RTP gene therapy company Opus Genetics appoints CEO

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The gene therapy company Opus Genetics has appointed its acting CEO Ben Yerxa, Ph.D., to a permanent role as chief executive for the startup firm.

Yerxa previously served as the chief executive for the Foundation Fighting Blindness and its venture arm, the Retinal Degeneration Fund, which invested $19 million in seed capital in Opus Genetics at the company’s formation last September.

Opus Genetics is the first spin-off company launched out of the Retinal Degeneration Fund.

The company he now heads, officially, is working to advance the pipeline for gene therapies, said Yerxa.  The firm is entering what Jean Bennett, M.D., Ph.D., the scientific founder of Opus Genetics who is also a member of the company’s board of directors called “a pivotal time in its evolution,” as the startup’s first therapeutic program OPGx-001 is “expected to enter the clinic this year, bringing a potential treatment another step closer to patients in need.”

The firm also recently landed a partnership with National Resilience, Inc.


Yerxa will depart his role as CEO at the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the organization also announced, as Jason Menzo will be appointed to fill the role.

Prior to joining the Foundation Fighting Blindness in 2017, Dr. Yerxa was the president and co-founder of Envisia Therapeutics, which developed therapies targeting the front and back of the eye.

According to a company statement, Yerxa also has previously held founding and executive positions in several ophthalmology-based R&D organizations, including Liquidia Technologies, Clearside Biomedical, Parion Sciences, and Inspire Pharmaceuticals.

Original Article Source: WRAL