Management Team

Brian Strem, Ph.D., President & Chief Executive Officer

Brian is a co-founder and the CEO of Okogen Inc. Prior to founding Okogen, Brian worked at Sound Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and Shire, responsible for business development and corporate strategy in ophthalmology, otology and regenerative medicine. Brian began his career at Cytori Therapeutics with elevating roles within the commercial and R&D departments. Brian received his BS in bioengineering from Cornell University and his PhD in biomedical engineering from UCLA.

Sarah Romano, Chief Financial Officer

Sarah joined EyeGate Pharmaceuticals as Corporate Controller in 2016 and was appointed  CFO in January 2018. Since joining the Company, she has been responsible for the Company’s accounting, tax, financial reporting, and internal controls. Prior to joining EyeGate, Ms. Romano served as Assistant Controller at TechTarget and Corporate Controller at Bowdoin Group, a healthcare-focused executive recruiting firm. Previously, she held financial reporting positions of increasing responsibility at SoundBite Communications until its acquisition by Genesys in 2013, and was a Senior Financial Reporting Analyst at Cognex Corporation, a publicly-traded manufacturer of machine vision systems, software and sensors. Ms. Romano began her career as an Auditor in the Boston office of PricewaterhouseCoopers. A licensed CPA in Massachusetts, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from College of the Holy Cross and Masters of Accounting from Boston College.

Brenda Mann, Ph.D., Vice President of R&D

Brenda has extensive experience with hydrogels for wound healing and drug delivery applications. She is a co-founder of SentrX Animal Care, focused on veterinary biomaterials and manufacturer of the CMHA-S material. She is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Utah. She was a founding faculty member of the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, and now serves on its Advisory Council. Dr. Mann is also the Director of the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair and a registered patent agent.

Franz Obermayr, Ph.D., Managing Director

Franz was previously the Co-Founder and CEO of Panoptes Pharma, a privately held biotech company, which was acquired by EyeGate in 2020. Before joining the management team at EyeGate, Dr. Obermayr had a major role in the development, clinical milestones and regulatory strategic efforts for the Company’s transformative asset, PP-001, which has two novel formulations (PaniJect and PaniDrop). Prior to Panoptes, Dr. Obermayr was Head of Clinical Development at Nabriva Therapeutics AG, where he was responsible for all clinical programs – including Xenleta (Levamulin), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia in 2019. His earlier career involved various positions at GPC-Biotech, most recently as Director Drug Discovery. He also played a key role in the commercialization of these programs by managing large collaborations with pharmaceutical companies. Prior to GPC-Biotech, he completed his postdoctoral studies at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg. Dr. Obermayr earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London.

Stephen From, Executive Chairman

Stephen transitioned to the role of Executive Chairman in early 2021, post the acquisition of Panoptes Pharma and previously served as EyeGate’s President, Chief Executive Officer, and director since October 2005. Prior to joining EyeGate, he was the Chief Financial Officer at Centelion SAS, an independent biotechnology subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis. Previously, Mr. From spent several years as an investment banker specializing in the biotechnology and medical device sectors as Director in the Global Healthcare Corporate and Investment Banking Group and Head of European Life Sciences for Bank of America Securities. Mr. From holds a BSc from the University of Western Ontario, an accounting diploma from Wilfred Laurier University and has qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Ontario, Canada.