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OKYO adds experienced research director to team

By Josh White

Date: Friday 21 Sep 2018

OKYO adds experienced research director to team

(Sharecast News) - Biotechnology company OKYO Pharma announced the appointment of Raj Patil as its senior director of research and development on Friday.
The AIM-traded firm said Dr Patil would bring more than 25 years of academic and pharmaceutical experience in ophthalmology and inflammatory diseases.

He was not assuming a position on the board of directors.

It said Dr Patil would focus on the non-clinical development of lead compounds through to investigational new drug submission for dry eye disease, which was most common in adults over the age of 50, and imposed a "significant burden" on public healthcare.

He would also lead non-clinical development of the company's lead first-in-class drug candidates as potential non-opioid analgesics for chronic pain management, in a strategy aligned with overcoming the current global opioid addiction epidemic - widely recognised as an extremely urgent and unmet medical need.

OKYO Pharma in-licensed that technology from the Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts.

Before joining OKYO Pharma, Dr Patil worked at iVeena as vice-president for advanced ocular delivery systems.

Prior to that, he was an associate director of research at the Alcon/Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, and held a number of roles, including head of molecular pharmacology.

Dr Patil was responsible for the identification and validation of novel targets in the therapeutic areas of glaucoma, retina, dry eye, allergy and inflammation programmes, as well as advancing several preclinical candidates to clinical development.

Prior to Alcon, he served as an associate professor of ophthalmology, and cell biology and genetics at University of Nebraska Medical Centre in Omaha, Nebraska from 2001 to 2004.

He also served as an assistant professor of ophthalmology, and molecular biology and pharmacology at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri from 1992 to 2001.

OKYO pointed out that Dr Patil was the recipient of the Olga Keith Wiess Special Scholar Award from the Research to Prevent Blindness Foundation, and the NIH Director's New Innovator Award.

He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles, including reviews, book chapters, and patents.

Dr Patil had served as a reviewer and editorial board member for "numerous" journals, and presented as an invited speaker at US and international ophthalmology conferences.

"OKYO Pharma is fully committed to developing and growing our pipeline to treat vision impairing disorders and a non-opioid based therapy for chronic pain management," said chairman Willy Simon.

"To achieve this, the board recognises the need to attract top talent, such as Dr Patil.

"‎I am confident that together with our pipeline and highly experienced team we will continue to drive the company forward to significant future success."

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