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The Power List 2021 – Power List

Nancy Lurker

President and CEO, EyePoint Pharmaceuticals

What was your path to ophthalmology?

I have spent 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, working in almost every therapeutic area from oncology to women’s health – but, since joining EyePoint in 2016, I have become fascinated with ophthalmology. I have come to appreciate its unique ecosystem, with physicians, regulatory authorities, and industry all collaborating for the patients’ benefit. This collective movement fosters innovation and is really refreshing. Ophthalmology is a tremendous field of medicine and I value the collaborations that I have made over the years, particularly with physicians and other industry executives. I am also incredibly appreciative of the way the US Food and Drug Administration works with industry to find solutions. We have made some exciting advancements together!

How does EyePoint promote women in industry?

EyePoint has made a real effort to promote women. I take a keen interest in hiring women at all levels, but particularly into leadership roles. Ensuring that we have women on the board is one of my priorities; until recently, we had three female board directors, which is a great result for a US-based company. Although we have made great progress, I still need to do a better job of hiring women as direct reports – that is the next task on my list.

How can we address gender inequality across the industry?

When I first moved into ophthalmology, I was surprised – and disappointed – to find fewer women in senior roles than I had seen in other therapeutic areas. Since then, I have witnessed a big push for change. As an industry, we need to ensure that we have female physicians on our advisory boards and running our clinical trials. Why is it so important to have women investigators? Because when you run a clinical study, your name features prominently on a paper, which means you have an active role in presenting data. If you are not in the mix to begin with, it is a lot harder to get your name out there. It is vitally important that the industry works with the physician community to actively promote female ophthalmologists.

What projects are you working on right now?

Despite the difficulties of the pandemic, we have had a phenomenal last six months, with two successful commercial products: YUTIQ for treatment of uveitis affecting the posterior segment and DEXYCU for post-ocular surgery inflammation. But the pivotal moment for us was getting EYP-1901 – our extended-delivery drug for wet AMD – into human clinical trials. The mix of researching new indications, running clinical trials, and promoting our existing products makes me really excited for the future.


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