Ocular Therapeutix (Nasdaq:OCUL) announced today that it made two additions to its executive leadership team.
Bedford, Massachusetts-based Ocular Therapeutix appointed a chief medical advisor (CMA) — a newly created role — as well as a new chief medical officer (CMO). Additionally, the company created a new role called chief strategy advisor (CSA) for its departing CMO.
The company said in a news release that the realignment will enhance its ability to execute a strategy of building a comprehensive portfolio of assets to treat a range of ocular surface and back-of-the-eye retina diseases.
Dr. Peter Kaiser will advise the company in the new CMA role, with responsibilities centering around clinical development strategies for Ocular Therapeutix’s retina programs. He will also advise on pre-clinical development work for the company’s gene therapy delivery and complement inhibition development programs.
Kaiser agreed to serve in the role on a part-time consulting basis while continuing as Chaney Family Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology Research and Professor of Ophthalmology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Cole Eye Institute.
Dr. Rabia Gurses Ozden, Ocular Therapeutix’s current SVP of clinical development, has been promoted to CMO, effective July 1. Ozden has 15 years of experience in clinical development, clinical operations and pharmacovigilance in pharmaceutical and medical device development.
Before joining Ocular Therapeutix in 2021, Ozden was chief development officer at Akouos, having previously been CMO at Nightstar Therapeutics, a gene therapy company acquired by Biogen.
Current CMO, Dr. Michael Goldstein — also president of ophthalmology — will depart the company to pursue additional business interests on June 30, but he agreed to continue as a part-time consultant in the newly created CSA role.
“I am thrilled to be expanding our development capabilities with the addition of Dr. Kaiser as we advance our portfolio of innovative ophthalmic therapies for both front and back of the eye diseases,” Ocular Therapeutix President and CEO Antony Mattessich said in the release. “Having someone of Dr. Kaiser’s caliber contributing to the great work we are already doing on the retina programs is extremely exciting.
“I am also pleased to be announcing the promotion of Dr. Rabia Gurses Ozden to the role of chief medical officer. Since joining Ocular last year, Rabia has built a clinical team second-to-none in the ophthalmology space and demonstrated an insightful enterprise mindset as a member of the senior leadership team.”