Ophthotech announced that it has initiated a plan to review its strategic alternatives in order to maximize shareholder value. Without limiting any option, the principal focus of this plan is to actively explore obtaining rights to additional products, product candidates, and technologies to treat ophthalmic diseases, particularly those of the back of the eye, according to a company news release.
As part of implementing the strategic plan, the company announced that Glenn P. Sblendorio will assume the role of President, effective immediately. Mr. Sblendorio also will continue to serve as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Sblendorio previously served as the company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Operating Officer. The company also announced the promotion of Keith Westby to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Westby was previously Senior Vice President of Development Operations of Ophthotech.
“We believe that with our expertise and experience in ophthalmology we are well positioned to explore and critically evaluate a variety of opportunities that could include in-licensing, acquisition and collaboration opportunities,” David R. Guyer, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Ophthotech, said in the news release. “We are pleased to have someone of Glenn’s caliber with extensive executive leadership and extraordinary business development experience in the biotechnology industry take on the President role as we develop a plan to move the company forward.”
The strategic review plan comes about 2 months after Ophthotech announced that the prespecified primary endpoint of mean change in visual acuity at 12 months was not achieved in its two pivotal phase 3 clinical trials investigating the superiority of Fovista (pegpleranib) anti-PDGF therapy in combination with Lucentis (ranibizumab) anti-VEGF therapy compared to Lucentis monotherapy for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The addition of Fovista to a monthly Lucentis regimen did not result in benefit as measured by the mean change in visual acuity at the 12 month time point.
Ophthotech has engaged Leerink Partners LLC as its financial advisor to assist management and the board in evaluating the company’s strategic alternatives.