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OcuTerra Appoints Bill Steinkrauss as Chief Financial Officer

BOSTON , June 01 /Businesswire/ - OcuTerra Therapeutics, Inc. (“OcuTerra”), a clinical stage ophthalmology company developing innovative drugs to treat ophthalmic diseases for which the current standard of care of “watch-and-wait” does not prevent or control the progression of disease, today announced the appointment of Bill Steinkrauss as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Steinkrauss brings to OcuTerra over 15 years of financial and executive leadership experience and will lead financial strategy and operations as the company continues to advance its lead asset, OTT166, for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

“Bill’s proven financial and business expertise coupled with his passion for helping biotech companies improve human health will be invaluable as we enter this exciting next phase of corporate growth,” said Kerrie Brady, President and CEO of OcuTerra Therapeutics. “Bill fits in seamlessly with our leadership team – as CFO, he will be an essential partner as we continue to advance our pipeline and work toward our goal to deliver a new, noninvasive treatment for diabetic retinopathy. On behalf of our Board and management team, I welcome Bill to OcuTerra.”

“I’m honored to join OcuTerra’s accomplished leadership team at such an exciting time for the company, as we advance through the Phase 2 DR:EAM clinical trial of OTT166 in diabetic retinopathy and work to prepare the company for its next phase of growth,” said Mr. Steinkrauss. “OTT166 offers the potential to address the needs of millions of patients with this retinal disease who need earlier, non-invasive therapeutic options to improve retinal health and prevent sight threatening complications. I look forward to working with the leadership team on the business strategy that will support this important work.”

Mr. Steinkrauss is the founder of OWL CFO Consulting LLC, a consulting firm providing part-time CFO services to companies in the biotechnology industry. Prior to founding OWL CFO Consulting, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Curis, Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company. In his time at Curis, he led various financings that raised over $250 million of proceeds. Mr. Steinkrauss previously worked in the finance departments at Ovascience, Inc., and at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., through its acquisition by Merck in 2015. Prior to joining the biopharma industry, Mr. Steinkrauss worked within the capital markets advisory and assurance practices at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. He holds a B.S. in accounting and finance and an M.S. in accounting from Boston College. Mr. Steinkrauss is a certified public accountant.

In August, OcuTerra announced the first patient dosed in the Phase 2 DR:EAM (Diabetic Retinopathy: Early Active Management) clinical trial evaluating OTT166 in adult patients with moderately severe to severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) or mild proliferative diabetic retinopathy with minimal vision loss. OTT166 is a novel small molecule selective integrin inhibitor that is designed with purpose engineering to have the required physiochemical characteristics to be able to reach the retina from eye drop application.

About the DR:EAM Clinical Trial

Diabetic Retinopathy: Early Active Management (DR:EAM) is a multicenter, randomized, double-masked clinical trial designed to assess the safety and efficacy of a high and low dose of daily topical administration of OTT166 versus placebo for 24 weeks in approximately 200 adult patients with moderately severe to severe NPDR or mild proliferative diabetic retinopathy with minimal vision loss. The primary efficacy endpoint of the clinical trial is the percentage of patients that have a 2-step improvement in the Diabetic Retinopathy Severity Scale (DRSS). Additional endpoints of the clinical trial include measuring the prevention of progression to vision-threatening complications, amount of delayed time to intravitreal injection and/or laser treatment, and exploratory imaging endpoints. More information about this trial is available at

About Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease and the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in American working age adults, which affects over 8 million people in the US1. The current standard of care for diabetic retinopathy is active surveillance or “watch-and-wait”2 until a sight threatening complication arises. When vision deteriorates further due to complications, the patient must undergo injections of medication directly into the back of their eye (intravitreal injection) or undergo destructive laser procedures to help stop the growth of new blood vessels and decrease fluid buildup.

About OTT166

OTT166 is an investigational, novel, patented, potent and selective small molecule RGD integrin inhibitor designed with purpose engineering to have an optimum balance of physiochemical properties to allow it to distribute to the retina in high concentrations after topical (eye drop) administration to the eye. In preclinical studies, OTT166 selectively inhibited key RGD integrin subtypes, including αvβ3, to regulate cellular responses to VEGF and other growth factors known to contribute to development and progression of diabetic retinopathy and other ocular diseases. In early clinical trials in patients with diabetic retinal disease, OTT166 eye drops have demonstrated preliminary evidence of tolerability and biological activity.

About OcuTerra Therapeutics

OcuTerra Therapeutics, Inc. is developing innovative drugs for ophthalmic diseases for which the current standard of care does not prevent or control the [early] progression of disease. Our initial therapeutic candidate, OTT166, administered as an eye drop containing a novel, potent and selective integrin-inhibitor, is in clinical development as an early, non-invasive intervention for diabetic retinopathy, a chronic, progressive disease that is one of the leading causes of vision loss globally. Our goal is to bring transformative treatments to patients and their clinicians who are currently consigned to watch and wait as disease progresses, ultimately requiring medically intensive and invasive therapy.

1 Market Scope, Retinal Pharmaceuticals Market Report, 2021

2 American Academy of Ophthalmology: Preferred Practice Pattern for Diabetic Retinopathy, 2019

STORY TAGS: Personnel, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical, Optical, General Health, Health, Diabetes, Clinical Trials, Other Health, United States, North America, Massachusetts,


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