San Diego — Otonomy Inc, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing medications for diseases and disorders of the inner and middle ear, has announced the appointment of Gerald Wroblewski as the company’s chief operations officer.

Wroblewski brings the company broad operational expertise in the areas of manufacturing, product supply chain management, packaging, and quality assurance. At Otonomy, he will be responsible for overseeing activities in these areas to support the advancement of the company’s product candidates through clinical development and into commercialization.

Prior to joining Otonomy, Wroblewski served as vice president of operations at MacuSight, a developer of therapeutics for the treatment of severe ocular diseases and conditions. He has also acted as chief operating officer at iScience Interventional Inc, a start-up medical device company in the ophthalmology space, and executive vice president of operations at Oculex Pharmaceuticals, a developer of novel biodegradable therapeutics for diseases of the eye. He has also held senior management positions in large-scale commercial manufacturing operations at The Gillette Company, Oral-B Laboratories, and McGaw Laboratories.

Otonomy’s lead product candidate, OTO-104, is a sustained release formulation of the steroid dexamethasone. A Phase 1b clinical trial in Meniere’s disease patients has recently been completed, and future studies are being planned in Meniere’s disease and other inner ear disorders. OTO-201, the company’s second product candidate, is a novel sustained release antibiotic being developed for the treatment of chronic otitis media. OTO-201 clinical trials are expected to begin in 2011. Additional product candidates are expected to target acute and chronic forms of hearing loss, balance disorders, and tinnitus.

"The positive clinical results we recently announced for OTO-104 in Meniere’s disease, combined with our rapid progress advancing OTO-201 through IND enabling studies, signal an important transition for the company that requires additional operational expertise and focus," said David A. Weber, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Otonomy. "I welcome the opportunity to work with Jerry again and know that his depth and breadth of manufacturing expertise will successfully support the company through clinical development. Furthermore, his experience in commercial manufacturing operations will be essential to achieving our long range business objectives of bringing our products to market."

SOURCE: Otonomy Inc