Retinal surgeon, Researcher, Clinical Trialist and Entrepreneur.
Dr. Michael J Tolentino is a retinal surgeon, researcher, clinical trialist and entrepreneur. At Harvard Medical School he demonstrated Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) to be necessary and sufficient in macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusions.(1-3) He was the first to administer Avastin in an animal model of human retinal disease.(4-5) This work formed the basis for several recently approved drugs Macugen, Lucentis and Eylea. As a research faculty at University of Pennsylvania he invented a gene silencing molecules called small interfering RNA (siRNA).(6-11) This technology formed the basis of Acuity Pharmaceuticals where he guided the company from invention, start up, clinical trials to eventual merger of the company to OPKO health (NYSE: OPK) a publically traded biopharmaceutical company. (12)
Dr. Tolentino currently directs the clinical research program at the Center for Retina and Macular Disease. The center is now one of the largest retinal clinical trial centers in the world with over 130 retinal clinical trials which has led to 7 FDA approved drugs and indications. He founded the Tolentino Eye Research Foundation and has consulted, advised, spoken and served on numerous scientific advisory panels for several pharmaceutical companies He has published over 100 publications and is an adjunct Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Central Florida.
1) Tolentino M, Miller J, Gragoudas E, Chatzistefanou K, Ferrara N, Adamis A. Vascular endothelial growth factor is sufficient to produce iris neovascularization and neovascular glaucoma in a non-human primate. Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114:964-70. 2) Tolentino MJ, Miller JW, Gragoudas ES, Jakobiec FA, Flynn E, Chatzistefanou K, Ferrara N, Adamis AP Intravitreal Injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Produce Retinal Ischemia and Microangiopathy in an adult primate. Ophthalmology. 1996;103:pp.1820-28. 3) Tolentino MJ, McLeod DS, Taomoto M, Otsuji T, Adamis AP, Lutty GA. Pathologic features of VEGF-induced retinopathy in the non-human primate. American Journal of Ophthalmology 2002 Mar;133(3):373-85. 4) Adamis AP, Shima DT, Tolentino MJ, Gragoudas ES, Ferrara N, Miller JW: Inhibition of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Prevents Retinal Ischemia-Associated Iris Neovascularization in a Nonhuman Primate, Arch Ophthalmol, 1996; 114, pp 66-71. 5) Tolentino MJ, Husain D, Theodosiadis P, Gragoudas ES, Connolly E, Kahn J, Cleland J , Adamis AP, Cuthbertson A, Miller JW. Angiography of fluoresceinated anti-VEGF antibody and dextrans in experimental choroidal neovascularization. Arch Ophthalmol 2000; 118(1) 6) Reich SJ, Fosnot J, Kuroki A, Tang W, Yang X, Maguire AM, Bennett J, Tolentino MJ. Small interfering RNA targeting VEGF effectively inhibits laser induced choroidal neovascularization. Molecular Vision, 2003 May 30;9:210-6. 7) US Patent 7,148,342: Tolentino MJ, Reich SJ. Compositions and methods for sirna inhibition of angiogenesis. 8) US Patent 7,521,431 Reich SJ, Surace EM, Tolentino MJ. Compositions and methods for siRNA inhibition of HIF-1 alpha. 9) US Patent Application 20040248174 Reich SJ, Tolentino MJ. Compositions and methods for siRNA inhibition of angiopoietin 1and 2 and their receptor Tie2 . 10) US Patent Application 20060287259 Reich SJ, Tolentino MJ. Compositions and methods for combined therapy of disease. 11) US Patent Application 20040220129 Reich SJ, Tolentino MJ. Compositions and methods for siRNA inhibition of ICAM-1. 12) http://investor.opko.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=279164