HERZLIYA, Israel, April 26, 2021 – Orasis Pharmaceuticals, an emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical company focused on developing an innovative pharmaceutical solution for the treatment of presbyopia symptoms, today announced the appointment of Paul Smith as president and chief operating officer (COO). Mr. Smith brings over two decades of leadership in eye care and will initiate the global expansion of Orasis from a development stage company into a leading commercial organization, with an immediate emphasis on the U.S. presence.
“I am excited to join Orasis Pharmaceuticals at such a pivotal time in the company’s history,” said Mr. Smith. “Orasis is one of the pioneers in the pharmacologic treatment of ophthalmic disorders, beginning with our focus on the temporary correction of presbyopia and the advancement of our Phase 3 program. It is a privilege to join the team as we build for the future with leaders in the eye care community to provide an alternative that positively impacts the quality of life for people with presbyopia.”
Elad Kedar, chief executive officer of Orasis, added, “We are pleased to have Paul join the Orasis team at such a critical juncture for the company, with Phase 3 enrollment underway and pre-commercialization efforts in motion. We are confident that his extensive ophthalmic leadership will accelerate and scale a strong U.S. presence, positioning us to be a front-runner in presbyopia.”
Prior to joining Orasis, Paul Smith was the vice president and business unit head for U.S. Eye Care pharmaceutical portfolio at Novartis, with responsibilities across sales, marketing, operations and market development. Previously, he served as executive vice president of global commercial operations for TearLab, after spending 12 years at Alcon in leadership roles in the pharmaceutical, consumer, and medical device business units. Mr. Smith brings extensive global ophthalmic experience leading teams, building brands and commercializing products. Mr. Smith earned his B.A. from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from the University of Florida.
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 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, Bluestem Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Maverick Ventures Israel, and other private investors. Orasis is based in Herzliya, Israel. For more information, visit www.orasis-pharma.com and connect with us on LinkedIn: LinkedIn.