DURHAM — Aerie Pharmaceuticals, a developer of therapies for eye diseases, is making some appointments.
The Durham-based firm has tapped Nina Ohara, PharmD, M.B.A., as its director of Marketing. She will be reporting to Deanne Melloy, Aerie’s vice president of Marketing.
Dr. Ohara will lead and support the development of strategies, programs and communication plans for the payer markets. She most recently held a related position at Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a subsidiary of Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Aerie also announced the appointment of Gregory Jones, CPA, as director of Tax, reporting to Christopher Staten, Aerie’s vice president of Finance. He will be responsible for all global tax related functions at Aerie. He most recently held a related position at Deloitte Tax, LLP.
The firm used stock options as sweeteners.
Each appointee will collectively receive awards totaling 33,800 stock options that will vest over four years, with 25 percent vesting on the first anniversary of the hire date and the remainder vesting ratably on each of the subsequent 36 monthly anniversaries of the hire date, the firm said in its release.
In 2019, Aerie received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin selling Rocklatan, a once-daily eye drop for reducing high intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.
Rocklatan is a combination of latanoprost, the most widely prescribed prostaglandin analog, and netarsudil, the active ingredient in Rhopressa, Aerie’s first-in-class Rho kinase (ROCK) inhibitor that targets the trabecular meshwork, the eye’s principal drainage pathway for fluids. A diseased trabecular meshwork is considered to be the main cause of elevated intraocular pressure in open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.
Rhopressa, Aerie’s first FDA-approved product, works by restoring fluid outflow through the trabecular meshwork, while latanoprost increases outflow through a secondary mechanism, the uveoscleral pathway.
Aerie launched Rhopressa in the United States in April 2018, and later Rocklatan last May.