Graybug Vision Expands Executive Team with Appointments of Charles P. Semba, MD, and Ward M. Peterson, PhD


– Company Also Announces Formation of its Clinical Advisory Board “Retina” –

Redwood City, CA – June 21, 2016 – Graybug Vision, Inc., a venture-stage pharmaceutical company committed to developing potentially transformative therapies for ocular diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, today announced that two prominent industry executives have joined its management team.  Charles P. Semba, MD, joins as Chief Medical Officer and Ward M. Peterson, PhD, joins as Senior Vice President of Preclinical Development. The company also said it recruited eight leading clinicians to its Clinical Advisory Board, Retina, which will be instrumental in helping Graybug Vision move GB-102, its lead drug for wet AMD, into clinical trials in early 2017.

“With combined drug development experience covering more than a dozen ophthalmic products over the past 15 years, Drs. Semba and Peterson’s knowledge and skills will be invaluable to our product development strategies and implementation,” said Jeffrey L. Cleland, PhD, President and CEO of Graybug Vision, Inc.  “Our company has a great foundation of expertise and these two additions to our executive team will make it even stronger.”

Dr. Semba joins Graybug Vision from the ophthalmic product company ForSight VISION5, Inc., where he was the Chief Medical Officer.  He began his industry career at Genentech, Inc., first working as Medical Director in Cardiac & Vascular Biotherapeutics and later as Senior Group Director in Ophthalmology & Tissue Growth and Repair.  Next, Dr. Semba was Chief Medical Officer at SARcode Bioscience, Inc., until its acquisition in 2013 by Shire Pharmaceuticals, where he was Vice President, Clinical Medicine (Ophthalmology).  He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and was a Research Fellow at the Miami Cardiac and Vascular Institute.  Dr. Semba is currently a Consulting Associate Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine.

As an industry consultant since 2010, Dr. Petersen has been working with Graybug Vision to design and implement nonclinical studies of GB-102.  He also co-founded and serves as President of the early stage company Symberix, Inc.  Previously, Dr. Petersen held multiple positions of increasing responsibility in R&D at Inspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc., lastly as Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Strategic Interventions. He began his industry career as a Neural and Endocrine Scientists in the Retinal Disease Group at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  Dr. Peterson received his PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UC Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco.

Retina Clinical Advisory Board

“We are very fortunate to have a number of such distinguished clinicians and academicians agree to serve on our Retina CAB,” remarked Dr. Cleland.  “Their first task, which has already begun, is to provide input to our clinical trial protocol and to review the final plan prior to submission to the FDA as part of the IND package. We look forward to their advice.”

Charter Members of Retina CAB

  • David S. Boyer, MD, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine
  • David Callanan, MD, Clinical Professor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School
  • Peter A. Campochiaro, MD, Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine
  • Pravin Dugel, MD, Clinical Professor, USC Roski Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
  • Bailey Freund, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, New York University School of Medicine
  • Derek Kunimoto, MD, Co-Managing Partner, Retina Consultants of Arizona
  • Raj Maturi, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Sunil Patel, MD, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Texas Tech University Health Science Campus

About Graybug Vision

Graybug Vision is developing novel products for the treatment of ocular diseases.  Graybug Vision’s technology enables the delivery of compounds to the eye up to twice per year and was co-developed by Graybug Vision founder Justin Hanes, PhD, who is the Lewis J. Ort Professor of Ophthalmology at The Wilmer Eye Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with Graybug Vision cofounders, and leading ophthalmology clinician-scientists from the Wilmer Eye Institute Peter A. Campochiaro, MD, and Peter J. McDonnell, MD.  Graybug Vision’s lead product, GB-102, is being developed for twice a year treatment of wet AMD patients.  Graybug Vision’s second product consists of compounds with intraocular pressure lowering and neuroprotection that may be administered to the subconjunctiva twice per year for the treatment of glaucoma.  For more information, please visit www.graybug.com.

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