Aerie Pharmaceuticals, a biotech firm focused on ophthalmology and calls itself the “glaucoma company,’ has a new but familiar chief executive officer.
Chairman of the board Dr. Vicente Anido is also CEO, the privately held company announced Thursday.
Anido replaces Dr. Thomas van Haarlem, who also gave up his seat on the board. Van Haarlem was the founding CEO of the venture-capital backed firm.
The company cited no reason for the change.
Anido was named chairman of the company’s board in April.
Van Haarlem will act as a consultant to Aerie and also remain president of Novaer Holdings, which is owner of ophthalmic technologies developed at Aerie, the company said.
Anido most recently was CEO of ISTA Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Bausch + Lomb in 2012.
“I am grateful to Tom for his tenure and service during the eight years since he founded the company,” Anido said. “He shepherded the company and successfully took Aerie through multiple financings, from start-up to a clinical-stage company. Under the leadership of Dr. van Haarlem, he and his team have built a strong research program in Rho Kinase technologies, advancing first-in-class product candidate AR-13324 to address a significant market opportunity in glaucoma. Aerie’s program is studying this candidate both as a Phase 3-ready standalone therapy and as a combination product designated PG324, which is formulated in combination with latanoprost, currently the most prescribed glaucoma drug. I am looking forward to the continued advancement of this exciting program.”
Last December, Aerie reported in a regulatory filing that it is seeking to raise $15 million. At that time Aerie has closed on $3 million from five investors who were not identified.
The financing is a mix of debt, options and warrants.
No other transaction, such as a merger or acquisition, is involved in the fund raising, Aerie said.
In March 2011 the firm raised $30 million.
The company also secured three new investors in its “Series B round of institutional backing: Clarus Ventures and Sofinnova Ventures, who led the round, as well as Osage University Partners.
Existing investors Alta Partners and TPG Biotech also participated.
In 2005, Aerie reported raising $21 million.
According the firm’s website, it has raised a total of $61 million from investors Alta Partners, Clarus Ventures, Osage University Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, and TPG Biotech.