HERZLIYA, Israel, October 22, 2018 – Orasis Pharmaceuticals LTD. a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing a corrective eye drop for the treatment of presbyopia as an alternative to reading glasses, today announced the appointment of Jeffry Weinhuff as chairman of the board of directors. As a managing partner of Visionary Ventures, Mr. Weinhuff joins the Orasis board of directors in conjunction with the recent Series B financing led by Visionary Ventures, a venture capital fund exclusively focused on investing in the most promising ophthalmology companies.
“I am honored to be appointed chairman of the board at Orasis,” said Mr. Weinhuff. “CSF-1 has demonstrated tremendous potential to restore near vision and improve the quality of life for people with presbyopia by providing a meaningful alternative to the cumbersome and invasive existing treatment options. The executive team of Orasis has decades of experience and expertise in the ophthalmology field, and I look forward to working closely with them to advance the development of CSF-1.”
Elad Kedar, chief executive officer of Orasis, added, “The appointment of Mr. Weinhuff, along with the recent Series B financing led by Visionary Ventures, provides strong validation for our approach. Mr. Weinhuff brings a wealth of experience to the Orasis board of directors. We are confident that his depth of experience in the field of ophthalmology will ensure the company’s continued success as we advance in our mission to provide a pharmacological alternative to reading glasses for more than 1.8 billion people worldwide who currently suffer from presbyopia.”
Mr. Weinhuff has been active in the private equity realm for over 30 years and is the managing partner of Visionary Venture Fund, a later-stage venture fund focused on investing in drugs and devices for the eye. Visionary employs a unique approach to venture investing by partnering with over 40 key opinion leader (KOL) ophthalmologists, as well as other sophisticated investors and industry professionals. In Visionary’s nine portfolio companies, the combination of KOL insights and a professional investment approach reduces risk and enhances predictable returns. Located in Orange County, Calif., a hub for major innovation in ophthalmology, Visionary works closely with senior eye care professionals to lead investments in the fast-growing $40 billion ophthalmology industry.
Presbyopia is the inability to focus on near objects. It commonly occurs after the age of 40 and affects more than 1.8 billion people worldwide. People with presbyopia experience blurred vision when performing daily tasks that require near visual acuity, such as reading a book, a restaurant menu or messages on a smartphone. Presbyopia occurs as a result of the natural aging process when the crystalline lens of the eye gradually stiffens and loses flexibility. Presbyopia cannot be prevented or reversed, and it continues to progress gradually. All existing treatment options are either cumbersome or invasive, presenting a significant unmet need for quality of life improvement for people with presbyopia.
About Orasis Pharmaceuticals
Orasis Pharmaceuticals is developing CSF-1, a corrective eye drop for the treatment of presbyopia as an alternative to reading glasses. By repurposing existing and well-studied molecules, CSF-1 is designed to be effective, safe, comfortable, and easy-to-use. Orasis is led by a collaborative team of industry executives and ophthalmologists with a diverse set of experiences in research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as finance and business development. Orasis is funded by a diverse group of sophisticated and experienced life science and healthcare investors including the ophthalmology focused venture capital fund Visionary Ventures, Sequoia Capital, SBI (Japan) Innovation Fund, LifeSci Venture Partners, Maverick Ventures Israel, and other private investors. Orasis is based in Herzliya, Israel. For more information, visit www.orasis-pharma.com.
Elad Kedar, CEO