As CEO, Dr. Yerxa is responsible for the overall management of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading private funder of research on potential treatments and cures for inherited retinal degenerative diseases, including age-related macular degeneration. He also serves as CEO of the Retinal Degeneration Fund, a wholly owned, not-for-profit subsidiary focused on making venture philanthropy investments to further the foundation’s mission.
Dr. Yerxa has more than 25 years of experience in biotechnology, drug development and in translating promising research discoveries into clinical milestones and treatments. His experience, from drug discovery through product launches and in leadership positions, is in the pulmonary, oral health, cardiovascular, HIV and ophthalmology fields.
Just before joining the foundation, Dr. Yerxa was president and co-founder of Envisia Therapeutics, a company focused on developing novel ocular sustained delivery therapies for the front and back of the eye.
Dr. Yerxa holds 60 U.S. patents. An inventor of DIQUAS™, an innovative treatment for dry eye approved in Japan, he has been involved in the discovery and development of investigational new drugs, Phase 3 clinical programs, new drug applications and drug approvals.
Dr. Yerxa earned his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, and his BA in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego.