Apellis has a PDUFA date next month for GA. ( Image courtesy of Apellis Pharmaceuticals )

Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that leading retina specialist Caroline Baumal, MD, has joined Apellis as chief medical official.

Baumal replaces Federico Grossi, MD, PhD, who plans to remain at Apellis until Feb. 28 to help with the transition and preparations for the potential launch of pegcetacoplan for geographic atrophy (GA).

“Caroline is a world-renowned retina professional who offers been in the forefront of retina research and patient care for over 25 years, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Apellis, ” said Cedric Francois, MD, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Apellis. “Caroline’s expertise and deep understanding of GA will be a tremendous asset as we prepare to release the first potential treatment for this devastating disease. She will undoubtedly make the positive impact at Apellis as we continue toward delivering life-changing medicines to patients with serious unmet needs. ”

Francois also offered his thanks to Grossi for his contributions to the company since its inception.

“Fede played an instrumental role in the development of our first approved product EMPAVELI plus in the particular advancement of our robust pipeline including pegcetacoplan for GA, ” Francois added. “As a valued member associated with our executive team, Fede fostered our culture of courageous science and compassion and helped to build our company to where it is nowadays. ”

Baumal serves as a professor associated with ophthalmology from New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical Center, specializing in diseases and surgery of the retina plus vitreous. As a board-certified ophthalmologist, she has authored over 170 publications and has been recognized along with numerous prestigious awards, including the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Crystal Apple Honor from the American Society of Retina Specialists, and the Lifetime Achievement Prize from your Vit-Buckle Society. The girl also has already been involved with research and clinical trials investigating novel therapies for retinal diseases, which includes the Phase 3 OAKS study investigating pegcetacoplan with regard to GA. Baumal studied biochemistry at McGill University and received her M. D. from the particular University associated with Toronto, exactly where she also completed the girl ophthalmology residency.

“With the PDUFA day the following month regarding GA, I am excited to join Apellis at this truly transformational moment, ” she added. “The Stage 3 DERBY and OAK TREES data have shown the potential for pegcetacoplan to become the 1st treatment intended for GA, which would be a groundbreaking advancement for individuals who have long been waiting for a therapy. I look forward to working together with this exceptional team to advance our pipeline and bring breakthrough medications to sufferers. ”

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