We Are Graybug
We See You
Every day, Graybug Vision works relentlessly to make healthy vision more accessible and more manageable for patients with chronic vision-threatening eye diseases. We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing transformative medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases of the retina and optic nerve. Our novel proprietary technologies are designed to release drugs in ocular tissue at a controlled rate for up to 12 months in order to improve patient compliance, reduce healthcare burdens and, ultimately, deliver better clinical outcomes.
Our Three Products in Development
GB-401 is designed to be a twice-per-year intravitreal beta-blocker for the treatment of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
Our Three Products in Development
GB-103 is designed to be a once-per-year intravitreal pan-VEGF inhibitor for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Our Three Products in Development
GB-102 is designed to be a twice-per-year intravitreal pan-VEGF inhibitor for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).
Fred has 20 years of leadership, strategic and commercial experience as a pharmaceutical executive. Prior to joining Graybug Vision, Fred was Worldwide Business Franchise Head of Ophthalmology, the largest Novartis Pharma business in sales. He led the integration of the global Alcon Pharma and Novartis Retina businesses and was responsible for a number of deals leading to a significant extension of Novartis’ ophthalmology pipeline, including the acquisition of Encore Vision for the topical treatment for presbyopia (2016), the in-licensing of Lubricin® ex-EU for dry eye (2017), the in-licensing of Luxturna® ex-US, a one-time gene therapy to restore functional vision in patients with biallelic mutations of the RPE65 gene from Spark Therapeutics (2018), as well as the preparation of the Xiidra® acquisition for dry eye from Takeda Pharmaceuticals (2019). During his 20 year tenure at Novartis, he held additional leadership positions, including Global Franchise Head of Pharmaceuticals at Alcon, Country Head of United Kingdom and Ireland, Country Head and President of Australia and New Zealand, Head of Marketing and Sales for Emerging Growth Markets Region, Country Head and President of Egypt, and Cluster Head of North and West Africa. Fred holds a PharmD and a Master of Biological and Medical Sciences from the University of Rouen, France, and a Master of Marketing from the international business school HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales), Paris.
Robert has over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and drug delivery industries, serving exclusively as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2003. Prior to joining Graybug Vision, he was the CFO of Corium, Inc., a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company, for seven years, taking the company from private to public and then through the sale to a private equity buyer. Prior to that, he was the CFO of Codexis, Inc., a developer of biocatalysts for the pharmaceutical and fine chemical production industries for three and a half years. In 2002, he became the CFO of Aerogen, Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on the field of aerosolized drug delivery, which was acquired by Nektar Therapeutics in 2005. Prior to Aerogen, Robert worked at ALZA Corporation, where he held numerous positions including Director of Corporate Planning, Analysis and Controller. In 2001, ALZA was acquired by Johnson & Johnson and Robert stayed on as Controller until joining Aerogen in 2002. Before his industry experience, he served for eight years as a naval officer and aviator. Robert holds a B.S.E.E. from the United States Naval Academy and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Parisa is a physician-scientist with deep expertise in biopharmaceutical and small molecule drug discovery and development, drug and device safety and pharmacovigilance, as well as biomarker development across multiple therapeutic areas. She is an ophthalmologist by training with clinical experience in medical retina, immunology and inflammation. Parisa joined Graybug Vision from Novartis Pharmaceutical, where she most recently held the position of Vice President, Global Head of Clinical Development and Therapeutic Area Head for Ophthalmology, leading a group of clinical scientists and ophthalmologists that designs and executes Phase 2b-4 clinical trials in small molecule, biopharmaceuticals, novel biologics, digital therapeutics and gene therapy for ophthalmic indications such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), retinitis pigmentosa and dry eye. Prior to this, she was a translational medicine expert, responsible for designing and executing multiple first in human and proof of concept clinical trials for novel medicines in ophthalmology at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before joining Novartis in 2012, Parisa was a Director of Pre-clinical Sciences at Arsenal Medical Inc., an early stage combination medical device company, where she led teams across cardiovascular, ophthalmology and pain programs using innovative drug/device combination technologies. Parisa received her medical degree from the King’s College Hospital, University of London, and did her ophthalmology residency at the North Thames Rotation, London, England. She earned her PhD in ocular immunology for her research on the immune privilege of the subretinal space conducted at the Schepen’s Eye Research Institute of Massachusetts Eye and Ear, a Harvard Medical School affiliated institute.
Bettina has more than 20 years of leadership, communications and culture change experience in healthcare. Prior to joining Graybug Vision as Chief People Officer, Bettina has served as a consultant to Graybug since August 2019 and played an integral role in the planning and successful execution of the company’s IPO in September 2020. Prior to that, Bettina held the position of VP, Group Head of Enterprise Communications at Novartis, where she led the development and implementation of the enterprise communications strategy with a focus on driving company-wide culture change in partnership with the executive team and human resources department. Prior to that, Bettina served as VP, Global Head of Communications at Alcon and was President of the Alcon Foundation. During her tenure, she established the Global Communications function, played a key role in the company’s culture and business transformation, as well as defined and executed Alcon’s corporate social responsibility strategy partnering with leading non-profit organizations to enhance access to quality eye care in developing markets as well as local communities. Bettina also served in leadership positions at CIBA Vision, Novartis Pharma and Serono International earlier in her career. She holds a degree in Business Administration from the Business School, Mannheim, Germany.
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.
Niall Murphy has over 25 years of experience in the drug delivery, biopharmaceutical, and medical device industries, serving in a variety of senior finance roles. Prior to joining Graybug, he served as Director, Financial Planning & Analysis, at Corium, a publicly traded, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of transdermal drug delivery systems. Prior to that, he served as Vice President, Finance & Administration, at Fluxion Biosciences, a privately held medical device company specializing in live-cell analysis tools. Earlier in his career, Niall held senior leadership roles in Finance at Invuity (acquired by Stryker in 2018), Codexis (IPO in April 2010), National Reproductive Medical Centers (acquired by Matria Healthcare), Alere Medical (acquired by Inverness Medical Innovations), and Eos Biotechnology (acquired by PDL Biopharma). Before his industry experience, Niall worked for Arthur Andersen in their tax practice and audit practice. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from the University of California, Davis, and is a licensed CPA (active status).
Valerie brings more than 20 years of drug development experience in clinical operations and project management and has held leadership roles at Amgen, Genentech, Onyx, Shire, SARcode Bioscience, BioMarin, Solvay, and VaxGen. In her prior roles at Genentech, SARcode, and Shire, she was integral to the successful clinical operations of the major proof-of-concept and pivotal studies that led to the submission and approval of two major breakthrough ophthalmic drugs: Lucentis® for wet age-related macular degeneration and Xiidra® for treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Valerie began her career at Solvay Pharmaceuticals and subsequently at Quintiles, Inc., and has been involved in research and development on investigational products in endocrinology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, neurology, pain, vaccines, orphan diseases, hematology, oncology, and cardiology. She received a BS degree in Psychology from Georgia Southern University and an MBA degree from Kennesaw State University.
Marither brings over 25 years of experience in ophthalmology, leveraging years of academic, clinical and surgical experience as a practicing physician. In addition to her desire to advance global public health and improve patients’ lives, Marither’s strategic leadership and scientific commercialization expertise span therapeutic areas such as ophthalmology, neuroscience, facial aesthetics and dermatology, hematology-oncology and nephrology.
Marither joined Graybug Vision from Omeros Corporation where she most recently served as Head of Medical Affairs with a focus on successfully preparing the market for multiple drugs in ophthalmology, hematology-oncology and nephrology. Prior to that, she led medical strategy at Horizon Therapeutics, introducing TEPEZZA (teprotumumab), a biologic drug approved for the treatment of thyroid eye disease, a rare autoimmune condition. Earlier in her career, Marither served in executive leadership roles at companies including Allergan, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, and Avanir Pharmaceuticals.
Marither holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD. She received her medical degree from the University of the East, College of Medicine, Manila, Philippines, where she also did her ophthalmology residency.
With over 20 years of experience in the life science industry, Christy is a seasoned entrepreneur and biotech executive. Following her career as a clinical scientist, international project leader and Associate Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Burroughs Wellcome Co., she joined Inspire Pharmaceuticals in 1995 as the first, full-time employee. She was responsible for raising over $300 million in capital for the company, including taking the company public in 2000. As President and CEO, Christy grew the company from 20 scientists to nearly 250 employees with revenues of over $100 million. Under her leadership, Inspire was named as “Best Place to Work for Scientists” by the Scientist magazine, and “Best Place to Work in North Carolina.” Christy retired from Inspire in March, 2010 and the company was acquired by Merck in 2011. In addition to being the Chair at Graybug Vision, Christy is currently the Managing Director of Hatteras Discovery and serves on three other Hatteras portfolio company boards: Clearside Biomedical, G1 Therapeutics and Kinodyn. Christy is a receptor pharmacologist by training, earning her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 1985. She received her post-doctoral training at the Chicago Medical School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Christina Ackermann has over 20 years of experience as General Counsel and Senior Executive in the pharmaceutical industry. She currently serves as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Head of Commercial Operations at Bausch Health Companies, Inc. She joined Bausch Health in 2016 as Executive Vice President, General Counsel responsible for the company’s worldwide legal affairs, compliance, global security and enterprise risk management, and was named Head of Commercial Operations in June 2020. Prior to that, Christina was part of the Novartis group of companies for 14 years. She served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel for Alcon, as Global Head, Legal and General Counsel for Sandoz, as well as Head Legal General Medicine and Head, Legal Technical Operations and Ophthalmics for Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Prior to Novartis, Christina served in various Associate General Counsel roles at Bristol Myers Squibb and DuPont Pharmaceuticals, as well as in private practice, where she focused on securities, and mergers & acquisitions. Christina attended York University, Toronto, Canada, for her undergraduate studies focusing first on Fine Arts, and then concentrating on mathematics and political sciences. She obtained her Law degree (an LL.B.) from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, and earned her Post Graduate Diploma in EC Competition Law from King’s College, University of London, United Kingdom.
Julie Eastland is a seasoned strategic and financial executive with more than 25 years of experience in the public and private biotechnology industry. Prior to joining Graybug’s Board of Directors, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Rainier Therapeutics, a private biotechnology company focused on bladder cancer. Julie also served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer of Cascadian Therapeutics, a publicly traded Nasdaq company, that developed tucatinib (Tukysa™) for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. During her tenure, she helped negotiate the sale of the company to Seattle Genetics, while the registration trial for tucatinib was ongoing. Prior to Cascadian, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance and Operations of VLST Corporation, a privately held biotechnology company. Julie held various financial and strategic management positions at publicly traded biotechnology companies, including Dendreon and Amgen, earlier in her career. She currently serves on the boards of Harpoon Therapeutics and Dynavax Technologies. Julie received an MBA from Edinburgh University Management School, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science in finance from Colorado State University.
Eric Bjerkholt has more than three decades of health care and biotechnology leadership experience in finance and related functions, both as an executive at publicly traded and early-stage companies and as an investment banker. He currently is the Chief Financial Officer of Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focusing on new treatments for potentially life-threatening food allergies. In this role, he oversees the finance, procurement, investor relations, business development and strategy, information technology and facilities functions. During his tenure, he has raised more than $600 million in equity offerings and a debt financing. Prior to joining Aimmune, Eric served as CFO at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he oversaw business development and aspects of governance and corporate relations. Prior to Sunesis, he was CFO at IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and LifeSpring Nutrition, Inc. Eric began his health care career at J.P. Morgan & Co. in New York as an investment banker and then launched the company’s Western US health care practice. He has served on the boards of directors of several publicly traded companies and currently is a board member of Cerus Corporation where he serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. Eric holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Oslo, Norway, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Gerald is an experienced pharmaceutical executive with managerial, technical and business experience spanning more than three decades. He served in key leadership roles at Alcon, the world’s largest eye care company. Starting as a senior scientist in microbiology, he held several positions of increasing responsibility at Alcon, including Vice President of Product Development and Vice President of Regulatory Affairs. During his last 13 years at Alcon, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. While at Alcon, Gerald was a regular contributor to new drug applications (NDAs) and premarket approvals (PMAs), holds approximately 20 issued patents and has authored a number of publications in the field.
Fred has 20 years of leadership, strategic and commercial experience as a pharmaceutical executive. Prior to joining Graybug Vision, Fred was Worldwide Business Franchise Head of Ophthalmology, the largest Novartis Pharma business in sales. He led the integration of the global Alcon Pharma and Novartis Retina businesses and was responsible for a number of deals leading to a significant extension of Novartis’ ophthalmology pipeline, including the acquisition of Encore Vision for the topical treatment for presbyopia (2016), the in-licensing of Lubricin® ex-EU for dry eye (2017), the in-licensing of Luxturna® ex-US, a one-time gene therapy to restore functional vision in patients with biallelic mutations of the RPE65 gene from Spark Therapeutics (2018), as well as the preparation of the Xiidra® acquisition for dry eye from Takeda Pharmaceuticals (2019).
During his 20 year tenure at Novartis, he held additional leadership positions, including Global Franchise Head of Pharmaceuticals at Alcon, Country Head of United Kingdom and Ireland, Country Head and President of Australia and New Zealand, Head of Marketing and Sales for Emerging Growth Markets Region, Country Head and President of Egypt, and Cluster Head of North and West Africa. Fred holds a PharmD and a Master of Biological and Medical Sciences from the University of Rouen, France, and a Master of Marketing from the international business school HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales), Paris.
David S. Boyer, MD, is a world-renowned clinician, surgeon, and educator at the Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Southern California. He is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at USC/Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Boyer is board certified in ophthalmology and has completed formal sub-specialty training in medical and surgical diseases of the retina, vitreous, and macula. Dr. Boyer is a leading investigator for various national clinical trials on retinal diseases and serves as an advisor for multiple research, educational and charitable institutions. He received his medical degree from the Chicago Medical School, finished his residency at the Los Angeles USC County Medical Center, and completed his retinal surgery fellowship at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
Frederick L. Ferris III, MD, Director of Ophthalmic Research Consultants, spent his distinguished career at the National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institutes of Health, where he was Director of the Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications. He also held the position of the Clinical Director until he retired from NEI in 2017. Dr. Ferris is a board-certified ophthalmologist and epidemiologist. He has published over 300 manuscripts in peer review journals and has been involved in dozens of national and international clinical trials. He received an A.B. degree from Princeton University and completed his medical training, internship and ophthalmology residency at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Jeffrey Heier, MD, is the Co-President and Medical Director, Director of the Vitreoretinal Service, and Director of Retina Research at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston. He is one of the leading retinal clinical researchers in the United States for new treatments in exudative and non-exudative macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, venous occlusive disease, vitreoretinal surgical techniques and instrumentation, and diagnostic imaging of the retina, and is the lead investigator for numerous clinical trials. Dr. Heier lectures nationally and internationally on retinal research and the innovative approach to the treatment of retinal diseases. He has authored or co-authored over 100 works in peer-reviewed journals, as well as served as a reviewer for several peer-review journals. Dr. Heier is on the Executive Board of the Retina Society, on the Executive Committee of the American Society of Retinal Specialists, and a member of the Macula Society. He received his medical degree from Boston University, then completed a transitional internship and ophthalmology residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. He completed his vitreoretinal fellowship at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston/Tufts University School of Medicine.
Arshad M. Khanani, MD, MA, is Managing Partner, Director of Clinical Research, and Director of Fellowship at Sierra Eye Associates and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. He is a fellowship-trained vitreoretinal specialist and a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Khanani founded the clinical research section at Sierra Eye Associates and has been a principal investigator for more than 50 clinical trials. His articles have been published in top ophthalmology journals and he lectures at medical meetings worldwide. Dr. Khanani is an elected member of the Retina Society; he has received numerous awards, including the ASRS Senior Honor Award and Health Care Hero Award, and has been consistently named one of America’s top ophthalmologists. He completed his fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, and performed his residency in ophthalmology at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine.
Carl D. Regillo, MD, FACS, is the Director of the Retina Service of Wills Eye Hospital, Professor of Ophthalmology at Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, and principal investigator of numerous international clinical trials investigating new forms of treatment for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and a variety of other retinal conditions. He is the founder and former Director of the Wills Eye Clinical Retina Research Unit, prior Chairman of the Wills Eye Institutional Review Board and prior Chairman of the American Academy’s Basic and Clinical Science Course Retina Section Committee. Dr. Regillo has authored over 200 scientific papers, lectured nationally and abroad, and has published nine major textbooks in the field. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Retina Society, Macula Society, and American Society of Retina Specialists. Dr. Regillo graduated from Northeastern University College of Pharmacy and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He performed his ophthalmology residency and vitreoretinal fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.
Rishi P. Singh, MD, is a surgeon at the Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland. He also serves as the Medical Director of Informatics at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Singh specializes in the treatment of medical and surgical retinal disease such as diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, and age-related macular degeneration. He has authored more than 140 peer reviewed publications, books, and book chapters and serves as the principal investigator of numerous national clinical trials advancing the treatment of retinal disease. Dr. Singh is the former president on the Retina World Congress, he is on the board of the American Society of Retina Specialists and has been honored with several research recognitions. He received his medical degrees from Boston University and performed his residency at the Massachusetts Eye and Infirmary Harvard Combined Program in Boston. Dr. Singh completed his medical and surgical fellowship at the Cole Eye Institute in Cleveland.
“The discovery of new compositions and methods to produce non-inflammatory polymer microparticles, followed by the discovery of methods to load multiple relevant drugs into the microparticles and release them continuously for up to 12 months, were key milestones that ultimately led to the spin-out of Graybug Vision.”
“We knew that sunitinib was a potent pan VEGF-R inhibitor with neuroprotective features. Thanks to our non-inflammatory microparticle platform technology, we could make it last for a very long time. Fast-forwarding to today, GB-102 is Graybug’s lead formulation in clinical development for wet AMD. It has shown to provide effective levels of sunitinib for at least six months following intravitreal injection.”
“VEGF signaling plays a critical role in wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy, and our experiments with the sunitinib sustained-release formulation showed outstanding efficacy and durability. I believe that Justin’s expertise in polymer chemistry and sustained delivery matched very well with my expertise in ocular neovascular diseases and animal models. Our collaboration has provided Graybug Vision with multiple compounds that have the potential to greatly improve the lives of many patients with ocular diseases.”
“One of the biggest challenges we face with the current anti-VEGF treatments for retinal diseases is that they don’t last very long. This is a tremendous burden on patients. They have difficulty keeping up with the needed frequency of visits and injections, and as a result they tend to get recurrent disease and lose vision over time. So, what excites me most about Graybug Vision’s technology is the promise of a treatment that could last six months or longer with a single injection.”