GrayBug Appoints Michael O'Rourke as President & CEO
10/29/2013 6:43:14 AM
GrayBug, LLC Appoints Michael O'Rourke as President & CEO
BALTIMORE, Oct. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GrayBug, LLC, a company that focuses on the development of innovative injectable drug delivery systems to more effectively treat eye diseases, has announced the appointment of Michael O'Rourke as President & CEO, as well as Board Member.
"I am excited to take on this leadership role at this pivotal point in GrayBug's development," said Mr. O'Rourke. "GrayBug has developed a unique approach to offer superior treatment options to patients through proprietary sustained release drug platforms. I look forward to working with the team at GrayBug to advance our lead product for the treatment of neovascular eye diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (wet-AMD)."
Michael O'Rourke brings more than 18 years of global ophthalmic leadership, strategy and commercialization experience. Mr. O'Rourke is the Founder of Scotia Vision Consultants and was previously a member of the GrayBug scientific advisory board. Prior to founding Scotia Vision Consultants, he was General Manager for the Bausch + Lomb U.S. Pharmaceuticals division and held senior global strategy positions in the Pharmaceuticals, Drug Delivery and Surgical divisions of Bausch + Lomb. His extensive drug delivery experience includes the commercial launch of the world's first intra ocular drug delivery product, Vitrasert(R), in Europe and the world's second, Retisert(R), in the USA. Mr. O'Rourke was the first European Marketing Director for Chiron Vision Europe. Additional experience includes setting up Alza International's (drug delivery) European division, Pfizer Hospital Products (Howmedica, Orthopedics) in Europe and Asia and 3M Pharmaceuticals in the UK.
Along with Mr. O'Rourke's hiring, GrayBug announced the close of a Series A Funding round of $1.5 million, led by the Maryland Venture Fund alongside The Abell Foundation and Brown Advisory. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the development of drug delivery therapies toward human clinical trials in wet-AMD and Glaucoma based on GrayBug's controlled release technologies.
"GrayBug's innovative strategies for delivering small-molecule drugs have the potential to significantly advance the treatment of eye diseases like wet-AMD and Glaucoma," said MVF Principal Alastair Mackay. "The Maryland Venture Fund is pleased to join GrayBug's existing investors in supporting this team of industry leaders."
GrayBug is developing proprietary controlled release technologies and its own drugs for ophthalmic pharmaceutical indications. The company's lead product is a polymer-drug biomolecular conjugate for the treatment of neovascular diseases, including wet-AMD. GrayBug also has a proprietary platform technology that allows sustained drug delivery into various compartments of the eye while minimizing inflammation common with current controlled release technologies injected into the eye. These technologies were co-developed by GrayBug founder, Justin Hanes, Ph.D., who is the Lewis J. Ort Professor of Ophthalmology at the Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with GrayBug cofounders, and leading ophthalmology clinician-scientists from the Wilmer Eye Institute, Dr. Peter Campochiaro and Dr. Peter J. McDonnell.
For more information, please visit www.graybug.com
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