Management Team

Management Team

Mina Sooch, MBA

Mina Sooch, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Mina Sooch is a co-founder of Ocuphire and serves as Chief Executive Officer. With over 23 years of pharmaceutical and biotech experience as CEO, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and strategist, Ms. Sooch has successfully raised hundreds of millions of dollars for over 10 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, which included two successful IPOs. Prior to Ocuphire, Ms. Sooch was a co-founder and CEO of Gemphire Therapeutics, a publicly-traded, clinical-stage cardiovascular company. Ms. Sooch’s leadership was instrumental in the company’s successful IPO in 2016. From July 2012 to May 2014, Ms. Sooch was a co-founder and CEO of ProNAi Therapeutics, a public, clinical-stage oncology company, and a member of the board of directors from its founding in 2004 through May 2014. At ProNai, Ms. Sooch guided the company through several important milestones, including a podium presentation at ASH 2013 on ProNai’s lead drug candidate’s cancer response rates in Phase 2 trials, and raised $60 million from over 10 institutional investors, setting up the IPO. Ms. Sooch also co-founded Apjohn Ventures Fund, a venture capital firm that invests primarily in early-stage life sciences companies and has served as its Managing Partner since its founding in 2003. Earlier in her career, from 1993-2000, Ms. Sooch served as a global account manager at Monitor Group, a top-tier global strategy consulting firm based in Boston. Ms. Sooch worked on the multi-billion Pharmacia & Upjohn merger in 1995 and later co-led the launch of the Corporate Finance group, specializing in M&A, valuations, and merger integration. Ms. Sooch has served on the boards of more than 10 private, public, and nonprofit firms, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including being named one of the Deal Makers of the year in 2016 by Crain’s Detroit Business. Ms. Sooch received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering from Wayne State University in Michigan.

Alan Meyer, MBA

Alan Meyer, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Alan R. Meyer is a co-founder of Ocuphire and has served as Chief Operating Officer since its inception. Mr. Meyer was also a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ocularis Pharma, where Nyxol eye drops were first developed, from 2002 to 2018, From 1992 to 2000, Mr. Meyer was the Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and a member of the board of PathoGenesis. During his tenure, PathoGenesis developed and commercialized the world’s first aerosolized antibiotic, TOBI®. PathoGenesis went public in 1995 and was sold to Chiron Corporation in 2000 for $730 million. Prior to PathoGenesis, he served as CFO of several development-stage companies in healthcare, held positions of increasing responsibility in corporate finance and corporate development at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, and worked as a consultant for Arthur Andersen & Co. He has a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was a James Scholar and graduated with Highest Honors, and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was an Austin Scholar.

Bill Pitlick, PhD

Bill Pitlick, PhD

Chief Development Officer

Bill Pitlick, Ph.D., is a co-founder of Ocuphire and has served as Chief Development Officer since its inception. He was also co-founder and Chief Development Officer for Ocularis Pharma from 2002 to 2018, where Nyxol® Eye Drops were first developed. With 40+ years of experience in pharmaceutical science and drug development, Dr. Pitlick has held leadership positions in academia, public and private companies, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He has extensive regulatory experience as an FDA Reviewer and as the Head of Regulatory Affairs for multiple companies. From 1994 to 2000, he was the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for PathoGenesis, continuing as the Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs for Chiron Corporation after the successful sale of PathoGenesis in 2000. Prior to PathoGenesis, Dr. Pitlick served as the NIH Deputy Director of Neurological Diseases for 10 years and established the Clinical Pharmacokinetics Service at the University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. Dr. Pitlick also taught Pharmacokinetics at the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of several publications, chapters, and books in pharmacology. He has a B.S. in Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Washington.

Charlie Hoffmann, MBA

Charlie Hoffmann, MBA

VP of Corporate Development and Finance

Charlie Hoffmann serves as the Vice President of Corporate Development and Finance at Ocuphire. From 2008 to 2018, Mr. Hoffmann served as an advisor to the founders of Ocularis Pharma, the original developer of Nyxol, to help them raise capital for clinical development and evaluate possible strategic transactions for the company.  After Ocularis and Ocuphire merged, he joined Ocuphire. Since 2004, Mr. Hoffmann has served as a financial and strategic advisor to emerging pharmaceutical development companies, including SynDevRx, Inc., a pioneer in the field of metabo-oncology.  As a Director at Prudential Vector Healthcare from 1996 to 2001 and a partner of EHS Securities from 2001 to 2003, Mr. Hoffmann managed numerous PIPE, IPO, and follow-on offerings, as well as strategic and license transactions.  Previously, Mr. Hoffmann gained extensive experience in corporate finance and merger and acquisition transactions and managed capital markets relationships at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston.  Mr. Hoffmann earned his M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business and his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.

Konstantinos Charizanis, PhD, MBA

Konstantinos Charizanis, PhD, MBA

Director of Market Strategy and R&D

Konstantinos Charizanis, Ph.D., serves as Director of Market Strategy and R&D of Ocuphire.  Dr. Charizanis has 15 years of experience in medical research, including biotech R&D, and pharmaceutical business development. He spent the first decade of his career exploring the underlying causes of orphan genetic diseases that affect the neuromuscular system. In 2012, Dr. Charizanis joined the University of Florida’s Department of Molecular Genetics as a research fellow, where he discovered the underlying causes of the brain-related phenotype of myotonic dystrophy, a rare genetic disorder that affects 40,000 people in the U.S. In 2015, he joined Rubicon Genomics as a research scientist and contributed to the exit and acquisition by Takara Holdings for $75 million in 2017. Following the exit, he served as a business development consultant for Gemphire Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical startup in the space of cardiovascular and liver diseases.  Dr. Charizanis holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Florida and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.