Lynn Winterton, Ph.D., has been appointed as a key member of OcuMedic’s Scientific Advisory Board. The company also reports he also has taken an ownership position with the company.
“Dr. Winterton is an internationally recognized expert and one of the most successful inventors in the eye care space,” said Keith D. Ignotz, President and Chief Executive Officer of OcuMedic, Inc. “Dr. Winterton’s experience at developing incredibly successful contact lenses is a perfect fit for our model of using contacts to deliver therapy.”
“Dr. Winterton has touched millions of lives, bringing the gift of clear vision to people around the world. I look forward to working with Dr. Winterton to transform the contact lens into new and more efficacious drug delivery technology for the eye care market,” said Mark E. Byrne, PhD, Founding Head and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rowan University, inventor of the technology, and previously a distinguished professor at Auburn University and Chief Technical Officer of OcuMedic, Inc.
Dr. Winterton is an internationally recognized expert in polymeric biomaterials and contact lens research and development. He worked for 30 years with CIBA Vision and Alcon, Novartis companies, where he held various research leadership and corporate executive roles. At CIBA Vision, he held the title of Global Head of Research, and, after the acquisition of Alcon, he was the Global Head of Vision Care Research & Development Alliances.
He is a named inventor and has led the research and development of a number of highly successful marketed commercial lens products including AIR OPTIX™ NIGHT&DAY™ Contact Lenses, AIR OPTIX™ NIGHT&DAY™ AQUA Contact Lenses, AIR OPTIX™ Contact Lenses, AIR OPTIX® AQUA Contact Lenses, Focus® DAILIES™ All Day Comfort Contact Lenses, Focus® DAILIES with AquaComfort Plus™ Contact Lenses, DAILIES Total 1® Contact Lenses, and AIROptix™ Colors Contact Lenses.
In 2013, Dr. Winterton retired from corporate life and now leads three consulting companies which focus on medical devices, polymeric biomaterials, and ocular disinfection systems. He is also the Chairman of the Board for McMaster University’s Technology Innovation Group, a group focused on commercialization efforts. Dr. Winterton is a named inventor on 73 issued US patents (with numerous foreign filings); which are estimated to account for over $2.4 Billion USD sales revenue in 2016. He holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering with specialties in polymer biomaterial surface interactions and pharmaceutics.
OcuMedic is expected to begin clinical studies necessary for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of its first product – drug-eluting therapeutic lens/clear corneal bandage for the delivery of drugs after surgery – this year, first as an in-vivo study for the FDA to navigate into the Phase 1 – 2 human trials in 2019.
The technology is covered by nine U.S. patents and is expected to be the first product of its kind on the market, once approved.
Approximately six million Americans undergo some type of eye surgery every year – four million cataract and one million post-corneal abrasion surgeries and 800,000 Lasik procedures. All patients require post-operative care which includes eye drops that can wash out quickly with only about 5% of the therapy reaching the target tissue. Eye drops can be hard to administer, and the low delivered concentration of medication tends to aggravate post-operative complications costing $70 billion per year. Dry eye disease affects greater than five million people in the U.S. and approximately 40 million worldwide and is the most frequent complaint and reason to visit an eye care professional in the U.S. Approximately three million Americans suffer from Glaucoma; worldwide, more than 60 million people are affected.