BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OcuTerra Therapeutics, Inc. (“OcuTerra”), a clinical stage ophthalmology company developing innovative drugs to treat ophthalmic diseases for which the current standard of care does not prevent or control the progression of disease, today announced the appointment of David J. Tanzer, MD, as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Clinical and Medical Affairs.
“With David’s breadth of experience in ophthalmology, he is the ideal addition to our team as we look to initiate Phase 2 trials for OTT166 in diabetic retinopathy,” said Kerrie Brady, Chief Executive Officer of OcuTerra. “David is an experienced ophthalmologic researcher and leader with a strong track record of eye product development and launches to market. His expertise will be invaluable in designing and executing our pivotal trials to evaluate the potential of our selective integrin inhibitor via eye-drop delivery approach.”
Dr. Tanzer brings over 25 years of clinical development and executive leadership experience in the ophthalmology space. Prior to joining OcuTerra, he served as Global Executive Medical Director in the Novartis ophthalmology franchise, providing medical and development leadership in advancing and launching novel therapies for macular degeneration and diabetes, dry eye, presbyopia, amblyopia and gene therapies for rare inherited retinal diseases. Previously, Dr. Tanzer served as the Chief Medical Officer at Abbott Medical Optics (AMO) where he led the development and launch of over 30 products in 4 ½ years, as well as overseeing the transition of AMO to Johnson & Johnson Vision. He also led the Navy Refractive Surgery Program in San Diego, participating as principal or co-investigator in over 50 IRB-approved clinical studies, serving as a consultant and clinical / surgical investigator for over 10 companies on several pivotal trials, publishing 35 peer-reviewed papers and presenting at over 150 international conferences on behalf of the program. Dr. Tanzer earned his undergraduate degrees in Pharmacology and Biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his MD from Georgetown University.
“I am thrilled and honored to join the OcuTerra team and contribute to making meaningful differences for patients suffering from potentially blinding ocular conditions,” said Dr. Tanzer. “Having the ability to provide treatment for patients who have diabetic retinopathy earlier in the disease process with a non-invasive, topical therapy to prevent or slow down disease progression to sight-threatening complications can be a true game-changer and fulfills a tremendous unmet need for patients.”
OTT166 is a novel, patented, potent and selective small molecule integrin inhibitor purpose engineered to have an optimum balance of physiochemical properties to allow it to distribute to the retina in high concentrations after topical (eye drop) administration to the eye. It selectively inhibits key integrin subtypes αvβ3, αvβ6 and αvβ8 to regulate cellular responses to VEGF and other growth factors known to contribute to development and progression of diabetic retinopathy and other ocular diseases. In early clinical studies in patients with diabetic retinal disease, OTT166 eye drops have demonstrated evidence of safety, tolerability and biological activity.
About OcuTerra Therapeutics
OcuTerra Therapeutics, Inc. is developing innovative drugs for ophthalmic diseases for which the current standard of care does not prevent or control the progression of disease. Our initial therapeutic, OTT166, administered as an eye drop containing a novel integrin-inhibitor, is in clinical development to enable earlier intervention of diabetic retinopathy, a chronic, progressive disease that is one of the leading causes of vision loss globally. Our goal is to bring transformative treatments to clinicians and their patients who are consigned to watch and wait as disease progresses, ultimately requiring medically intensive and invasive therapy. www.ocuterratx.com