Board of Directors
A. Thomas Bender
Mr. Bender was elected Chairman of the Board of The Cooper Companies in July 2002 and he served as President and Chief Executive Officer from May 1995 through his retirement in 2007. He also served as President of CooperVision, The Cooper Companies’ contact lens subsidiary, from 1991 to 2004.
Between 1966 and 1991, Mr. Bender held a variety of positions at Allergan, Inc., a manufacturer of eye and skin care products, including Corporate Senior Vice President, and President and Chief Operating Officer of Herbert Laboratories, Allergan’s dermatology division. In addition to serving as an independent board member at Allegro Ophthalmics, Mr. Bender has served on the board of directors of numerous medical device companies. Mr. Bender also currently serves on the board of directors of Mission Hospital Foundation in Mission Viejo, CA.
Mr. Byrnes has an extensive background in healthcare as a senior executive with over 45 years of industry experience. Most recently, Mr. Byrnes served as President and CEO of Thermage, Inc. from 2002 until 2005.
From 1997 to 2002 and from 2005 to the present, Mr. Byrnes has served as the President and CEO of Roan, Inc., an advisory service organization for healthcare organizations. Mr. Byrnes has also served as Chairman and CEO of Tokos Medical Corporation, President of Caremark, Inc. and Vice President of Marketing, Sales, New Business and Clinical Development for Genentech, Inc.
Mr. Byrnes has served as a director on several public healthcare company boards and currently serves on the boards of several privately held medical device, specialty pharmaceutical, and healthcare service organizations.
Mr. Byrnes earned a B.S. in Pharmacy with Honors from Ferris State University and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Loyola University, Chicago.
Hampar Karageozian, MSc, MBA
Mr. Karageozian has over 40 years of distinguished service in ophthalmic drug development. During his career, Mr. Karageozian has brought over 30 ophthalmic drugs to market and is an author or co-author of more than 30 worldwide issued patents. He is the co-founder and CEO of Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC. Previously, Mr. Karageozian was the co-founder and CTO of ISTA Pharmaceuticals and served as CEO at Prima Pharmaceuticals, S K Pharmaceuticals and Vitreoretinal Technologies. He has previously raised numerous rounds of venture capital funding for several of these companies, as well as active involvement in the initial public offering of ISTA Pharmaceuticals.
Prior to co-founding Prima Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Karageozian spent 23 years at Allergan Pharmaceuticals in senior management positions, including corporate head of research & development. His extensive experience and expertise spans well beyond research and development to include drug discovery and development, domestic and international regulatory affairs, clinical studies, and API and finished product manufacturing.
Mr. Karageozian received his BSc in Pharmacy from American University of Beirut, his MSc in Biochemistry from MIT, and his MBA from University of California, Irvine.
Vicken Karageozian, MD
Dr. Karageozian is an industry veteran in ophthalmic drug development, with more than 20 years’ experience building, leading, and fundraising companies in the ophthalmic pharmaceutical space. An ophthalmic surgeon by training, Dr. Karageozian is the co-founder of three ophthalmic biotech companies since 1993, including ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vitreoretinal Technologies, Inc., and Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC. He has been the inventor or co-inventor of numerous ophthalmic pharmaceuticals with more than 20 patents issued on his drug discoveries. His co-inventions include some of the first enzymatic, osmotic, and integrin-based treatments for the eye and some of the earliest work in intravitreal injections (Vitrase®). Dr. Karageozian has been instrumental in the raising of over $200M in venture and institutional capital for these companies.
Dr. Karageozian has led the clinical development, business execution, and regulatory strategy on numerous ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, including several negotiated novel endpoints for first in class drugs, and has led numerous phase 1, 2, and 3 ophthalmic clinical programs across the US, EU, India, and Latin America.
As a senior executive at Allegro Ophthalmics, LLC, Dr. Karageozian has extensive experience in formulating and leading the corporate strategy, execution, fundraising, and business development efforts. Throughout his ventures, Dr. Karageozian has led numerous successful out-licensings, partnerships, M&A and IPOs across the US, Asia, and Latin America. This includes the successful IPO of ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dr. Karageozian graduated from the University of California, San Diego with degrees in biochemistry and cellular biology and received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, where he ranked in the top of his class. After completing an internship at UCLA, he completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of California, Irvine.
Ron Kurtz, MD
Dr. Kurtz is the president and CEO of Calhoun Vision, developer of a proprietary intraocular lens (IOL) that can be enhanced post-operatively to reduce spectacle dependence. He was previously co-founder, president and CEO of LenSx Lasers, which was acquired by Alcon in 2010, and of IntraLase Corporation, which was acquired by Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) in 2008.
A retina specialist, Dr. Kurtz served on the faculty at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Kurtz earned his BA in Biochemistry from Harvard College and his MD from the University of California, San Diego.
William J. Link, PhD
Dr. Link is co-founder and a managing director of Versant Ventures, a global healthcare investment firm where he specializes in early stage investing in medical devices. Prior to Versant, Dr. Link was a general partner at Brentwood Venture Capital.
With more than two decades of operations experience in the healthcare industry, Dr. Link has a proven record of building and managing large, successful medical product companies, including Chiron Vision where he was co-founder, chairman and CEO until it was sold to Bausch + Lomb in 1997. In addition, Dr. Link founded and served as President of American Medical Optics (AMO), a division of American Hospital Supply Corporation, which was sold to Allergan in 1986.
Mr. Livingston has been at the helm of several organizations over the last 25 years, including President and CEO of PrimaPharma, a CDMO that has been instrumental in providing solutions to Allegro’s clinical trial and manufacturing needs.
Mr. Livingston is founding partner at accounting firm Campbell Boyd & Livingston and has served in a variety of executive leadership roles at several well-known corporations, including Motels of America, Road Runner Sports, and Sims Snowboards. A founding shareholder of PrimaPharma’s predecessor entity, Sorrento Biochemical, Mr. Livingston has served on the product advisory board of Blanchard Training and Development and on the board of The Planning Forum, as well as being a past chairman of The Management Consulting Services committee for the San Diego chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Ms. O’Dwyer currently serves as Allegro’s director of clinical research. She is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the company’s clinical trials.
Ms. O’Dwyer has more than 15 years of experience in ophthalmic clinical research from her years at ISTA Pharmaceuticals and Vitreoretinal Technologies, Inc. This experience spans across multiple US and international sites involving hundreds of patients.
Ms. O’Dwyer earned her B.S. from University of California, Irvine.
John Park, PhD
As co-founder, chief scientific officer (CSO) and vice president of manufacturing development for Allegro, Dr. Park leads the drug discovery, product development, and manufacturing process development activities to support Allegro’s drug development platforms.
Dr. Park has a long history of bringing ophthalmic drugs from concept to market that spans four decades. Dr. Park’s particular strengths are in drug discovery, research and development, as well as product development. In addition, Dr. Park is a prolific inventor with more than 40 patents and peer-reviewed publications of which he is an author or co-author.
Dr. Park’s biotech development experience includes the co-founding of two additional biotech companies: SK Pharmaceuticals and Vitreoretinal Technologies. For more than 20 years, Dr. Park served in executive level positions at these two companies as well as at ISTA Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for product development, manufacturing and quality control. Before that, Dr. Park spent 16 years with Allergan Pharmaceuticals as principle research scientist.
At Allergan, Dr. Park conceived product ideas on potential anti-cataract drugs and novel concepts of making liposome drug delivery systems without the use of organic solvents. He initiated, executed and successfully developed commercially viable products. In addition, Dr. Park was responsible for the discovery of a novel oxidative disinfectant system employing a polymeric sustained drug delivery system, which was successfully developed into a number of commercial products generating over $1 billion in product sales and which led to him being awarded “Patent of the Year.”
Dr. Park was a Postdoctoral Fellow at California Institute of Technology after receiving his PhD in Physical Chemistry at the University of Houston. He also received his MS in Organic Chemistry from Louisiana Tech and his BS in Chemistry and Physics from Yon Sei University in Seoul, Korea.