Caroline Baumal, MD, named chief medical officer of Apellis Pharmaceuticals


Apellis has a PDUFA date next month for GA. (Image courtesy of Apellis Pharmaceuticals)

Apellis has a PDUFA date next month for GA. (Image courtesy of Apellis Pharmaceuticals)

Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that leading retina specialist Caroline Baumal, MD, has joined Apellis as chief medical officer.

Baumal replaces Federico Grossi, MD, PhD, who plans to remain at Apellis until Feb. 28 to help with the transition and preparations for the potential launch of pegcetacoplan for geographic atrophy (GA).

“Caroline is a world-renowned retina specialist who has been at the forefront of retina research and patient care for over 25 years, and we are thrilled to welcome her to Apellis,” said Cedric Francois, MD, PhD, CEO and co-founder of Apellis. “Caroline’s expertise and deep understanding of GA will be a tremendous asset as we prepare to launch the first potential treatment for this devastating disease. She will undoubtedly make a positive impact at Apellis as we continue toward delivering life-changing medicines to patients with serious unmet needs.”

Francois also offered his thanks to Grossi for his contributions to the company since its inception.

“Fede played an instrumental role in the development of our first approved product EMPAVELI and in the advancement of our robust pipeline including pegcetacoplan for GA,” Francois added. “As a valued member of our executive team, Fede fostered our culture of courageous science and compassion and helped to build our company to where it is today.”

Baumal serves as a professor of ophthalmology at New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical Center, specializing in diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous. As a board-certified ophthalmologist, she has authored over 170 publications and has been recognized with numerous prestigious awards, including the Senior Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Crystal Apple Award from the American Society of Retina Specialists, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Vit-Buckle Society. She also has been involved with research and clinical trials investigating novel therapies for retinal diseases, including the Phase 3 OAKS study investigating pegcetacoplan for GA. Baumal studied biochemistry at McGill University and received her M.D. from the University of Toronto, where she also completed her ophthalmology residency.

“With a PDUFA date next month for GA, I am excited to join Apellis at this truly transformational moment,” she added. “The Phase 3 DERBY and OAKS data have shown the potential for pegcetacoplan to become the first treatment for GA, which would be a groundbreaking advancement for patients who have long been waiting for a therapy. I look forward to working together with this exceptional team to advance our pipeline and bring breakthrough medicines to patients.”

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