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ViaLase Strengthens Its Executive Team

The company appointed Tom Frinzi as executive chairman of the board, Richard Lewis, M.D., as chief medical officer, and Shawn O’Neil as chief commercial officer.




(PRESS RELEASE) ALISO VIEJO, CA — ViaLase, Inc. announced the appointments of Tom Frinzi as Executive Chairman of the Board, Richard Lewis, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, Shawn O’Neil as Chief Commercial Officer, and Brendan O’Herlihy as Vice President, Global Commercial Operations. The executives will play key roles at ViaLase as the company develops its novel, non-invasive, femtosecond laser with integrated OCT imaging that is accurate to the micron level. This OCT-guided femtosecond laser technology is designed to perform the first femtosecond laser, image-guided, high-precision trabeculotomy (FLigHT) procedure for the treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

“I am thrilled to welcome Tom, Rick, Shawn, and Brendan to ViaLase,” said Tibor Juhasz, Ph.D., founder and CEO of ViaLase, Inc. “Their significant industry and commercialization experience compliments the level of optical and laser engineering experience we have in the foundational team. This puts ViaLase in a position of strength as we prepare for CE Mark and FDA 510k clearance. As we transition from an internally-focused development stage company to an externally-focused commercial organization, I am confident that ViaLase has the talent in place to bring a novel technology to glaucoma patients with a best-in-class global strategy.”

Mr. Frinzi has nearly 40 years of experience leading Fortune 500 corporations as well as small- to mid-size private equity enterprises in their transition to next-level growth organizations. Mr. Frinzi believes that people are a company’s greatest asset galvanizing organizations around clear goals, building strong operating cultures and high-performance management teams that are committed to customers, employees, and shareholder success. In addition to ViaLase, Mr. Frinzi serves on the boards of Aurion Biotech, CorneaGen, Neurolens, and Staar Surgical, and is past president of several organizations, including Abbott Medical Optics, Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, and WaveTec Vision.

“What excites me about joining ViaLase is that the company has the potential to truly change the way that glaucoma is managed with this transformative technology,” said Mr. Frinzi. “Our goal at ViaLase is to build on the legacy of femtosecond lasers, which have historically demonstrated value creation in both refractive and cataract markets with the introduction of the first micron-accurate, OCT-guided femtosecond laser designed specifically for the treatment of glaucoma. It’s an exciting time in the evolution of the company, and I’m proud to be a part of this journey.”

Dr. Lewis is an internationally renowned ophthalmologist, glaucoma specialist, and researcher. The practice he co-founded, Sacramento Eye Consultants of Sacramento California, was one of the first to offer LASIK surgery and is one of the leading clinical research practices in the United States, having participated in more than 100 cataract and glaucoma clinical trials. Dr. Lewis is a former president of the American Glaucoma Society and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and the former chief medical officer of Aerie Pharmaceuticals.

“ViaLase has the opportunity to address several unmet needs in the current treatment of glaucoma,” said Dr. Lewis. “The ability to visualize the conventional outflow pathway at a micron level and then precisely deliver a femtosecond laser to create a channel in the trabecular meshwork to promote aqueous outflow, all within a non-invasive procedure, presents a real advancement for patient care.”


Mr. O’Neil is an ophthalmic industry veteran who has spent nearly 30 years commercializing products at both large-cap and start-up organizations. During his career, he has been responsible for developing commercial teams and strategies to launch novel and disruptive technologies, including the EX-PRESS Glaucoma Filtration Device, LenSx Laser System, CyPass Micro-Stent, OMNI Surgical System, TearCare System, and now the ViaLase femtosecond laser system.

Mr. O’Herlihy has 30 years of leadership and management experience in medical device manufacturing; clinical development; and technical, operational, and commercial support. Utilizing High Performance Management System, Six Sigma, and Lean methodologies, Mr. O’Herlihy has built and led international teams in the creation of direct customer and international distributor models that work in compliance with the national and international regulations for companies of all sizes, including Alcon, IntraLase Corporation, LenSx, and Wright Medical.


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