Clearside Biomedical Appoints Victor Chong, M.D., MBA as Chief Medical Officer

Industry Veteran with Extensive Experience in Retinal Disease Research and Strong Track Record in Advancing Programs Through Clinical Development

ALPHARETTA, Ga., March 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Clearside Biomedical, Inc. (Nasdaq: CLSD), a biopharmaceutical company revolutionizing the delivery of therapies to the back of the eye through the suprachoroidal space (SCS®), announced today that Victor Chong, M.D., MBA was appointed Chief Medical Officer on March 14, 2024. Dr. Chong is a board-certified retinal specialist with more than 25 years of experience as a retinal physician and navigating all phases of ophthalmic drug development.

George Lasezkay, Pharm.D., J.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Clearside, commented, “Victor is a well-known and well-respected retinal clinician and scientist, who is a strategically focused and visionary leader. We are delighted to have him join the Clearside team. Victor has worked on small molecules, biologics, oligonucleotides, and gene therapy across the spectrum of retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), diabetic retinopathy (DR) and inherited retinal diseases, such as XL Retinitis Pigmentosa and Stargardt Disease. He has extensive experience advancing drug candidates through all stages of drug development and has been involved in numerous clinical trials as principal investigator, including the development of ranibizumab and aflibercept for wet AMD. Victor is well-suited to spearhead our suprachoroidal product development activities, including most importantly, the upcoming ODYSSEY Phase 2b wet AMD clinical trial data analysis and the planning for our Phase 3 program.”

“As a retinal physician with broad clinical experience, I believe that suprachoroidal administration using Clearside’s SCS Microinjector® represents an important and innovative approach for delivery of drugs directly to the back of the eye to treat retinal diseases,” said Dr. Chong. “With the upcoming ODYSSEY data and extensive partnership portfolio, this is an exciting time to join Clearside. I look forward to working with the Clearside team to advance the CLS-AX program and develop a potential new treatment option for patients with wet AMD.”

Dr. Chong served most recently as VP, Global Head of Retina DAS at Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Innovative Medicine (formerly Janssen), where he oversaw strategic decisions from preclinical to late clinical development, business development and external innovation, and coordination with the commercial organization. Prior to J&J, he was Global Head of Medicine, Retinal Health at Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), where he provided the clinical link in discovery and translational medicine and was responsible for clinical development and medical affairs in ophthalmology. His role at BI included moving 11 molecules into clinical development, covering five indications, including wet AMD, DME, DR, diabetic macular ischemia (DMI), and geographic atrophy. His laboratory was the first to link systemic complement activation, in particular C3, to AMD and he has published over 150 peer-reviewed publications.

Previously, Dr. Chong served as Head of Department and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon of Oxford Eye Hospital, a part of the Oxford University Hospitals. He was also Co-director of Ophthalmic Education at Oxford University. Dr. Chong graduated from the University of Glasgow Medical School (MBChB) with the Neil Arnott Prize, finished his ophthalmic training at Moorfields Eye Hospital and completed a retinal fellowship at the Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. He also completed a postdoctoral cell biology fellowship at the University of Iowa. Dr. Chong holds designations as a Fellow of Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth), and Fellow of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (FHKAM in Ophthalmology). He earned an M.D. by research in Ophthalmology from King’s College, an MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology and a MPhil in Cell Biology and Pathology from University College London.

About Clearside Biomedical, Inc.

Clearside Biomedical, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company revolutionizing the delivery of therapies to the back of the eye through the suprachoroidal space (SCS®). Clearside’s SCS injection platform, utilizing the Company’s patented SCS Microinjector®, enables an in-office, repeatable, non-surgical procedure for the targeted and compartmentalized delivery of a wide variety of therapies to the macula, retina, or choroid to potentially preserve and improve vision in patients with sight-threatening eye diseases. Clearside is developing its own pipeline of small molecule product candidates for administration via its SCS Microinjector. The Company’s lead program, CLS-AX (axitinib injectable suspension), for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), is in Phase 2b clinical testing. Clearside developed and gained approval for its first product, XIPERE® (triamcinolone acetonide injectable suspension) for suprachoroidal use, which is available in the U.S. through a commercial partner. Clearside also strategically partners its SCS injection platform with companies utilizing other ophthalmic therapeutic innovations. For more information, please visit clearsidebio.com and follow us on LinkedIn and TwitterX.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by words such as “believe”, “expect”, “may”, “plan”, “potential”, “will”, and similar expressions, and are based on Clearside’s current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding the clinical development of CLS-AX, the expected timing of topline results from the ODYSSEY clinical trial, and the potential benefits of CLS-AX and other product candidates using Clearside’s SCS Microinjector®. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially include uncertainties inherent in the conduct of clinical trials, Clearside’s reliance on third parties over which it may not always have full control and other risks and uncertainties that are described in Clearside’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 12, 2024 and Clearside’s other Periodic Reports filed with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on information available to Clearside as of the date of this release, and Clearside assumes no obligation to, and does not intend to, update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Investor and Media Contacts:

Jenny Kobin
Remy Bernarda
ir@clearsidebio.com
(678) 430-8206

Source: Clearside Biomedical, Inc.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f571b871-55b6-4d09-b0bd-e18f3843b875


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Victor Chong, M.D., MBA
Victor Chong, M.D., MBA was appointed as Chief Medical Officer for Clearside Biomedical.

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