TearSolutions Expands Advisory Boards

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 07, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TearSolutions, Inc. a privately held clinical-stage ophthalmic biopharmaceutical company focused on developing a potentially disruptive therapy for the treatment of Dry Eye Disease (DED), called Lacripep, today announced that it has established a Strategic Advisory Board (SAB), appointed five Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) with DED expertise to its Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and promoted James Cook to Chief Development Officer.

“We are honored and excited to have such an accomplished group of advisors working with us. Their extensive clinical and regulatory experience has been and will continue to be invaluable as we embark upon our phase II dose-ranging study of Lacripep in the general Dry Eye population and as we prepare for phase III trialing,” said Anil Asrani, CEO of TearSolutions. “In addition, James has done a fantastic job managing all aspects of our development, ranging from peptide synthesis and CMC to pipeline exploration while strengthening our intellectual property portfolio. We are confident in his leadership and are pleased to announce his promotion to Chief Development Officer.”

The establishment of TearSolutions’ Strategic Advisory board was accomplished with the appointment of Dr. Amir Shojaei, PharmD, PhD. Amir has built a career in life sciences as a leader with over two and a half decades of drug development experience, and spent just under 20 years at Shire until it was acquired by Takeda in Jan 2019. At Shire, he helped create the ophthalmology franchise as the Global Therapeutic Area Head in Ophthalmology and was later able to successfully divest the key asset in that franchise, Xiidra®, to Novartis for $5.3 Billion. While at Shire, Amir oversaw all aspects of clinical stage ophthalmic pipeline assets. His team brought Xiidra® (lifitegrast) from development through to U.S. FDA filing and approval.

The members of the Medical Advisory Board are (for more details on their impressive backgrounds, please visit: www.tearsolutions.com and follow the “Leadership Team” link):

Dr. Deepinder K. Dhaliwal, MD, L.Ac is a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, co-director of the cornea and external disease service, chief of refractive surgery, director and founder of the Center for Integrative Eye Care, and vice chair for communications and wellness at the UPMC Eye Center.

Dr. Nancy McNamara, OD, PhD, MS is currently a Professor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of California Berkeley (UCB), Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry and Vision Science. Dr. McNamara established and co-directs the UCB University Eye Center, Dry Eye Clinic.

Dr. Kelly Nichols, OD, MPH, PhD, FAAO is the Dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. As a leading expert in dry eye disease, Dr. Nichols is or has been on the editorial boards of the journals Optometry and Vision Science, and The Ocular Surface, and is extensively published.

Dr. John Sheppard, MD is the Mid-Atlantic Medical Director of Eye Care Partners, former Board of Directors member of CVP Physicians, the senior and founding partner of Virginia Eye Consultants, and the COO of the translational pharmaceutical development company EyeRx Research, Inc.

Dr. Joseph Tauber, MD is an entrepreneurial private practice ophthalmologist with extensive experience as a clinical trials researcher and business consultant to global health product companies and institutional investors. Dr. Tauber has been centrally involved in virtually every significant dry eye development project during the past 25 years.

TearSolutions also announced the promotion of James Cook to Chief Development Officer. Mr. Cook has been working with TearSolutions since 2020, following more than 30 years of experience developing eye care products. He has extensive experience in ophthalmic formulation development, process development, chemistry/analytical laboratory management, and quality control/assurance.   Prior to joining TearSolutions, Mr. Cook was Head of R&D for Consumer Eye Health at Abbott Medical Optics (acquired by J&J Vision) responsible for product and process development of eye drops and contact lens care products.

About TearSolutions, Inc.
TearSolutions is a privately held biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of patients with DED. More information is available at www.tearsolutions.com