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Ocular Therapeutix Appoints Pravin U. Dugel, MD, President and CEO

Ocular Therapeutix Appoints Pravin U. Dugel, MD, President and CEO

April 16, 2024

Ocular Therapeutix announced a significant shift in its leadership structure, as Executive Chairman, Pravin U. Dugel, MD, will now also take on the roles of President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Dugel will continue his duties as a director and as Executive Chairman, stepping into the shoes of Antony Mattessich, who is departing from his role at the helm.

Expressing gratitude towards the outgoing CEO, Dr. Dugel remarked, “On behalf of the Board of Directors and employees of Ocular, I want to wholeheartedly express Ocular’s utmost gratitude for Antony's many years of exceptional service and unwavering commitment to the company. His passion and dedication have guided Ocular for years, enabling the formation of a high-quality organization and the development of our innovative retinal disease pipeline, led by Axpaxli.” He added, “I believe Axpaxli has the potential to dramatically change the treatment paradigm for retinal disease and look forward to advancing the development of this innovative product candidate in 2024 and beyond.”

Earlier this year, the company had already initiated a reshuffle in its leadership when Dr. Dugel was appointed Executive Chairman. The new additions to the team include Jeffrey S. Heier, MD, as Chief Scientific Officer; Peter K. Kaiser, MD, as Medical Director; and Sanjay Nayak, MBBS, PhD, as Chief Strategy Officer. Furthermore, Charles Warden made the transition from Chairman of the Board to Lead Independent Director.

Dr. Dugel brings a rich background to his new roles, having previously served as President of Iveric Bio, Managing Partner at Retinal Consultants of Arizona and the Retinal Research Institute, Clinical Professor at the USC Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, and a Founding Member of the Spectra Eye Institute in Sun City, Arizona.

Reflecting on his tenure, Mr. Mattessich stated, “The journey with Ocular Therapeutix over the last 7-plus years has been the highlight of my career. Working with the team to emerge from the aftermath of the second CRL with Dextenza, through approval and launch, has been amazing. Now, with Axpaxli enrolling in the phase 3 program with a Special Protocol Assessment, the company is set to advance to the next stage.” He concluded, “As Ocular moves forward to transform into a leading retina care company, I am grateful to the employees, advisors, investors, and collaborators who have supported the company’s development and progress. I ‘pass the baton’ to Pravin with enthusiasm and optimism for all that lies ahead. The company could not be in better hands.”