Ophthalmology industry veteran brings 20 years of experience as a life science investor and entrepreneur to Nacuity’s board

FORT WORTH, TX – April 16, 2024 – Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for retinitis pigmentosa, cataract, and other diseases caused by oxidative stress, today announced the appointment of Emmett T. Cunningham, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., MPH, to its board of directors. Dr. Cunningham is currently a Senior Partner at HealthQuest Capital Management and co-founder and Executive Chairman of Eyconis, Inc., a spinout of Ascendis Pharma created to develop, manufacture, and commercialize TransCon ophthalmology assets globally.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Dr. Cunningham to our board of directors,” said Halden Conner, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Nacuity Pharmaceuticals. “His career as a prominent leader in the ophthalmology industry, bridging the business world and ophthalmic innovation, will be a vital asset at this pivotal time for our clinical programs in oxidative stress.”

Dr. Cunningham is an ophthalmology industry veteran with over 20 years of experience as a full-time investor and entrepreneur who has led or co-led investments and partnerships in the medical device and biotechnology space that have supported the FDA approval of multiple therapeutics. He is also an internationally recognized specialist in infectious and inflammatory eye disease with over 400 publications.

“Nacuity’s approach to treating ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic disorders is both completely novel and tremendously promising,” said Dr. Cunningham. “I look forward to working with the Nacuity team to unlock the broad therapeutic potential of its clinical programs in treating ocular and non-ocular disease.”

Prior to HealthQuest and Eyconis, Dr. Cunningham served as a Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, Inc. following that firm’s acquisition of Clarus Ventures in 2018. At Clarus, Dr. Cunningham was a member of the full-time investment team since the firm’s inception in 2006. From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Cunningham was the Senior Vice President of Medical Strategy at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was part of the leadership team that developed Macugen®, a first-in-class VEGF-A inhibitor for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Prior to Eyetech, Dr. Cunningham was at Pfizer, Inc. In addition, Dr. Cunningham was the co-founder and chairman of the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS). He received an M.D. and MPH in epidemiology and statistics from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California at San Diego for work done at The Salk Institute.

Dr. Cunningham is a member of the board of directors of Galera Therapeutics and Executive Chairman of Eyconis. He serves as Innovator in Residence for Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV); as a member of the Biomedical Engineering Advisory Board at Johns Hopkins University; is an advisor to the Byers Center for BioDesign at Stanford University; and serves philanthropically on the Boards of The Alta Foundation and EverythingALS.

About Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Nacuity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (https://www.nacuity.com/), is a clinical-stage leader in innovative treatments for diseases produced by oxidative stress. The company’s powerful, targeted therapies aim to attentuate oxidative tissue damage, a driver of blinding eye diseases and a broad spectrum of serious chronic conditions. Nacuity has three highly differentiated, first-in-class clinical development programs ongoing in retinitis pigmentosa, cataract and inherited cystinosis. Nacuity has operations in Fort Worth, TX, USA, and Australia, and extensive managerial and scientific domain expertise as well as backing from Foundation Fighting Blindness (https://www.fightingblindness.org/) and its venture arm RD Fund (https://www.retinaldegenerationfund.org).


Nacuity Media Contact
Julia Clements