Acucela Appoints Former Bristol-Myers Squibb and F. Hoffman-La Roche AG Executive, Jaisim Shah, to the Company's Board of Directors

Mr. Shah is expert in global business development and commercialization strategies; brings to Acucela over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug 3, 2011 - Acucela Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing new treatments for blinding eye diseases, today announced that it has appointed Mr. Jaisim Shah to the Company's Board of Directors.

Ryo Kubota, M.D., Ph.D., Acucela's chairman, president and chief executive officer, stated, “Today's announcement is in line with our goal to become an integrated biotechnology company, from research to commercialization.”

Dr. Kubota continued, “Jaisim's track record of success in leading the commercialization of some of today's most recognized pharmaceutical brands, and the experience he brings in global business development, will play a critical role in our evolution.”

Mr. Shah added, “Innovation, collaboration and patient care have been at the heart and soul of my career, and I believe they are guiding principles for Acucela. I welcome the opportunity to help guide the Company as it strives to develop the very best therapies for blinding eye diseases.”

Most recently, Mr. Shah served as president of Zelos Therapeutics, where he focused on financing, mergers and acquisitions, and business development. Formerly, he was the chief business officer and senior vice president of business development at CytRx, a biopharmaceutical company which specializes in oncology. At Facet Biotech and PDL BioPharma, he served as chief business officer and held the position of senior vice president of marketing and medical affairs. His leadership in marketing and commercial enterprise helped the company make large improvements to meet its profitability potential. At Bristol-Myers Squibb, as vice president of global marketing, he received the “Presidents Award” for completing one of the most significant collaborations in the company's history. Prior to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Mr. Shah led international marketing for oncology and virology, was global business leader for corporate alliances with Genentech and Idec, and prepared products for worldwide launch and pre-launch at F. Hoffman-LaRoche AG in Switzerland. He has played a key role in the formulation of long-range plans and pre-launch and launch strategies for such brands as Abilify®, Pegasys® and Rituxan/MabThera®, each of which have generated well over $1 billion in sales.

He holds an MA in Economics from the University of Akron, Ohio.

About Acucela Inc.

Acucela Inc. (www.acucela.com) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on leveraging promising science in visual cycle modulation (VCM) to develop new methods for treating blinding eye diseases that affect tens of millions of people worldwide. The Company's orally delivered VCM compounds, which selectively target cells within the retina to protect visual acuity, have the potential to be used to treat several devastating eye diseases, including dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for which there is currently no treatment options for patients; retinopathy of prematurity, Stargardt disease and diabetic retinopathy. ACU-4429 for dry AMD is being co-developed by Acucela and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in North America, and the companies are also co-developing Rebamipide for dry eye and OPA-6566 for glaucoma in the United States. Acucela was founded by Ryo Kubota, M.D., Ph.D., a pioneer in the ophthalmology field and the discoverer of the gene that causes glaucoma.

 

Contact: Acucela Inc.
Francesca T. Nolan, 206-805-8308
Director, Corporate Communications
Email: francesca.nolan@acucela.com

 

 

Posted: August 2011


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