DURHAM, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AERI), an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with open-angle glaucoma, retinal diseases and other diseases of the eye today announced the appointment of David Ellis, Ph.D., as Director, Chemistry, reporting to Mitchell deLong, Ph.D., Aerie’s Vice President of Chemistry. Dr. Ellis will be responsible for advancing the Company’s creation and optimization of new chemical entities to support the growth and advancement of Aerie’s pipeline. Dr. Ellis most recently held a related position at Novartis. Aerie also announced the appointments of Angela Justice as Western Regional Director, Medical Science Liaison and Brian Sakurada, PharmD, Director, Scientific Market Access, both reporting to Welyn Bui, PharmD, Aerie’s Vice President of Medical Affairs. Ms. Justice will be responsible for leading a regional team of Medical Science Liaisons engaged in developing relationships with medical experts in the field of glaucoma to ensure a fair and balanced exchange of scientific, clinical and medical information. Ms. Justice most recently held a related position at Sun Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Sakurada will be responsible for further developing the medical affairs strategy including delivery of evidence-based scientific information and outcome-based information to national and regional payer accounts. Dr. Sakurada most recently held a related position at Intarcia Therapeutics. Aerie also announced the appointment of Karisma Sharma as Vice President, Human Resources, reporting to Kathy McGinley, Aerie’s Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Services. Ms. Sharma will be responsible for leading the strategic human resources effort to recruit, develop and retain employees in the United States. Ms. Sharma previously held related positions in both healthcare and technology companies.
In connection with their acceptance of their positions, Dr. Ellis, Ms. Justice, Dr. Sakurada and Ms. Sharma will receive combined awards totaling 87,260 stock options and 2,000 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. This award was made outside of Aerie’s stockholder-approved equity incentive plan and was approved by the Company’s independent directors as inducements material to Dr. Ellis, Ms. Justice, Dr. Sakurada and Ms. Sharma 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 an ophthalmic pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of patients with open-angle glaucoma, retinal diseases and other diseases of the eye. Aerie's first product, Rhopressa®(netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02%, a once-daily eyedrop approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, was launched in the United States in April 2018. In clinical trials of Rhopressa®, the most common adverse reactions were conjunctival hyperemia, corneal verticillata, instillation site pain, and conjunctival hemorrhage. More information about Rhopressa®, including the product label, is available at www.rhopressa.com. Aerie’s second product for the reduction of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, Rocklatan™ (netarsudil and latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.02%/0.005%, the first and only fixed-dose combination of Rhopressa® and the widely-prescribed PGA (prostaglandin analog) latanoprost, has been approved by the FDA and is expected to be launched in the United States in the second quarter of 2019. In clinical trials of Rocklatan™, the most common adverse reactions were conjunctival hyperemia, corneal verticillata, instillation site pain, and conjunctival hemorrhage. More information about Rocklatan™, including the product label, is available at www.rocklatan.com. Aerie continues to focus on global expansion and the development of additional product candidates and technologies in ophthalmology, including for wet age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema. More information is available at www.aeriepharma.com.
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: our expectations regarding the commercialization and manufacturing of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ or any future product candidates, including the timing, cost or other aspects of the commercial launch of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ or any future product candidates; our commercialization, marketing, manufacturing and supply management capabilities and strategies; the success, timing and cost of our ongoing and anticipated preclinical studies and clinical trials for Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™, with respect to regulatory approval outside of the United States or additional indications, and any future product candidates, including statements regarding the timing of initiation and completion of the studies and 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, as applicable, Rhopressa®, Rocklatan™ or any future product candidates, including the expected timing of, and timing of regulatory and/or other review of, filings for, as applicable, Rhopressa®, Rocklatan™ or any future product candidates; the potential advantages of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ or any future product candidates; our plans to pursue development of additional product candidates and technologies within and beyond ophthalmology; our plans to explore possible uses of our existing proprietary compounds beyond glaucoma, including development of our retina program; 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, 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, FDA approval of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ do not constitute FDA approval of AR-1105, AR-13503 or any future product candidates, and there can be no assurance that we will receive FDA approval for AR-1105, AR-13503 or any future product candidates. FDA approval of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ also do not constitute regulatory approval of Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ in jurisdictions outside the United States and there can be no assurance that we will receive regulatory approval for Rhopressa® and Rocklatan™ in jurisdictions outside the United States. 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.