Allegro Ophthalmics announced that its board of directors has named Hampar Karageozian to the position of Executive Chairman and has appointed Vicken Karageozian, MD, to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. In his new role, Dr. Karageozian will prepare the company for the next key milestone—entering phase 3 clinical trials with its lead compound risuteganib (Luminate) in diabetic macular edema (DME)—and continue developing risuteganib for other retinal disease indications.
“I would like to thank Hampar for his passion, dedication and the effort he has put forth the last 7 years in the development of a potential first-in-class drug for the treatment of DME. His many years in drug discovery, and long track record of building successful ophthalmic companies have been essential for establishing a strong foundation for Allegro’s growth,” William J. Link, PhD, co- founder and managing director of Versant Ventures and member of Allegro’s Board of Directors, said in a company news release. “I am convinced that Vicken’s strategic vision, clinical development expertise and experience working with private and institutional investors will position Allegro for future success.”
In his new role as Executive Chairman, Mr. Karageozian will continue to drive Allegro’s strategic vision, focusing on new product discovery, research, and development. “Vicken is a passionate leader focused on preparing the company for an important new milestone in its history,” said Mr. Karageozian. “The Board and I are confident that with Vicken and his experienced management team, Allegro is well-positioned to bring risuteganib to market and provide a potential new treatment option for those patients with retinal diseases who respond poorly to the current standard of care.”
“One of my primary objectives will be to reach the completion of phase 3 clinical trials in DME,” Dr. Karageozian said. “I look forward to working diligently to reach our goals so that doctors and patients will be able to realize the promise of our novel integrin inhibition therapy, risuteganib.”
Dr. Karageozian has more than 25 years’ experience building, leading, and raising capital for companies in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical space. An ophthalmic surgeon by training and prior managing partner of Clarity Eye Group, Dr. Karageozian is the co-founder of three ophthalmic biotech companies, including ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vitreoretinal Technologies, Inc., and Allegro. He is the inventor or co-inventor of numerous ophthalmic products with 82 patents issued or pending primarily on drug discoveries. In addition, Dr. Karageozian has been instrumental in raising more than $200M in venture and institutional capital, corporate partnerships, and regional licenses.