Waltham, Massachusetts-based Kala Pharmaceuticals, a developer of treatments for ocular diseases, has named Mark Iwicki as executive chairman and a member of its board of directors. Previously, Iwicki was the president and CEO of Civitas Therapeutics Inc. Kala’s backers include Crown Venture Fund, Lux Capital, Polaris Partners, Third Rock Ventures and Ysios Capital.
WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Kala), a developer of innovative ophthalmic products based on its proprietary mucus-penetrating particle (MPP) technology, today announced the appointment of Mark Iwicki as Executive Chairman and a member of its board of directors. Mr. Iwicki will help guide corporate strategy and commercial preparations for Kala’s lead product candidate, KPI-121, a novel nanoparticle formulation of loteprednol etabonate in development for the treatment of post-surgical ocular inflammation and pain and for dry eye and meibomian gland disease.
“Mark brings to the team a strong background as an industry leader with extensive experience transitioning companies from R&D organizations to stand-alone, commercial-stage entities,” said Howie Rosen, Kala’s former chairman and a current member of its board of directors. “Mark’s successful track record in corporate development and commercial product launches will be invaluable as we advance KPI-121 through late-stage clinical evaluation to potential product launches in post-cataract surgery and dry eye indications. The board of directors and I look forward to working with Mark to continue to grow Kala.”
Mr. Iwicki has 25 years of experience as a pharmaceutical industry leader across multiple therapeutic areas. He has extensive experience building brands and has been instrumental in the success of a number of drugs, including Prilosec®, Diovan®, Zelnorm®, Lunesta®, and Latuda®. Prior to joining Kala, Mr. Iwicki served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Civitas Therapeutics, Inc. (Civitas), which was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to joining Civitas, Mr. Iwicki served as Chief Executive Officer of Blend Therapeutics and as Chief Executive Officer of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was created after the acquisition of Sepracor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Sepracor) by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd. At Sepracor, Mr. Iwicki served as Chief Commercial Officer, launching three products and managing all aspects of the company’s drug portfolio. Prior to joining Sepracor, he served as senior vice president and head of the cardiovascular business unit at Novartis AG. He began his career with sales and management positions at Merck & Co., Inc. and Astra/Merck.
“I am excited to join the Kala team during this important time for the company,” said Mark Iwicki. “With KPI-121, there is an opportunity to meaningfully improve the standard of treatment across a variety of ocular conditions, and I look forward to helping the company take the next step towards commercialization of this promising product candidate.”
KPI-121 is a novel nanoparticle formulation of loteprednol etabonate utilizing Kala’s proprietary MPP technology to enhance penetration into target tissues of the eye. KPI-121 has been studied in multiple clinical trials, including 1% and 0.25% formulations for the treatment of post-surgical ocular inflammation and pain and a 0.25% formulation for dry eye and meibomian gland disease.
About Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kala is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on innovative nanoparticle-based treatments for ocular diseases affecting both front and back of the eye. Kala leverages its proprietary mucus-penetrating particle (MPP) technology to develop topical ophthalmic formulations with enhanced delivery into ocular tissue by facilitating penetration through the tear film mucus.
Beyond ophthalmology, Kala’s MPP technology has potential applications in women’s reproductive health, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, and other indications.
Kala was founded by leaders in the fields of nanomedicine and biopharmaceutical engineering, and is backed by leading life sciences investors including Crown Venture Fund, Lux Capital, Polaris Partners, Third Rock Ventures and Ysios Capital. For more information, please visit Kala’s website at www.kalarx.com.