Tarsus Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointment of New COO and CFO
Sesha Neervannan, PhD, to assume position of Chief Operating Officer; Leo Greenstein to assume position of Chief Financial Officer
IRVINE, Calif., July 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Tarsus Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the appointment of two pharmaceutical veterans to its executive leadership team: Sesha Neervannan to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Leo Greenstein to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO). As part of its leadership, Sesha and Leo will help guide Tarsus Pharmaceuticals' corporate and product development, leveraging their proven knowledge, capabilities, and leadership skills to help Tarsus achieve its objectives.
"On the heels of the positive news regarding our Mars and Jupiter clinical studies, I'm both proud and excited to welcome Sesha and Leo to the Tarsus leadership team," said Tarsus CEO Bobak Azamian, MD, PhD. "To successfully commercialize TP-03 and future pipeline products, Tarsus requires experienced, passionate leaders that elevate the organizations they lead. With their deep and wide therapeutics experience, both within and outside of eye care, I am confident Sesha and Leo will prove invaluable to further our mission."
Sesha Neervannan, PhD, (COO) has over 25 years of global drug development experience with novel therapeutics. Prior to joining Tarsus, he was a Senior Vice President of Global Pharmaceutical Development at Allergan, where he oversaw product development for small molecules and biologics, and contributed to regulatory filings, and approvals for multiple ocular, oral and dermal product candidates. These candidates included novel intra-ocular, sustained-release injectables (Ozurdex®, Durysta®), a multidose non-preserved drug product in a novel container-closure delivery system (Restasis® Multidose), topical dermal products (Rhofade® Cream, Aczone® Gel 7.5%) and several Rx and OTC topical ophthalmic products. Prior to joining Allergan in 2007, Sesha was Director, Pharmaceutics R&D, at Amgen Inc., where he oversaw CMC functions and assisted in building the pharmaceutics organization, primarily focusing on the discovery-development interface to enable pipeline advancement.
Leo Greenstein (CFO) has more than 20 years of business and financial experience in the development of high-growth life science companies. Prior to joining Tarsus, he served in finance roles at several publicly-traded companies in the molecular diagnostics, medical device, and pharmaceutical sectors, most recently as Senior Vice President of Finance & Corporate Controller at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPPI) since 2013. In these roles he was responsible for leading financial planning & analysis, treasury management, world-wide accounting operations, stock-plan administration, tax planning and compliance, and SEC matters. Leo has played significant roles in the assessment and completion of numerous fundraises, investor relations initiatives, and business development activities; and is a California-licensed attorney and CPA.
Recently, Tarsus announced positive results from its Phase 2a (Mars) and Phase 2b (Jupiter) studies for TP-03, its novel topical ophthalmic drug for Demodex Blepharitis. Both studies demonstrated that the use of TP-03 BID for 4 weeks was well-tolerated and showed promising efficacy in the treatment of Demodex Blepharitis, with treatment effects persisting for at least 90 days.
About Demodex Blepharitis
Blepharitis is a common ocular condition characterized by inflammation of the eyelid, which can impact the anterior or posterior lid or both. People with anterior blepharitis typically have red, irritated, or itchy eyelids with debris on the eyelashes. Blepharitis affects at least 20 million Americans and is one of the most common reasons people visit an eye doctor. It can be caused by multiple factors including infestation of Demodex mites.
Demodex mites are the most common ectoparasite found on humans. There are two species of Demodex – folliculorum and brevis – that live on the skin of the face and eyelids. While they are highly prevalent in low numbers, an infestation of Demodex folliculorum mites is implicated as a cause of blepharitis in 45% of cases.1
Currently, there are no FDA approved prescription treatments for Demodex Blepharitis. If left unmanaged, Demodex Blepharitis may lead to tear film instability with fluctuating and blurred vision, lid and lash abnormalities, inflammation of the conjunctiva and surrounding skin, suboptimal surgical outcomes, contact lens intolerance and reduced wear time, noticeable eye and eyelid redness, and lower patient quality of life.
TP-03 is a novel, topical ophthalmic drug that specifically targets the mite's nervous system, killing the mites and thereby treating the underlying cause of disease. The agent has shown consistent results across four Phase 2 studies and almost 100 treated patients to date. Patients report that the drop is comfortable, and no patients in the studies discontinued use due to tolerability. TP-03 is currently being developed in a multidose, preserved formulation and is expected to begin Phase 3 trials this year.
About Tarsus Pharmaceuticals
Tarsus is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to bring transformational new drugs to eye care and other specialties, starting with Demodex Blepharitis. Tarsus was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit tarsusrx.com and follow us on Twitter @tarsusrx.
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1. Zhao - Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 19(2), 95–102, 2012
SOURCE Tarsus Pharmaceuticals