MALVERN, PA — Ocugen, Inc. (NASDAQ: OCGN), a clinical-stage company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing transformative therapies to treat rare and underserved ophthalmic diseases, announced the appointment of Kirsten Castillo and Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D. to its board of directors. Additionally, as part of a planned transition, Frank Leo, has resigned from the board.
“Kirsten and Prabha bring a wealth of leadership experience and knowledge to our board,” said Shankar Musunuri, Ph.D., MBA, Chairman and CEO of Ocugen. “Their expertise will be tremendously valuable as we prepare for topline data from our Phase 3 clinical trial for OCU300, our product candidate for the treatment of ocular Graft Versus Host Disease (oGVHD), and prepare to advance our breakthrough modifier gene therapy platform into the clinic in 2021.”
Dr. Musunuri added, “I would like to thank Frank for his many contributions to Ocugen over the years. We appreciate his support and guidance through our transformation into a growing public company.”
Ms. Castillo has over 20 years of supply chain and logistics experience, having held multiple supply chain leadership roles at a spin-off company of 3M, where she led multiple major acquisitions and integrations for the company.
During her tenure at Logistics Planning Services, a privately held transportation and logistics services company, where she served as CEO, the company achieved aggressive growth plans which ultimately resulted in the sale of the business to GlobalTranz.
She stayed on through the transition as Chief Operating Officer and was responsible for all company operations including regional branches in North America and Mexico, delivering $1.6B in revenue before stepping down to pursue new opportunities.
Ms. Castillo is committed to the advancement of women and has been named the Vice President of Engagement for AWESOME (Advancing Women’s Excellence in Supply Chain, Operations, Management and Education). She received her BS from the University of Minnesota and her Global Executive MBA from Duke Fuqua School of Business.
“Ocugen has a compelling pipeline of transformative eye therapies and I am excited to join this talented board in leading the continued growth of the company,” said Ms. Castillo. “I look forward to bringing my leadership expertise in advancing these therapies towards the goal of reaching patients in need.”
Dr. Fernandes has more than 35 years of pharmaceutical discovery, development and management experience in large and small pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Fernandes has held executive leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Abbott Laboratories and The Squibb Institute for Medical Research. After leaving BMS, she founded and led four biotechnology and CRO companies as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of each of these companies.
Prior to her retirement in December 2016, she led Cempra, Inc. for 12 years as its founder, CEO and chief scientist. Dr. Fernandes currently serves as the Chairperson of both the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership, a Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative/World Health Organization (DNDi /WHO) initiative. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Thomas Jefferson University.
“I’m excited to join the Ocugen team and bring my industry experience to helping the company continue their growth as a public company,” said Dr. Fernandes. “The technology platform Ocugen has developed has tremendous potential to impact the lives of patients suffering from rare and underserved eye diseases.”
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