Additions to EyeBio’s leadership team include world-class disrupters with deep experience addressing urgent unmet needs in treatment of eye diseases
EyeBio co-founder Anthony P. Adamis, M.D., appointed chief scientific officer to lead development of the Company’s ophthalmology pipeline
Company provides details on Restoret™, which targets the Wnt pathway, as the lead asset in its agonist antibody pipeline, with plans for IND filing in Q2 2023
LONDON and NEW YORK, March 6, 2023 – Eyebiotech Limited (EyeBio), a privately held ophthalmology biotechnology company dedicated to developing and delivering a new generation of therapies to patients with sight-threatening eye diseases, today announced several appointments to its executive team, featuring prominent industry leaders who are highly skilled in the development of multi-specific antibodies and ophthalmic drugs. The Company also announced details on Restoret™, the first asset in a diversified pipeline of multi-specific agonist antibodies. These developments establish the foundation to pursue the company’s mission: to protect, restore, and improve vision for people who are underserved by available eye disease therapies.
“We founded EyeBio to capture scientific advances and translate them into effective treatments for patients with serious eye diseases,” said David Guyer, M.D., co-founder, CEO, and president of EyeBio. “The world-class team we have assembled gives us the talent and resources to continue our rapid progress and success in advancing a strong pipeline. It is a privilege to be surrounded by an elite group of leaders in ophthalmology, many of whom have been working in this space since the dawn of pharmacotherapy for eye disease.”
Appointments to the senior leadership team
EyeBio announced the following appointments to the senior leadership team:
Anthony P. Adamis, M.D., has been appointed chief scientific officer. Dr. Adamis, who co-founded EyeBio in 2021 and Eyetech in2002 with Dr. Guyer, previously served as senior vice president of Product Development and Development Innovation at Genentech, a member of The Roche Group. Over the course of his career, he has led development programs in multiple therapeutic areas and has overseen 25 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals, the most recent of which was faricimab1, a novel anti-VEGF anti-Ang-2 bi-specific antibody for treating neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
“EyeBio is building one of the strongest ophthalmology pipelines in biopharma: Two novel and innovative agonist antibody assets, both with first-in-class and best-in-class potential,” said Dr. Adamis. “I am delighted to join a company that can combine such scientific potential with a global team of highly experienced ophthalmic drug developers.”
“It is a real pleasure to work once again with Tony Adamis, following our successful collaboration at Roche in developing Vabysmo®, which made a significant difference in patients’ lives,” commented Andreas Wallnoefer, Ph.D., partner at Jeito Capital.
In addition to Dr. Adamis, EyeBio announced senior leadership appointments that further expand its international team of executives and investors with a track record for developing ground-breaking ophthalmology therapies:
- Loni Da Silva, chief regulatory officer, brings extensive ophthalmology regulatory leadership experience and led the first retinal drug approval (Macugen);
- Frances Betts, global head, clinical operations, has recruited thousands of patients into more than 20 ophthalmology clinical trials;
- Mike Davies, chemistry, manufacturing, and control (CMC) lead, drug development, led protein sciences for the development of bispecific antibodies at F-Star Therapeutics; and
- Eric Ng, Ph.D., senior vice president, biology, developed novel therapeutics and animal models in ophthalmology as an Assistant Professor at Harvard University.
These individuals join EyeBio’s established team, which includes:
- Dr. Guyer, Co-Founder, CEO, and president, co-founded Eyetech and Iveric Bio and brings expansive medical, drug development, and commercial experience in ophthalmology;
- Sarah Milsom, chief operating officer, brings experience in life sciences strategy, development, and commercialization;
- Jonathan Prenner, M.D., chief medical officer, is a noted retinal specialist, researcher, and biotech adviser; and
- Paul Stephens, senior vice president, CMC and drug discovery, previously oversaw the transition of novel biologic entities from research to development at UCB Pharma.
“I’m thrilled to see EyeBio grow from the idea on a sheet of paper we developed with David Guyer in 2021 to such a robust, exciting, new company,” said Kate Bingham, EyeBio board chair and managing partner at SV Health Investors. “It is a testament to David and the outstanding team he has brought together. The new additions to the EyeBio leadership team reflect the promise of the company’s science and the potential of its pipeline to benefit patients living with difficult-to-treat ophthalmic diseases.”
“I met with Eyetech, the first company David and Tony founded together, on my first day as a biotech investor at JPMorgan Partners, and it was my first investment,” said Srini Akkaraju, Founder and Managing Partner of Samsara BioCapital. “Ever since, I have continued to support their work to address unmet need in ophthalmology and am thrilled to be working with them again.”
Restoret and the importance of the Wnt pathway
Restoret is a tri-specific Wnt agonist antibody designed to address urgent unmet medical need in patients with back-of-the-eye diseases. The result of a breakthrough in molecular design, Restoret will enable the clinical translation of the extensively studied Wnt pathway for the first time in the eye. Since the discovery that Wnt genes code for proteins that drive normal development and maintenance of the blood-retinal barrier, the Wnt pathway has been a focus of many top research institutes. Published research has shown that Wnt signaling in the retina plays a central role in the maintenance of vascular integrity, and defects in Wnt signaling cause retinal vascular leakage. A mimetic of norrin, which is the natural Wnt ligand in the eye, Restoret has demonstrated efficacy in preclinical ophthalmic models, including validation in genetic models.
The EyeBio team plans to file for clinical trial authorizations to enable a global Phase 1b/2 clinical trial of Restoret in the second quarter of 2023.
A growing, dynamic pipeline
EyeBio has also in-licensed a second bispecific agonist antibody asset for the treatment of retinal diseases, with a separate and complementary mechanism of action to Restoret. These assets signal a diverse pipeline that leverages a core strength in developing multi-specific antibodies and intravitreal retinal therapies.
EyeBio welcomes inquiries regarding in-licensing and acquisition of assets into the company pipeline. Please visit www.eyebiotech.com to learn more.
About EyeBio (Eyebiotech Limited)
Eyebiotech Limited (EyeBio) is a privately held ophthalmology biotechnology company dedicated to developing and delivering a new generation of therapies to protect, restore, and improve vision in patients with sight-threatening eye diseases. Founded in August 2021 by David Guyer, M.D., and Anthony P. Adamis, M.D., EyeBio has a leadership team composed of serial disruptors in ophthalmology drug development. With operations in the United States and the United Kingdom, EyeBio is building and advancing a pipeline of ocular therapies that combine scientifically robust targets with innovative translational approaches. EyeBio was seeded and created by SV Health Investors and raised a $65 million Series A in February 2022 led by SV Health Investors, alongside Samsara BioCapital and Jeito Capital, with additional financial backing from MRL Ventures. For more information, please see www.eyebiotech.com.
- Vabysmo® (faricimab-svoa) is approved by the FDA for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME)