Rare Diseases – Clinical & Commercial Developments
PROFESSOR ANIZ GIRACH qualified as an Ophthalmologist (with a specialty in Retina) and worked in Cambridge (UK). After spending 11 years in the NHS, he joined the pharmaceutical industry with Eli Lilly, focusing on retinal diseases. He has in total 22 years of industry experience in roles with Merck (as their Global Head of Ophthalmology) and Alcon, where he was Vice President of Clinical Development, and ThromboGenics, where he was the Global Head of Ophthalmology/Chief Medical Officer overseeing the development and approval of Ocriplasmin (Jetrea) — a first in class biologic therapy for retinal disease. In addition to an Honorary Professorship at Wills Eye Hospital (Philadelphia, USA), he was recently the Chief Medical Officer at Nightstar Therapeutics, overseeing the development of gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases. He is a member of three Scientific Advisory Boards for international ophthalmic organizations currently, and reviewer for five peer-reviewed journals, including Eye and IOVS. He has edited four books and published over 60 abstracts/manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals in Ophthalmology, with numerous invited lectures at national/international ophthalmology meetings. His special interests are medical retina, vitreomacular interface abnormalities, inherited rare retinal diseases and gene therapy.