Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA, Former Dean of Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Joins Ophthotech as Chief of Strategic Development
April 28, 2016
– Globally Recognized Innovator and Distinguished Scholar in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Retinal Disorders –
– Brings Extensive Organizational and Leadership Experience –
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Ophthotech Corporation (NASDAQ: OPHT) announced today the appointment of Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA, as Chief of Strategic Development. As one of the world’s leading experts in ophthalmology and health management, Dr. Puliafito’s highly distinguished career includes serving most recently as the Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, a position that he held from 2007 to 2016. Under his leadership of 4,000 employees and 1,700 faculty members, the Keck School of Medicine has become one of the nation’s preeminent research-intensive medical schools. Dr. Puliafito’s prolific accomplishments at USC include revenue growth of the School of Medicine, fundraising initiatives resulting in over $1 billion in gifts and pledges, and integration of 19 disparate practices outside of the university into a single faculty practice under USC’s ownership. Prior to that, Dr. Puliafito served as Chair and Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, which he led to its top position in U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of eye hospitals. Prior to his leadership at Bascom Palmer, he served as founding director of the New England Eye Center and Chair and Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology at Tufts University. In addition to his extensive academic achievements, Dr. Puliafito also earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors and management team, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Carmen Puliafito to Ophthotech,” stated Samir Patel, MD, President and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Ophthotech. “Throughout his career, Carmen has been at the forefront of revolutionary and groundbreaking technology for retinal disorders. I am confident that his legacy of innovation, bold ideas, and creative business models will prove to be huge assets for patients and our stakeholders. It is a true privilege to have Carmen join our company during this exciting period for Ophthotech.”
“Samir and I have had a professional relationship with Carmen that commenced at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School, over 25 years ago,” stated David R. Guyer, MD, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Ophthotech. “We are honored and excited to work with him again.”
“With their unwavering commitment to science and proven experience, including bringing the first anti-VEGF therapy to market for wet AMD, I believe David, Samir and the Ophthotech team are poised to introduce the next therapeutic paradigm for wet AMD patients,” stated Dr. Puliafito. “Wet AMD is a growing epidemic with major unmet need. Throughout my career I have dedicated myself to foster a productive relationship with industry and academia to introduce effective solutions for patients. I am particularly pleased to become part of this dynamic and driven team with shared values.”
Dr. Patel added, “With the addition of Carmen, we continue to bolster our leadership team which now includes five board certified retinal specialists with synergistic skills and domain expertise. We believe this culture of accountability will pay dividends in addressing the growing unmet need for wet AMD patients.”
Dr. Puliafito is recognized worldwide for his innovative advances such as the co-invention of optical coherence tomography (OCT), a revolutionary technology for the management of macular diseases. For this work, he was awarded the 2002 Rank Prize (along with James Fujimoto and Eric Swanson) – the world’s most prestigious award in optoelectronics. Dr. Puliafito was also awarded the Champalimaud Vision Award (along with James Fujimoto, Eric Swanson, David Huang and Joel Schuman), often called the “Nobel Prize for Vision,” a prestigious scientific and humanitarian award. He was also the first to describe the use of a semiconductor diode laser for retinal photocoagulation, and pioneered basic science research in excimer laser photoablation and optical breakdown and photodisruption. Dr. Puliafito has also been at the forefront of clinical innovation, including the introduction of Avastin® (bevacizumab) for the treatment of retinal disorders. His business acumen as Dean at USC and Chairman at Tufts University and Bascom Palmer Eye institute has set an exemplary standard for serving all stakeholders.
Dr. Puliafito started his career at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard Medical School, where he was the founder of the Laser Research Laboratory and associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. A cum laude graduate of Harvard College and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency and fellowships in ophthalmic pathology and vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Dr. Puliafito is on leave from his position as Professor of Ophthalmology and Health Management at the USC Roski Eye Institute.
About Ophthotech Corporation
Ophthotech is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of novel therapeutics to treat back of the eye diseases, with a focus on developing innovative therapies for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Ophthotech’s most advanced product candidate, Fovista® anti-PDGF therapy, is in Phase 3 clinical trials for use in combination with anti-VEGF therapy that represents the current standard of care for the treatment of wet AMD. Ophthotech’s second product candidate, Zimura®, an inhibitor of complement factor C5, is being developed for the treatment of geographic atrophy, a form of dry AMD, and in combination with anti-VEGF therapy in wet AMD patients. For more information, please visit www.ophthotech.com.
Any statements in this press release about Ophthotech’s future expectations, plans and prospects constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include any statements about Ophthotech’s strategy, future operations and future expectations and plans and prospects for Ophthotech, and any other statements containing the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend”, “goal,” “may”, “might,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions. In this press release, Ophthotech’s forward looking statements include statements about the potential utility and market potential of its product candidates for the treatment of AMD and the timing and progress of its clinical development programs. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Ophthotech’s clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, those related to the initiation and conduct of clinical trials, availability of data from clinical trials and expectations for regulatory approvals or other actions and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section contained in the quarterly and annual reports that Ophthotech files with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements represent Ophthotech’s views only as of the date of this press release. Ophthotech anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. While Ophthotech may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Ophthotech specifically disclaims any obligation to do so except as required by law.
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Kathy Galante, 212-845-8231
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
SmithSolve LLC on behalf of Ophthotech Corporation
Jennifer Devine, 973-442-1555 ext. 102
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