As Vice President of Pre-Clinical Research & Development for Ora, Andy Whitlock oversees all aspects of pre-clinical development for both internally funded research programs and client-sponsored ophthalmic development projects. This includes early pharmacokinetic (PK), safety, and proof-of-concept pharmacology studies using established animal models for a wide range of ophthalmic diseases, as well as management of external investigational new drug application (IND) enabling studies.
Collaborating with study sponsors, Andy leads development projects and helps navigate early research activities, providing a smooth transition to later-stage IND enabling, regulatory strategy, and clinical development. Earlier positions at Ora include Senior Director and Director.
At Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Andy held a number of Scientist positions, culminating in Associate Director of Glaucoma Research. He directed a diverse team responsible for designing and implementing experiments in the area of novel drug target discovery and development for glaucoma, dry eye, and other ocular indications. Collaborating with team leaders from drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK), toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical discovery (HTS), formulation development, preclinical development, clinical development, and other pharmaceutical biology therapeutic areas, Andy developed and optimized new models and assays to be used for target identification and small molecule optimization.
Prior to this, Andy was the National Academies Post-Doctoral Associate at the Air Force Research Laboratory-Optical Radiation Branch at Brooks Air Force Base in Texas. He designed and implemented experiments to determine threshold limits of directed laser exposures on the outer retina and devised therapeutic strategies to protect the retina from unintentional laser exposure.
Andy earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Pathobiology from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was a Research Technician and Graduate Research Associate. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from The Citadel in Charleston, SC. He is the recipient of the Lexicon Innovation Award for Model Development and Pharmacology (2008), a sought-after presenter at industry conferences, and the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications.