SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 1, 2018 – ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company pioneering the development of crystallin stabilizers to prevent and treat cataracts and presbyopia, today announced the appointment of Dr. Robert Kim as Chief Medical Officer. A board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Kim brings over 19 years of strategic and operational drug development expertise to Viewpoint.
“I am honored to welcome Bob to the ViewPoint team. He has been a trusted consultant and advisor to the company to date, and we’re delighted to now have his full commitment in helping to transition ViewPoint into a clinical-stage company,” said Leah Makley, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ViewPoint. “Bob will play an instrumental role in implementing our preclinical and clinical plans to bring VP1-001 through human proof-of-concept.”
“ViewPoint’s research into stabilizing crystallins, the predominant proteins in the lens of the eye, has the potential to result in the first pharmacologic approach to managing vision loss resulting from aging,” said Dr. Kim. “ViewPoint’s lead candidate, VP1-001, has demonstrated impressive activity to date in preclinical models of cataracts and I am eager to help advance this first-in-class product candidate into the clinic and through proof-of-concept,” added Dr. Kim. “If successful, VP1-001 could eliminate much of the need for corrective lenses and cataract surgery in the U.S., but it could also have tremendous impact in the developing world where over one hundred million people are blind or suffer from low vision due to the inaccessibility of cataract surgery.”
Dr. Kim began his industry career in medical devices, first at Zeiss Humphrey Systems (now Carl Zeiss Meditec), followed by the German venture capital firm, Earlybird. He then transitioned to drug development at Genentech, where he managed the Lucentis Phase 3 clinical program through to its first product approval in wet age related macular degeneration. After Genentech, Dr. Kim was VP of Clinical Ophthalmology at GSK and VP and Head of Pharmaceutical Product Development at Novartis/Alcon. More recently, Dr. Kim was Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D at Vision Medicines and Apellis Pharmaceuticals. Currently, he is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at UCSF, where he continues to see patients.
Dr. Kim has over 30 years of clinical experience in ophthalmology. He received his undergraduate and MD degrees from Brown University. Dr. Kim completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), post-doctoral training in molecular biology of lens crystallins at the National Eye Institute, and retina fellowship training at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London before joining the faculty at UCSF. Prior to transitioning to industry, Dr. Kim completed an MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. Cataracts cause vision loss or vision impairment in approximately 50 percent of people over age 70 and are the leading cause of blindness in the world. Epidemiologic models estimate that approximately 15 million people in the world are blind due to untreated cataracts, with an additional 85 million suffering from low vision.
Presbyopia is age-related farsightedness caused by the loss of lens elasticity. It first affects individuals between the ages of 40 and 50, initially causing blurred vision, difficulty seeing in dim light, and eye strain.
About ViewPoint Therapeutics
ViewPoint is a preclinical-stage biotechnology company passionately committed to the discovery, development, and commercialization of treatments for diseases of protein misfolding, which is implicated in numerous common disorders of aging including cataracts and presbyopia. The Company was founded in 2014 based on technology developed in the lab of ViewPoint co-founder, Dr. Jason Gestwicki, at the University of Michigan in collaboration with the lab of Dr. Usha Andley at Washington University in St. Louis. ViewPoint has a world-class Scientific Advisory Board with decades of experience in the fields of protein misfolding, crystallin biology, cataract etiology and medicinal chemistry. Targeting α-crystallin, a genetically validated target that drives cataract pathology and presbyopia, ViewPoint is developing VP1-001, a small molecule that is active in preclinical models of age-related cataracts. VP1-001 is the first preclinical candidate from ViewPoint’s discovery engine. For more information, please visit www.viewpointtherapeutics.com.
Source: ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc.
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