IRVINE, Calif. and REHOVOT, Israel, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — OticPharma, Inc., a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring and developing innovative therapies for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) disorders, today announced that it has appointed Catherine C. Turkel, Pharm.D., Ph.D. to the position of senior vice president clinical research and development and chief development officer.
“We are very happy to welcome Catherine to the leadership team,” said Gregory J. Flesher, chief executive officer for OticPharma, Inc. “Catherine has more than 30 years of combined clinical practice and drug development experience, including senior roles across clinical, medical, and regulatory affairs. During her tenure, she successfully led global product development teams and delivered multiple approvals in the United States andEurope.”
Dr. Turkel is responsible for leading OticPharma’s preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and CMC functions in the United States. She joins the company from Allergan, Inc. where she spent over 16 years, most recently as vice president of clinical development for the neurology and pain franchise. Prior to Allergan, she held positions at Cypros Pharmaceutical Corp., IVAC Corp., California Clinical Trials, and Siemens Infusions Systems. Dr. Turkel began her career as a surgical and critical care pharmacist at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.
OticPharma, established in 2008, is a clinical-stage company active in the field of ear, nose, and throat disorders. The company’s current product candidates include FoamOtic, a proprietary foam-based drug delivery system that provides sustained exposure of drugs for use in acute otitis externa and other potential indications. The company’s product portfolio also includes a novel investigational drug program for the treatment of otitis media and other indications.
Otic’s lead product, FoamOtic Externa, is an investigational proprietary, foam-based, extended-release formulation of ciprofloxacin antibiotic, which has been designated for self-administration, once-daily to potentially treat acute otitis externa in minor and adult patients. The company recently completed a successful Phase 2 clinical trial with FoamOtic Externa in minor and adult patients with acute otitis externa and is currently planning the Phase 3 program.
About Acute Otitis Externa
Acute otitis externa (AOE) or “swimmer’s ear” is a generalized inflammation of the epithelium of the external ear canal which may also involve the pinna and/or the tympanic membrane (eardrum). It is variably characterized by erythema, edema, increased sebum or exudates, and desquamation of the epithelium. AOE is a common, worldwide otologic problem occurring in humans mainly during hot and humid weather. The vast majority of the cases of AOE are due to bacterial infections. The common treatment of AOE consists of topical antibiotics, with or without steroids, analgesia and water avoidance. Otic preparations are generally supplied in the form of liquid ear drops which are administered multiple times per day.
About Otitis Media
Otitis media is a generalized inflammation of the middle ear space behind the tympanic membrane (eardrum), which can occur with or without infection. When infection occurs, the initial condition is referred to as acute otitis media (AOM) and when the fluid persists it becomes otitis media with effusion (OME). Recurrent and persistent cases of otitis media are referred to as chronic otitis media (COM). Otitis media is typically characterized by pain, pressure, and hearing impairment. In children, it can cause language and learning delays. If not adequately treated, COM can result in damage to the tympanic membrane and other structures of the middle ear and can lead to permanent hearing loss and other complications.
Gregory J. Flesher
Chief Executive Officer
19900 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 550
Irvine, California 92612
Tel: +1 (949) 238-8090