Welcome to FFB. What are your first
Wow — there is a lot going on here! I’m
impressed with the depth and breadth in terms of
the science, how integrated we are into the vision
community, the dedication of our staff, and the
rich history and tradition of supporting research
and educating those who are affected.
What interested you in the FFB CEO
A few things really lined up for me personally
and professionally about the opportunity. I
wanted to be involved in deep science with the
potential to have the biggest impact on people’s
vision and lives. I was also attracted by the ability
to leverage a portfolio instead of just a single
asset, which is more typical in biotech, and to see
how I could apply what I’ve learned in industry
to catalyze the clinical translation of research
You’ve had a very successful career
translating research discoveries into
commercial treatments. How will you
apply that experience to FFB?
Thanks. The translational part is what really
gives me the juice; I get a lot of energy from
answering the question: “Does it work?” From
experience, this can be a black box of sorts unless
the key questions are answered in the right order.
The mantra in industry is “fail fast,” because
the costs get so high later in development. You
have to design “killer experiments” to see if you
should kill the project. It sounds brutal, but it is a
necessary discipline — our resources are limited,
and we have to make the smartest bets we can
make every step of the way.
This is an exciting time in inherited retinal
disease research. How can FFB continue
to move the ball forward?
Meet FFB’s New Chief Executive
In Focus staff recently
spoke to FFB’s new CEO,
Here’s the interview.
Benjamin Yerxa, PhD