Ocuphire Pharma expands medical advisory board with 6 new KOLs

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According to the company, the board will support the advancement of late-stage ophthalmic assets Nyxol and APX3330.

Ocuphire Pharma Inc. today announced that it has appointed 6 new key opinion leaders (KOLs) across retina, refractive surgery, and optometry to its medical advisory board (MAB).

According to Mina Sooch, founder and CEO of Ocuphire Pharma, the opportunity to assemble a roster of respected medical advisors will broaden Ocuphire’s potential.

“In the medical community, their clinical expertise and knowledge of ophthalmic drug development have earned them global distinction as key thought-leaders, panelists, authors, clinical investigators, and commercial launch experts in the field of ophthalmology,” Sooch said in a statement. “We look forward to their invaluable contributions and insights as we advance our lead clinical assets, Nyxol and APX3330 in reversal of mydriasis, presbyopia, night vision disturbance, and diabetic eye diseases.”

Jay Pepose, MD, PhD, a member of Ocuphire’s Board of Directors and MAB noted that the company is fortunate to have a chance to expand its roster of KOLs.

“Over the last three years, our thirteen-member MAB has been vital in the design of our well-executed clinical trials, participating in regulatory interactions, and advancing discussions with global ophthalmic strategic partners,” he said in a statement.

Moreover, Pepose noted that the MAB has played an important role in presenting Nyxol and APX3330 to the medical community through peer-reviewed publications and industry conferences.

“The addition of these six world-class individuals, many of whom I have had the privilege of working with over several decades, will help to advance Ocuphire’s portfolio of innovative drug candidates to address unmet medical needs of our patients,” he said in the statement.

The new members of the Medical Advisory Board include:

Retinal Specialists

  • David Brown, MD, FACS, the director of research at Retina Consultants of Texas, chairs the Medical Leadership Board of Retina Consultants of America (RCA), and serves on the RCA board of directors. Additionally, Dr. Brown is a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine, vice-chair for research for Houston Methodist Hospital, and is a member of NASA’s research and clinical advisory panel. Dr. Brown is a renowned leader in the retina and has published over 500 national meeting presentations, abstracts, and scientific papers, including many of the primary papers that established the use of anti-VEGF agents for AMD, retinal vein occlusion, and diabetic retinopathy (DR). He serves as a peer-reviewer for 8 ophthalmology journals and has authored 9 book chapters. Dr. Brown is an investigator in Ocuphire’s ZETA-1 Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of oral APX3330 in patients with diabetic retinopathy.
  • David Lally, MD, FASS, is a retina surgeon at Baystate Medical Center, an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, and the director of the Retina Research Institute at New England Retina Consultants. His work has been published in over 25 articles in peer-reviewed ophthalmic journals, and he has delivered over 25 presentations at national meetings. Dr. Lally is part of several clinical trial steering committees and an exceptional recruiter as principal investigator in numerous retina clinical trials. Dr. Lally is an investigator in Ocuphire’s ZETA-1 Phase 2 clinical trial.

Refractive Surgeons

  • Y. Ralph Chu, MD, is the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of the Chu Vision Institute and Chu Surgery Center in Minnesota. Dr. Chu is an internationally recognized leader, innovator, and pioneer of new technologies in cataract and refractive surgery and has been involved in over 95 clinical trials across various ophthalmic diseases. He has published over 100 national meeting presentations, abstracts, and scientific papers. Dr. Chu has also been a member of several product launch committees for refractive surgery products. Dr. Chu is a clinical investigator in Ocuphire's MIRA-3 Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of Nyxol for reversal of mydriasis.
  • James Katz, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist at the Midwest Center for Sight in Chicago. Dr. Katz specializes in cornea, cataract, and refractive surgery and is well-published in distinguished ophthalmologic journals with over 50 publications and over 300 presentations. He is an editorial board member of ophthalmology publications, including Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today and Presbyopia Physician. Dr. Katz has been a principal investigator in numerous FDA trials including several studies for the treatment of presbyopia. Dr. Katz speaks and teaches nationally and internationally on cataract, presbyopia and refractive surgery, and has received several notable awards and distinctions including the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award and the CEDARS ASPENS Founders Award.
  • Mitchell A. Jackson, MD, is the founder and CEO of Jacksoneye in Illinois and has practiced as a comprehensive ophthalmologist for 28 years. Dr. Jackson has been involved in over 40 pharmaceutical and surgical device clinical studies, including several presbyopia studies. Dr. Jackson serves on 7 editorial advisory boards, including Presbyopia Physician. Dr. Jackson serves as a member of the medical advisory board of several companies, and a speaker for some of the largest ophthalmic companies. Dr. Jackson has been voted Best Cataract Surgeon in America 2021 as well as a Top 50 global Key Opinion Leaders (KOL). He is a clinical investigator in Ocuphire's MIRA-3 Phase 3 clinical trial.

Optometrists

  • Douglas Devries, OD, is the co-founder of Eye Care Associates of Nevada and Associate Clinical Professor of Optometry. Dr. Devries has participated in numerous clinical trials and has published over 500 national and international meeting presentations, lectures, abstracts, and scientific papers. He is an advisor and speaker for some of the largest ophthalmic pharmaceutical and device companies. He is a clinical investigator in Ocuphire's MIRA-3 Phase 3 clinical trial.