Ocular Therapeutix announced that in line with the company’s strategic plan and growth objectives announced in June, Antony Mattessich has assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Former CEO Amar Sawhney, PhD, has transitioned to Executive Chairman of the Board, also as planned.
Mr. Mattessich most recently served as CEO of Mundipharma International, a developer and commercializer of products in pain, inflammation, cancer, and respiratory diseases. Mr. Mattessich also held leadership roles at a number of global pharmaceutical companies across the US, Europe and Asia, including at Novartis, Bristol Meyers Squibb and Merck & Co.
In addition, Ocular Therapeutix is announcing that it expects to realize savings in operating expenses, including personnel costs, as result of streamlining headcount by approximately 19%, as part of an initiative to enhance operations and reduce expenses. In conjunction with this initiative, Andy Hurley, Chief Commercial Officer, will be leaving the company. With these anticipated cost savings and based on the company’s current plans and forecasted expenses, the company believes that existing cash and cash equivalents and marketable securities will fund operating expenses, debt service obligations and capital expenditure requirements through the third quarter of 2018, according to a company news release.
These cost savings will enable Ocular Therapeutix to focus its efforts on advancing its pipeline, including Dextenza (dexamethasone insert) 0.4mg for the treatment of ocular pain and inflammation following ophthalmic surgery, OTX-TP (travoprost insert) and OTX-TIC (glaucoma injection) for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension, as well as extended release intravitreal depots for the treatment of serious retinal diseases. The extended release intravitreal depot efforts include both the company’s collaboration with Regeneron for an extended release formulation of Regeneron’s aflibercept and the company’s internal tyrosine kinase inhibitor program, OTX-TKI. These cost savings will also enable the company to explore additional potential development opportunities either alone or in partnership.
“I am excited to begin my role as CEO of Ocular Therapeutix at such an important juncture for the company,” Antony Mattessich, Chief Executive Officer, said in the company news release. “As I begin my tenure, I would like to reiterate that we remain committed to Dextenza, while we also focus our efforts on the development of the entire breadth of innovative drug product solutions that the team has built under Amar’s guidance.”
“We remain excited about the opportunities for our diversified pipeline programs, which we believe have the potential to improve the standard of care across a multitude of ophthalmic indications,” Dr. Sawhney, Executive Chairman, said in the news release. “We are very pleased to welcome Antony as CEO and are confident in his proven abilities to build, manage and grow pharmaceutical organizations into successful companies and brands. As Executive Chairman of the Board, I will continue to provide Ocular Therapeutix with my time and expertise to facilitate the transition as the company executes on its business plan. In addition, the board and I would like to express our sincere thanks to Andy for his strategic leadership and operational acumen over the past year. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”
Ocular Therapeutix intends to provide a corporate update, including an overview of its development programs, in conjunction with the company’s release of its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2017, expected on August 8, 2017.