary efficacy endpoint in two Phase 3 registration trials, named Mercury 1 and Mercury 2, and also achieved successful 12-month safety and efficacy results in Mercury 1. The RoclatanTM NDA submission is expected to take place in the first half of 2018. Aerie is also focused on international expansion and 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 request, obtain and maintain FDA or other regulatory authority approval of, or other action with respect to, our product candidates, including the expected timing of, and timing of regulatory and/or other review of, 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 or technologies. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events, competitive dynamics, industry change and other factors beyond our control, and depend on regulatory approvals and economic and other environmental 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). In particular, the receipt of the PDUFA goal date notification does not constitute FDA approval of the RhopressaTM NDA, and there can be no assurance that the FDA will complete its review by the PDUFA goal date, that the FDA will not require changes or additional data, whether as a result of recommendations, if any, made by any FDA advisory committee or otherwise, that must be made or received before it will approve the NDA, if ever, or that the FDA will approve the NDA. 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.