MENLO PARK, Calif., June 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ForSight VISION5 is pleased to announce that Charles Semba, MD has joined the company as Chief Medical Officer from Shire Pharmaceuticals where he served as Vice President, Clinical Medicine (Ophthalmology). ForSight VISION5 is developing non-invasive drug delivery products to replace eye drops and provide sustained therapy for major anterior segment eye diseases including glaucoma, dry eye, and allergy.
Dr. Semba has over 12 years of global drug development experience with both novel small molecules and genetically-engineered proteins in ophthalmology, neurodegenerative disease, and cardiovascular medicine. Previously, he was Chief Medical Officer at SARcode Bioscience, a venture-backed ophthalmic company that was acquired by Shire. At SARcode Dr. Semba led the development of the investigational small molecule lifitegrast for the treatment of dry eye disease and ocular surface disorders. Dr. Semba has held several senior positions at Genentech, Inc., where he led the clinical development program for ranibizumab (Lucentis®) that resulted in world-wide approval for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion three of the most common causes of blindness in industrialized nations. A device-based interventionalist, Dr. Semba pioneered novel endovascular techniques in complex vascular disease at Stanford University School of Medicine and remains a consulting Associate Professor of Interventional Radiology.
ForSight VISION5 has completed enrollment of over 160 subjects in its randomized, active controlled Phase 2 Study of the Helios insert in patients with glaucoma and ocular hypertension. "The addition of Charles Semba to ForSight VISION5 greatly strengthens our management team as we prepare for Phase 3 clinical activities for our Helios insert and as we continue to develop new indications in our product pipeline," said John Maroney, CEO of ForSight VISION5. "Charles has repeatedly demonstrated leadership and success in bringing new ophthalmic drugs to market that significantly benefit patients, and we feel privileged to have his experience, wisdom, and energy at the helm of our clinical programs."
"Nearly half of patients who are prescribed eye drops to manage their ocular hypertension do not refill their prescriptions after six months1 - often due to difficulty in using drops," said Dr. Semba. "I am excited to have the opportunity to develop a therapy that has the potential to help these patients manage their disease the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.2 The therapeutic innovations in the development pipeline will hopefully lead to enhanced compliance and more convenience for patients and eye care specialists by reducing the need for eye drops."
About ForSight VISION5, Inc.
ForSight VISION5, Inc. (www.forsightvision5.com), was founded in January of 2011 as the fifth company to emerge from the ophthalmic incubator ForSight Labs, LLC (www.forsightlabs.com). ForSight VISION5 is focused on developing non-invasive drug delivery products that replace eye drops and provide sustained therapy for major anterior segment eye diseases including glaucoma, dry eye, and allergy. ForSight VISION5's lead product candidate is the Helios insert, a novel, non-invasive delivery system designed to allow glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients to continually receive medication.
1 Nordstrom, BL et al. "Persistence and Adherence with Topical Glaucoma Therapy" Am J Ophthalmol 2005;140:598606.
2http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/glaucoma-facts-and-stats.php, retrieved May 14, 2014
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Anne Brody Rubin
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SOURCE ForSight VISION5