Industry Leader Srini Venkatesh, PhD, to drive TearClear's scientific and R&D strategy
Supports the next phase of development for its disruptive ophthalmic pharmaceutical platform
TearClear, the specialty pharmaceutical company uniquely focused on developing a family of preservative-free topical ophthalmic drugs, today announced another big step forward with the appointment of Srini Venkatesh, PhD, as Chief Scientific and Innovation Officer. Dr. Venkatesh will be responsible for setting the scientific and clinical strategy for TearClear, as well as overseeing day-to-day research and development operations.
“Srini is a welcome addition to the TearClear executive team, bringing tremendous experience in ophthalmic drug development and expertise in pharmaceutical formulations,” commented Kevin Hershfield, Chief Executive Officer. “This appointment reflects the next stage of our Company’s advancement in bringing to market a family of truly differentiating specialty ophthalmic pharmaceuticals that address unmet patient needs.”
Dr. Venkatesh joins TearClear from GOJO Industries, where he served as Chief Science and Technology Officer. Prior to that, he was Vice President of R&D at Bausch & Lomb. During his time at Bausch & Lomb, Dr. Venkatesh enabled the launch of over $300 million of new products and developed a pipeline that led to industry leading eye care solutions. Earlier in his career, Dr. Venkatesh was Director of R&D at Bristol Myers Squibb, where he also led the development of several drugs across various classes. Dr. Venkatesh holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and a PhD in Pharmaceutics from the University of Minnesota. He completed his post-doctoral fellowship in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Utah.
“TearClear has the opportunity to provide a significant advancement to the $20+ billion global ophthalmic pharmaceutical industry as it addresses the unmet need for delivery of preservative-free drugs,” said Dr. Venkatesh. “I am excited to join the Company as it enters the next phase of development and look forward to improving eye health for our patients.”
Rick Heinick, Chairman of the Board and company founder, added, “We look forward to taking the next steps in advancing our innovative ophthalmic platform by keeping preservative in the bottle, but not in the eye. Srini will be an important part of our executive team working alongside Board members including Bill Link and Dr. Richard Lindstrom. With this team we believe TearClear has a platform opportunity that will revolutionize the global ophthalmic market.”
TearClear is an emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical company with the goal of disrupting the way current topical medications are delivered to the ocular surface. Our lead product candidates in glaucoma will pave the way for future indications across multiple programs in development. This first-in-class platform of drugs enables medication delivery to ultimately enhance patient safety and compliance by capturing preservatives before they reach the ocular surface.
About Preservative Free
Preservatives, such as benzalkonium chloride (BAK), are necessary for ophthalmic solutions to maintain sterility. However, on the ocular surface, they have been reported to be associated with adverse effects like hyperemia, tear film instability, and conjunctival inflammation potentially leading to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). By removing preservatives from the ocular surface, the potential for long-term deleterious effects on the eye is reduced. TearClear offers the only means of delivering a preservative-free dose directly from preserved solutions.
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- Patrick Crowley