Former Head of Ophthalmology Franchises at Genentech and Novartis Joins Leading Start-Up Focused on Dry Eye Disease
BRISBANE, Calif., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- SARcode Corporation, a privately-held biotechnology company focused on developing a novel class of lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) antagonists, today announced that Quinton Oswald has joined the company as Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Oswald brings significant commercial experience and management expertise to the CEO role. Most recently at Genentech, where he served as the Vice President & Business Unit Head for the Tissue Growth and Repair Business, Mr. Oswald was responsible for four key franchises – Ophthalmology, Growth Hormone, Fibrinolytics and Cystic Fibrosis – generating over $2.1 billion in annual sales. During his tenure at Genentech, Mr. Oswald oversaw the successful commercial launch of Lucentis® (ranibizumab) in 2006, the third fastest new product introduction in U.S. pharma history. Lucentis® was approved for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and reached sales of over $1 billion in 2009. This breakthrough therapy dramatically changed the treatment paradigm for retinal specialists by offering their patients the ability to stabilize and improve vision, instead of facing a progressive course toward blindness.
Prior to Genentech, Mr. Oswald led the North American Ophthalmology business for Novartis, which in conjunction with QLT, Inc. pioneered Visudyne® (verteporfin), the first drug treatment for wet AMD. Launched in 2000, Visudyne® replaced thermal laser therapy, offering a more targeted and less damaging treatment to slow vision decline.
"We are very pleased to have Quinton join our team at SARcode," said Robert Alexander, Director at Alta Partners and member of the SARcode Board of Directors. "He brings the right combination of sector knowledge and commercial expertise needed to lead SARcode through Phase III trials and on to the market. Quinton is a perfect fit for this role, given his long history in the ophthalmology space and his success in launching Lucentis®. While at Genentech, Quinton worked alongside Charles Semba, the Development Team Leader for Lucentis®, who today serves as SARcode's Chief Medical Officer. We expect this team will continue our rapid progress in the clinic, and guide our lead compound quickly through our final pivotal trials."
"I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to lead a company with the potential to deliver significant beneficial impact in a therapeutic area in which I not only have many years of operational experience, but also a passion to improve upon existing treatment," said Mr. Oswald, Chief Executive Officer of SARcode. "There are more than 20 million patients suffering from dry eye in the U.S. alone and up to 50 million patients worldwide. Yet most of them receive little relief from currently available drugs. Our lead product candidate, SAR 1118, has provided excellent Phase II results in both signs and symptoms. The study achieved these results within 12 weeks, demonstrating potential for more rapid relief than currently available therapies. I see big opportunities for this product and SARcode, and I am looking forward to being a part of this team."
Before joining Novartis, Mr. Oswald spent 16 years with Bristol Myers Squibb. After beginning his tenure with Bristol Myers in his home country of South Africa, he moved to Holland as General Manager to merge Bristol Myers and Squibb. Relocating to the U.S. in 1993, Mr. Quinton held line management roles as President for Asia, Middle East, and Africa, and President for Latin America and Canada.
About SARcode Corporation
SARcode is a venture-backed biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of best in class small molecule LFA-1 antagonists as novel nonsteroidal immunomodulators/anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of T-cell mediated inflammatory diseases. Institutional investors include Alta Partners and Clarus Ventures.
For contact information, visit www.sarcode.com
SOURCE SARcode Corporation