News and Updates

Jayakrishna Ambati, M.D., has been appointed Vice President, Advanced Ocular Design and Director

15 July 2015

Dr. Jayakrishna Ambati is Professor and Vice Chair of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and Dr. E. Vernon & Eloise C. Smith Endowed Chair at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Ambati is a retinal surgeon with 15 years of experience. His research laboratory has made fundamental advances in age-related macular degeneration that have been published in journals such as Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Medicine, and New England Journal of Medicine. He has won numerous prestigious awards including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the ARVO Cogan Award, and the Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award. He also serves on the editorial boards of four ophthalmic journals.

Raj Patil, Ph.D., joins iVeena as Vice President, Advanced Ocular Delivery Systems

10 June 2015

Dr. Patil brings more than 20 years of academic and pharmaceutical experience in Ophthalmology. Prior to joining iVeena, Dr. Patil worked at Alcon from 2004 to 2011 and at Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research from 2011 to 2013 as an Associate Director of Research and held number of roles including Head of Molecular Pharmacology, Glaucoma Research and most recently Head of Molecular Pharmacology, Retina Research. At Alcon/Novartis he was responsible for identification and validation of novel targets in the therapeutic areas of glaucoma, retina and allergy and inflammation programs and advancing several preclinical candidates to clinical development. Prior to Alcon, Dr. Patil served as an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology & Genetics at University of Nebraska Medical Centre, Omaha from 2001 to 2004 and as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Molecular Biology & Pharmacology at Washington University in St. Louis from 1992 to 2001. Dr. Patil received his Ph.D. from National Chemical Laboratory/University of Pune, India and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is the recipient of Olga Keith Wiess Special Scholar Award from Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation and NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. Dr. Patil has authored over hundred peer reviewed research articles, reviews, book chapters as well as patents.

Sarah Molokhia, R.Ph., Ph.D., appointed iVeena Director, Research and Development

20 May 2015

Sarah Molokhia has over 12 years in ocular drug delivery experience. Most recently, Sarah was working as a Research Consultant with Aciont, Inc. an ocular drug delivery company in clinical trials. After completing her B.S in pharmacy school, she achieved her Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry, University of Utah under the supervision of Dr. William I. Higuchi. Her research focus was on transscleral iontophoresis, ocular imaging and ocular pharmacokinetics. She then joined the Moran Eye Center for a postdoctoral position for 2 years working on intraocular drug delivery implants and conjugation of biomarkers to proteins for imaging.

iVeena founder, Dr. Bala Ambati, voted #1 ophthalmologist in the world under 40 years of age

15 April 2015

Dr. Ambati was cited by The Ophthalmologist Magazine as the number one ophthalmologist in the world under 40 years of age for his contributions to ophthalmic research and humanitarian activities.

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iVeena completes Pre-IND meeting with FDA for BDI-1 and BDI-2.

10 March 2015

iVeena completed a pre-IND call with the FDA delineating the clinical development pathway, required elements for the GLP study, and endpoints of a Phase 1/2a trial. The BDI would be treated as a drug and undergo the 505(b) pathway; iVeena would seek approval for treatment of post-cataract inflammation and potentially be the first product for prevention of post-cataract retinal thickening. Only one species GLP toxicology study is needed.

iVeena appoints Jerry Simmons as CEO and Director

16 February 2015

Mr. Simmons brings more than 30 years of large pharmaceutical and early stage drug development company experience. This experience includes several corporate licensing transactions, participation in several company financings and two successful Initial public Offerings. Most recently, Mr. Simmons held the position of corporate business development officer at Lipocine Inc. from 2003 to 2014. Mr. Simmons has held corporate business positions at Pharmacraft (now Ciba-Geigy) and served in various senior marketing positions at Schering Plough Corp. (now Merck & Co) from 1997 to 1984. He served as the chief executive officer of Cellegy Pharmaceuticals, a drug delivery company from 1991 to 1996. From 1996 to 2001, he served as the chief executive officer of MantiCore Pharmaceuticals, an oncology company and Fountain Pharmaceuticals, a drug delivery company. He served as Managing Partner of The Planning Board, a technology consulting company from 2001 to 2003. Mr. Simmons received a B.A. from Canisius College and a M.B.A. from the University of Buffalo.

iVeena promotes Michael Burr Vice President, Product development

10 February 2015

Mr. Burr has over 7 years of experience in ocular drug delivery and device development. From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Burr was a fellow at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute. Beginning in June 2009, Mr. Burr was hired as a Drug Delivery Scientist at iVeena where he oversaw drug delivery research & development in neovascular age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma. Upon promotion to Vice President of Product Development in 2015, Mr. Burr now oversees the commercial development of iVeena’s pipeline. Mr. Burr holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biomedical engineering from the University of Utah and also holds an M.B.A. from the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

iVeena publishes Proof of Concept studies for Post Surgery Cataract Inflammation products

20 November 2013

iVeena has demonstrated safety and efficacy in 42 rabbit eyes in treating post-surgical inflammation and retinal thickening (as measured by optical coherence tomography). iVeena has also demonstrated appropriate and desired first-order release kinetics of dexamethasone. iVeena has been able to reproducibly manufacture implants using a method of hot-melt extrusion that is scalable, operable with our equipment, in a clean-room GMP environment, and sterilizable with e-beam radiation and package-able with a vacuum sealed pouch.