CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Clarus, a leading life science investment firm, announced today the promotion of Emmett Cunningham, Jr. M.D., Ph.D., MPH to Managing Director, Barry Gertz M.D, PhD. to Partner, and Ari Brettman, M.D. to Principal.
With more than 20 years of experience in the biomedical and biopharmaceutical sectors, Dr. Cunningham joined Clarus in 2006 from Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was the Senior Vice President of Medical Strategy. Prior to Eyetech, Dr. Cunningham was at Pfizer, Inc, and responsible for the clinical development of early phase central nervous system compounds and the in-licensing of early and late-stage therapeutic candidates in ophthalmology. Dr. Cunningham is an internationally recognized specialist in infectious and inflammatory eye disease with over 300 publications. Dr. Cunningham received an M.D. and MPH in epidemiology and statistics from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) for work done at The Salk Institute. He completed both a residency in ophthalmology and fellowship training in Corneal Disease and Uveitis at UCSF and The Francis I. Proctor Foundation.
Dr. Cunningham founded and is the Chairman of the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit, an industry "must attend" symposium held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Dr. Cunningham represents Clarus on the Board of Directors of Annexon Biosciences, Graybug Vision, Restoration Robotics, and SFJ Pharmaceuticals; is a Board observer for Lumos Pharma; and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Aerie Pharmaceuticals.
"Emmett has contributed immensely to the growth and success of Clarus. We are extremely pleased that he has accepted the additional responsibility of becoming a Managing Director of the firm and look forward to his contributions in this new role," said Kurt C. Wheeler, a Managing Director at Clarus.
Dr. Gertz was promoted to Partner having joined Clarus as a Venture Partner in 2014 from Merck where he was Senior Vice President of Global Clinical Development, overseeing all aspects of Merck's clinical research. He brings 28 years of experience in drug development, from exploratory clinical pharmacology to global Phase 3 trials. During his tenure at Merck Dr. Gertz was instrumental in the development and approval of more than 25 new drugs and vaccines, including the blockbuster products Fosamax and Januvia. Dr. Gertz holds M.D., Ph.D., and B.A. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gertz will continue in his role as Chief Physician Scientist at Nuvelution Pharma, Inc., a Clarus Platform company.
"We are very fortunate to have Barry as our Partner. He is an outstanding clinician who brings to our partnership his great depth and breadth of experience in clinical development at all stages. His background further increases Clarus' core capabilities in clinical development and aligns well with the mission of our firm as we increase our commitment to late-stage development," said Dr. Nicholas Galakatos, a Managing Director at Clarus.
Dr. Brettman was promoted to Principal having joined Clarus as an Associate in 2014 from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in cardiology. He also was an NIH post-doctoral Fellow at the MGH Center for Systems Biology and was engaged in big data analytics at Partners Healthcare to improve disease management. Dr. Brettman received his M.D. from Duke University and his A.B. from Harvard University. Dr. Brettman is a board observer for AvroBio and Entasis Therapeutics.
"It has been a pleasure to observe Ari grow so well and fast to become a sophisticated, science and medicine-based investor. We are cheering him on as he takes on his new set of responsibilities," said Scott Requadt, a Managing Director at Clarus.
Clarus is a leading global investment firm dedicated to life sciences. Founded in 2005 by a team of accomplished investment and operating professionals, Clarus manages over $1.7 billion invested in more than 50 private and public companies in biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostics, and in risk-sharing partnerships with biopharmaceutical companies. In every investment, Clarus employs a hands-on philosophy and adheres to investment principles that are founded on core competencies in drug development, complex partnership structuring and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing investment landscape. Clarus strives to generate outstanding returns for its investors by identifying and financing innovative medicines that improve people's lives. Clarus has offices in Cambridge, MA, and South San Francisco, CA. For more information please visit www.clarusfunds.com
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