Ophthotech Co-Founder and CEO to Step Down, CFO Named New Leader

Ophthotech Co-Founder and CEO to Step Down, CFO Named New Leader April 25, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

NEW YORK – Four months after a round of massive layoffs following the failure of two Phase III clinical trials, Ophthotech Corporation shook up its leadership and tapped a new chief executive officer and a new chief executive officer.

David Guyer, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, is transitioning to the role of executive chairman effective July 1. He has served in that role since 2013. That is a new role created for the company, according to a statement issued today. Glenn Sblendorio, Ophthotech’s president and chief financial officer, will assume the role of CEO in July. Sblendorio will retain his role as President and has been nominated as a Class 1 director for election at the company’s upcoming annual meeting of stockholders.

“As the company continues to review strategic alternatives and actively explores potentially obtaining rights to additional products, product candidates and technologies to treat ophthalmic diseases, particularly those of the back of the eye, David Guyer’s extensive expertise and experience brings a wealth of ophthalmology knowledge that is critical as we execute a strategy to maximize shareholder value,” Sblendorio said in a statement.

Sblendorio joined Ophthotech in 2016 as chief operating officer and chief financial officer. In January of this year, he was appointed president while continuing to serve as CFO. Prior to Ophthotech, Sblendorio served as president and CFO of The Medicines Company from 2006 to 2016. Sblendorio currently serves on the board of directors of Amicus Therapeutics and Intercept Pharmaceuticals .

Guyer said he has confidence that under the leadership of Sblendorio, Ophthotech will continue to achieve best results for shareholders.

The company also announced the promotion of David Carroll to chief financial officer and treasurer, effective immediately. Carroll previously served as senior vice president of finance. Prior to joining Ophthotech, Carroll spent eight years at The Medicines Company in several senior financial leadership roles, including chief accounting officer.

In December, Ophthotech slashed between 125 and 135 jobs following the failure of its two Phase III clinical trials combining the company’s Fovista and Genentech’s Lucentis to treat neovascular age-related macular degeneration. The layoffs are expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2017, the company said. The job cuts will leave the company with 20 to 30 employees, Ophthotech said in its filing.

In addition to the layoffs, Ophthotech said management was updating the company’s business plan as a result of the failed studies.

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