Jeffrey L. Cleland, PhD
President and CEO
Jeff has 25 years of industry experience in research and development, including more than a decade at Genentech, Inc. His experience in startups includes major roles in obtaining more than $450 million in capital at stages from Series A through D and exit via IPO including over $300 million in capital raised as CEO. As the founding CEO of Versartis (VSAR), he led one of top biotech IPOs of all time. He held executive management positions at BaroFold, Novacea and Targesome, and has managed directly all aspects of pharmaceutical development and late-stage research. While at Genentech, Jeff served in product development and manufacturing roles. He held important leadership roles in the successful approval of two drugs, Herceptin® and Nutropin Depot®, as well as in early work on Lucentis®, Avastin®, and Omnitarg®. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Davis and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jeff has authored more than 100 articles and four books, and holds several issued patents.
Charles Semba, MD
Chief Medical Officer
Charles has 16 years of clinical drug development experience in retina, ocular surface disease, and glaucoma. He held senior leadership positions at Genentech, Shire, SARcode Bioscience, ForSight VISION5, and Stanford University. At Genentech, he led the clinical development of Lucentis® that resulted in approvals for wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, retinal vein occlusion and directed programs for Activase®, Cathflo Activase®, TNKase®, Lucentis®, Rituximab® [immunology], and Nutropin AQ® . He served as Chief Medical Officer at SARcode and Vice President, Clinical Medicine (Ophthalmology) at Shire in developing lifitegrast for treatment of dry eye disease; SARcode was acquired by Shire in 2013. Most recently, he was Chief Medical Officer at ForSight VISION5, a clinical stage company focused on sustained-release drug delivery for glaucoma. Charles received his BA, cum laude, in chemistry at Carleton College, MD from Univ of Minnesota, radiology residency at Univ Calif – San Diego, and fellowship in endovascular surgery/interventional radiology from the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute. He serves as a Consulting Associate Professor of Interventional Radiology at Stanford and has over 100 scientific publications and 25 book chapters, and has received scientific awards in both ophthalmology and radiology.
Thomas S. Templeman, PhD
Chief Operations Officer
Tom has more than 25 years of experience in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals encompassing both research & development and operations. He has held senior positions in a range of companies from startups to major pharmaceutical companies, including Liquida, Vysis, Hospira, Medivation, Centocor and Johnson & Johnson. Over the course of his career Tom has been focused on ensuring robust product development and commercial launches including immunosuppressants Stelara®and Simponi® and Vysis® fluorescent probes, as well as remediation of marketed products including Eprex® and Hospira generics. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Operations and Quality at Medivation, responsible for early and late-stage pharmaceutical development, operations and quality including early developmental candidates, clinical developmental candidates and marketed products. Tom received his BS in Biology from The University of Santa Clara and his PhD in Biological Sciences from Dartmouth College and he completed an NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University.
Ward Peterson, PhD
SVP, Preclinical Development
Ward is a trained vision scientist with 18 years of combined industry experience at Regeneron, Inspire Pharmaceutical, and Croma-Pharma GmbH in ophthalmic research and development. He has managed drug discovery, preclinical and clinical-stage projects involving small-molecule drugs, natural products, protein therapeutics, biopolymers, and gene therapy for a number of ophthalmic diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome. Since 2011, Ward served as an independent consultant for small-to-midsize US- and EU-based life science companies that focus on new product development of drugs, biologics, and Class III medical devices and has interacted extensively with CDER, CBER and CDRH at the FDA. He is a co-inventor of 14 issued U.S. patents. Ward received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from University of California, Berkeley.
Ming Yang, PhD
Director of Research
Ming has over 10 years of experience in the field of biomaterials and drug delivery, including the development of novel polymer-based drug delivery systems for ophthalmic indications. He received a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Dr. Justin Hanes, and he gained ocular drug delivery expertise during his tenure at Genentech. Ming received an MS in Bioengineering from Pennsylvania State University and a BE in Materials Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University, China.