What a beautiful world

Developing innovative pharmaceuticals to improve vision and the health of the eye

Our Company
Kiora Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Kiora) is an ophthalmic specialty pharmaceutical company that develops therapies for the treatment of different types of eye diseases. Publically traded on the NASDAQ under KPRX, our mission is to help patients improve their ocular health and restore vision.

Revitalized with a new energy

Kiora’s pipeline has recently expanded from one to three clinical stage candidates (with multiple possible indications). Stay tuned as the new management team advances these assets with key clinical milestones in the upcoming 12 to 18 months.

What’s in a name?

Kiora is a play on the Māori phrase that means “have life” or “be healthy.” Ora also means “eye” in Latin. In essence, we are striving as a company to give more people the gift of better vision and healthier eyes.

In the Pipeline
These therapeutics are still in development and are not yet approved for commercial use.
Leadership

Brian M. Strem, PhD

President & Chief Executive Officer
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Brian was a co-founder and Director of Bayon Therapeutics, Inc., and  Okogen, Inc. Prior to founding Okogen, Brian worked at Sound Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and Shire, where he was responsible for business development and corporate strategy in ophthalmology, otology and regenerative medicine.

Brian began his career at Cytori Therapeutics with elevating roles within the commercial and R&D departments. Brian received his BS in Bioengineering from Cornell University and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA.

Sarah Romano, CPA

Chief Financial Officer
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Sarah joined Kiora Pharmaceuticals as Corporate Controller in 2016 and was appointed CFO in January 2018. Prior to joining Kiora, Ms. Romano served as Assistant Controller at TechTarget and Corporate Controller at Bowdoin Group, a healthcare-focused executive recruiting firm.

Previously, she held financial reporting positions of increasing responsibility at SoundBite Communications (until its acquisition by Genesys in 2013) and was a Senior Financial Reporting Analyst at Cognex Corporation, a publicly-traded manufacturer of machine vision systems, software and sensors. Ms. Romano began her career as an Auditor in the Boston office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. A licensed CPA in Massachusetts, she holds a BA in Accounting from College of the Holy Cross and a Masters in Accounting from Boston College.

Eric Daniels

Eric Daniels, MD, MBA

Chief Development Officer
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Eric has nearly 20 years of operating experience in biotechnology and medtech companies. Prior to joining Kiora, he served as the CEO of OccuRx Pty Ltd as well as Co-founder and Director of Bayon Therapeutics, Inc., both focused on the development of next generation ophthalmic therapeutics. Eric is also a Co-Founder and Director of Okogen, Inc., a specialty ophthalmic biotechnology company.

Eric previously served as part of the leadership teams at Puregraft LLC, Tensys Medical, and Cytori Therapeutics, Inc., serving in senior medical, R&D, and commercial roles. Eric holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, where he also received his MD from the UCLA School of Medicine. Eric received his BS in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Brenda Mann

Brenda Mann, PhD

Vice President of R&D
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Brenda has extensive experience with hydrogels for wound healing and drug delivery applications. She is a co-founder of SentrX Animal Care, focused on veterinary biomaterials and manufacturer of the CMHA-S material.

She is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. She was a founding faculty member of the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, and now serves on its advisory council. Dr. Mann is also the Director of the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair and a registered patent agent.

Stefan Sperl, PhD

Stefan Sperl, PhD

Executive Vice President of CMC and Operations
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Stefan acts as Executive Vice President CMC and Operations at Kiora. Previously, he was the co-founder and COO of Panoptes Pharma. Prior to this position he was global Project Manager at Nabriva Therapeutics AG, responsible for development of XENLETATM from early preclinical to clinical phase 2 programs. Before that he had various roles in R&D at Biovertis AG, Austria and Wilex AG, Germany.

He has profound knowledge of drug development and is an inventor on numerous patents. Dr. Stefan Sperl received his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from the Max Planck Institute in Martinsried, Germany.

Angela Dentiste

Angela Dentiste, MBA

Vice President of Clinical Affairs
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Board of Directors

Stephen From

Executive Chairman
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Stephen transitioned to the role of Executive Chairman in early 2021, after the acquisition of Panoptes Pharma and previously served as EyeGate’s President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director since October 2005. Prior to joining EyeGate, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Centelion SAS, an independent biotechnology subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis.

Previously, Mr. From spent several years as an investment banker specializing in the biotechnology and medical device sectors as Director in the Global Healthcare Corporate and Investment Banking Group and Head of European Life Sciences for Bank of America Securities. Mr. From holds a BSc from the University of Western Ontario, an accounting diploma from Wilfred Laurier University and has qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Ontario, Canada.

Paul Chaney

Lead Independent Director
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Paul has served as a Director since September 2007. He is co-founder, President & CEO of PanOptica, Inc, a private venture-backed biopharmaceutical company that licenses and develops drugs for the treatment of important ophthalmic conditions, and has held such positions since March 2009.

Prior to founding PanOptica, Paul was Executive Vice President and President of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer of Eyetech, where he was responsible for the launch of Macugen, the first anti-VEGF treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet-AMD) and was part of the executive team that led Eyetech’s initial public offering in 2004 through the Company’s acquisition by OSI Pharmaceuticals. Paul has held senior management positions at Pharmacia Corporation and began his career at the Upjohn Company in 1980. Paul earned a double BA in English and Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware.

Kenneth Gayron

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Ken currently serves as Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President at Avid Technology, where he is responsible for driving strategic growth initiatives, capital allocation, and repositioning the company with the investment community.

Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer and interim Chief Executive Officer for Numerex, where he played a significant role in the company’s acquisition by Sierra Wireless and was Chief Financial Officer for Osmotica Pharmaceutical Inc. Ken has also had senior finance and investment banking roles with UBS Investment Bank and CIBC World Markets. He earned his MBA from Cornell University and his B.S. in finance from Boston College.

Aron Shapiro

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Aron is currently Senior Vice President and Partner in the Asset Development & Partnering group at Ora, Inc. He is responsible for Ora’s strategic partnering activities, where he evaluates and performs diligence on new investment opportunities.

Previously, Aron was responsible for establishing and leading clinical regulatory strategy and clinical operations across a number of anterior and posterior segment indications for Ora’s service business in ophthalmology and was responsible for Ora’s business development and international growth strategy. He earned his B.S. in biological chemistry from Bates College.

Praveen Tyle, PhD

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Praveen has served as a Director since June 2008. He is currently President & CEO of Invectys, Inc, an immuno-oncology company spun out of the world-renowned Pasteur Institute, Paris.  Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Research & Development at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. Until February 2016, Dr. Tyle was President, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors of Osmotica Pharmaceutical Corp. He led the merger of Osmotica with two other companies in 2016. He previously served as global Executive Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer and Managing Director of Osmotica Pharmaceutical Corp.’s Marietta, Georgia site.

Prior to joining Osmotica, Dr. Tyle served as Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer for the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Prior to joining USP, Dr. Tyle served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Business Development and Licensing at Novartis OTC, as well as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Research and Development. He also is an independent member of the board of Orient EuroPharma Co., Ltd. of Taiwan and a member of the advisory board of Pharmascience, Montreal, Canada.  Dr. Tyle holds a doctorate in pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry from the Ohio State University and a Bachelor in Pharmacy (honors) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University in India.

Brian M. Strem, PhD

President & Chief Executive Officer
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Brian was a co-founder and Director of Bayon Therapeutics, Inc., and  Okogen, Inc. Prior to founding Okogen, Brian worked at Sound Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and Shire, where he was responsible for business development and corporate strategy in ophthalmology, otology and regenerative medicine.

Brian began his career at Cytori Therapeutics with elevating roles within the commercial and R&D departments. Brian received his BS in Bioengineering from Cornell University and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from UCLA.

Scientific Advisory Board

Daniel Durrie, MD

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Daniel Durrie, MD, is a board certified ophthalmologist. He is a Clinical Professor and Director of Refractive Surgery Services at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and the Director of the Ophthalmic Refractive Surgery Fellowship program. Daniel founded the Nebraska Lions Eyebank in 1979 and served as its Medical Director.

Daniel is the Founder and President of Durrie Vision and has served on the Board of Directors of the Eyebank Association of America. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the International Society of Refractive Surgery. He has participated in over 150 FDA clinical studies and has authored over 150 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles. He received his MD and completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Nebraska, graduating with distinction.

He completed a Corneal Fellowship with Filkins Eye Institute in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Durrie was named one of the 50 “Most Influential Ophthalmologists in the World” by Cataract and Refractive Surgery Magazine.

Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO

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Dr. Paul Karpecki has been a prominent voice in optometry, with over 20 years of experience. Currently he serves as Director of Cornea Services for Kentucky Eye Institute in Lexington KY and the Ocular Surface Disease Center at the Gaddie Eye Centers in Louisville KY, as well as an Associate Professor at the Kentucky College of Optometry.

In 2016, Paul was appointed co-chair of the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society Symposium in Montpellier, France and served as a member of the Diagnosis Sub-committee for TFOS DEWS II. He is also chief clinical editor and director of clinical content for Review of Optometry, as well as chairman of the New Technology and Treatment Conferences. He serves on the board for the charitable organization Optometry Giving Sight and has delivered over 1,000 lectures and authored over 1,000 papers. 

Previously, he served as co-chair for the Dry Eye Summit, Director for the CJO Optometric Dry Eye Guidelines for Eye Care. Paul earned his doctor of optometry degree from Indiana University. He completed a fellowship in medical cornea and refractive surgery from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry. He was one of two optometrists appointed to the Delphi International Society at Wilmer-Johns Hopkins, which included the top 25 dry eye experts in the world.

Francis Mah, MD

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Francis Mah, MD, is an ophthalmologist specializing in advanced corneal, cataract and refractive surgery. He believes in using the latest techniques to treat each patient with compassion and respect, just as though they were members of his own family. Dr. Mah has special clinical interests in corneal diseases and infections, corneal transplant surgery (DSAEK, PKP, DALK), advanced small incision laser cataract surgery, premium intraocular lenses, and refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK.

Dr. Mah treats corneal dystrophies, such as Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy and anterior stromal dystrophies, as well as keratoconus and other corneal thinning disorders. In addition, he has done research and is considered an international expert on corneal infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic).

He holds leadership positions in ophthalmology academies and societies and has taught LASIK and cataract surgery at academy and society meetings worldwide. A popular speaker who has delivered addresses on ophthalmic surgeries in more than 50 countries on 6 continents, Dr. Mah is an esteemed educator who has disseminated his expertise through more than 200 presentations and clinical publications.

Dr. Mah was selected as a “Top Doctor” for 2013. This is the 10th consecutive year the San Diego County Medical Society and San Diego Magazine have compiled this esteemed list of board-certified physicians who are held in the highest regard by their peers.

Quan Dong Nguyen, MD, MSc

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Born in Saigon, Vietnam, and immigrated with his parents and three brothers to the United States in 1980, Dr. Quan Dong Nguyen currently is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Byers Eye Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine.

After completing his education in 2001, Dr. Nguyen joined the faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Medical Education. In 2013, he was appointed as the McGaw Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology and the Inaugural Director of the Stanley M. Truhlsen Eye Institute, and Assistant Dean for Translational Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. Nguyen serves as principal investigator on multiple clinical trials sponsored by the National Eye Institute and other organizations for macular edema (from diabetes and uveitis), neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and ocular inflammatory and uveitic diseases, as well as co-investigator on numerous other clinical trials involving novel therapeutic agents. Dr. Nguyen is known for his innovative work in early proof-of-concept, first-in-human clinical trials to evaluate potential pharmacotherapeutic agents for retinal vascular and uveitic diseases. Dr. Nguyen and his team were among the first clinician scientists in the world to evaluate aflibercept for neovascular AMD and ranibizumab for diabetic macular edema (DME); the initial results of these studies served as the foundation for subsequent trials leading to the approval of these pharmacologic agents by the FDA and other regulatory authorities for the indicated diseases. Dr. Nguyen has chaired the United States multi-center READ-2, READ-3, and iDEAL studies, evaluating the potential role of VEGF antagonists, through different pathways, for diabetic macular edema.

Dr. Nguyen has lead the SAVE, and the multi-centered SAVE-2, and STOP-UVEITIS studies to evaluate the role of new pharmacologic agents, including specific interleukin inhibition, in uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases.

Throughout his career thus far, Dr. Nguyen has been prolific to share his scientific work through numerous manuscripts published in the literature. He serves on the Editorial Board of several journals, including the Journal of Ophthalmic Infection and Inflammation and Ophthalmic Surgery, Laser, and Imaging – Retina, among others. Given his scientific achievements and accomplishments, Dr. Nguyen has been chosen as the Inaugural Editor-in-Chief of American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports, which has been launched in the fall of 2015 as the companion journal to the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

At the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford, Dr. Nguyen has an active uveitis and ocular inflammatory diseases as well as clinical and surgical retina practice while he continues his research in pharmacotherapy and ocular imaging. In addition, he teaches and trains students, residents, and clinical and research retina and uveitis fellows at Stanford.

Victor Perez, MD

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Dr. Victor Perez is a board-certified ophthalmologist, professor of Ophthalmology at Duke University and a recognized clinician-scientist investigator.  With over 25 years of professional experience, he has specialized in ocular immunology, uveitis, corneal and external diseases, corneal transplant surgery, ocular surface diseases, keratoprostheses, complex cataracts and intraocular lens implantation. He is also a director of Duke Eye Center’s newly launched Ocular Immunology Center.

Previously he served as a Professor of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and held the Walter G. Ross Chair in Ophthalmic Research. Victor has been affiliated with companies such as Alcon Laboratories, Bausch & Lomb, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Allergan, Eyedesis Biosciences and OBT Inc. Dr. Perez received his medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico. He completed his fellowship in immunology, ocular immunology as well as cornea and uveitis at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of The American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Russell Van Gelder, MD, PhD

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Dr. Van Gelder was born and raised in and around New York City. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University. He remained at Stanford for the MD/PhD program, earning his PhD in Neurosciences studying the molecular biology of circadian rhythms.

Following internal medicine internship at Stanford, he completed his residency in ophthalmology at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, and his medical retina and uveitis fellowship at the Barnes Retina Institute.

Charlie Wykoff, MD

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Dr. Wykoff is Director of Research at Retina Consultants of Texas and Chairman of Research & Clinical Trials, Retina Consultants of America. He received his baccalaureate from MIT, PhD from Oxford, MD from Harvard, and completed retina training at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

He is passionate about translational research and clinical trial design and has published over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts. He serves on multiple scientific and medical advisory boards, safety monitoring committees, and global steering committees for endeavors spanning the innovative process from early to late stage developments.

He is President of the Vit-Buckle Society, serves on the ASRS Board of Directors, and is also a founding member of the Ophthalmology Retina Editorial Board. He has been awarded multiple Achievement and Honor Awards along with the ASRS Young Investigator and the AAO Secretariat Awards.