Document
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549

SCHEDULE 14A
Proxy Statement Pursuant to Section 14(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Amendment No. )
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Preliminary Proxy Statement
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Definitive Proxy Statement
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Definitive Additional Materials
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Soliciting Material under §240.14a‑12
IVERIC bio, Inc.
(Name of Registrant as Specified In Its Charter)

(Name of Person(s) Filing Proxy Statement, if other than the Registrant)
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ivericbio2a01.jpg
April 28, 2020
Dear IVERIC bio, Inc. Stockholder:
We hope you are staying safe during this novel coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation in the United States and abroad. We remain committed to advancing our therapies while protecting the health and safety of our patients and other stakeholders.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and to safeguard the health and well-being of our stockholders, directors, officers and employees, our annual meeting of stockholders for 2020 will be a "virtual meeting" of stockholders, which will be conducted entirely online in a virtual meeting format. There will not be a physical meeting location, and you will not be able to attend the meeting in person. This means that you can attend our annual meeting online, vote your shares online during the meeting and submit questions online prior to and during the meeting by visiting www.meetingcenter.io/243189272.
The online meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 , beginning at 9:00 a.m., Eastern time, and instructions for accessing and participating in the meeting are enclosed in this proxy statement.
The enclosed Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders also sets forth the proposals that will be presented during the meeting, which are described in more detail in the proxy statement. Our board of directors recommends that you vote “FOR” Proposals 1, 2 and 3, in each case as set forth in the proxy statement.
Pursuant to the Securities and Exchange Commission rules that allow users to furnish proxy materials to stockholders over the Internet instead of a printed copy of our proxy materials to all of our stockholders, we are providing access to our proxy materials by posting them on the Internet and delivering a Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials, as more fully described in the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders. This reduces the amount of paper necessary to produce these materials as well as the costs and logistics associated with mailing these materials to all stockholders. On or about April 29, 2020, we will begin mailing to our stockholders a Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials containing instructions on how to access or request copies of our proxy materials and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.

We look forward to your virtual attendance at our 2020 annual meeting.
 
Very truly yours,
 
drgsignaturea02.gif
 
David R. Guyer, M.D.
Executive Chairman




IVERIC bio, Inc.

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
to be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
The 2020 annual meeting of stockholders (the “2020 annual meeting”) of IVERIC bio, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“IVERIC”), will be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 , beginning at 9:00 a.m., Eastern time. In light of the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19") pandemic, for the health and well-being of our stockholders, directors, officers and employees, we have determined that the 2020 annual meeting will be conducted in a virtual meeting format only, with no physical in person meeting. At our virtual annual meeting, you will be able to attend and participate in the meeting online, vote your shares online and submit your questions prior to and during the meeting by visiting: www.meetingcenter.io/243189272. The password for the meeting is ISEE2020. You will need a control number to vote your shares electronically and submit questions prior to or during the meeting. Instructions for obtaining a control number are included in the accompanying proxy statement. If you do not have a control number, you may participate as a "Guest". There is no physical location for the 2020 annual meeting.
The 2020 annual meeting will consider and act upon the following matters:
1.    To elect two class I directors of our board of directors to serve until the 2023 annual meeting of stockholders or until their respective successors have been duly elected and qualified;
2.    To hold a non-binding, advisory vote to approve named executive officer compensation;
3.    To ratify the selection of Ernst & Young LLP as IVERIC’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020 ; and
4.    To transact such other business as may properly come before the 2020 annual meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof.
Stockholders of record at the close of business on April 15, 2020 are entitled to notice of and will be entitled to vote at the 2020 annual meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof. A complete list of registered stockholders will be available for inspection by stockholders of record during the annual meeting at www.meetingcenter.io/243189272.
This year, we have elected to use the notice and access rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide our stockholders access to our proxy materials and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019 (the “Annual Report”) by notifying you of the availability of our proxy materials and our Annual Report via the Internet. The notice and access model provides us with a fast, efficient and lower cost way to furnish stockholders with their proxy materials and reduces our impact on the environment. As a result, on or about April 29, 2020, we will begin to mail to our stockholders a “Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials” (the “Notice”) with instructions on how to access the proxy materials and our Annual Report via the Internet (or how to request a paper copy) and how to vote online or by telephone. We will also deliver printed versions of the proxy materials to stockholders who request paper copies of the proxy materials. On the date of the mailing of the Notice, all stockholders will be able to access the proxy materials on a website referred to, and at the URL address included in, the Notice. These proxy materials will be available free of charge.
Further information about how to attend and participate in the 2020 annual meeting online, vote your shares before or during the meeting and to submit your questions prior to and during the meeting is included in the accompanying proxy statement.




 
By order of the board of directors,
 
drgsignaturea02.gif
 
David R. Guyer, M.D.
Executive Chairman
New York, New York
April 28, 2020
IF YOU ARE A RECORD OWNER, YOU DO NOT NEED TO REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO JOIN THE ANNUAL MEETING. YOUR CONTROL NUMBER IS ON YOUR NOTICE AND, IF YOU CHOOSE TO REQUEST PAPER COPIES OF PROXY MATERIALS, YOUR PROXY CARD. IF YOU ARE A BENEFICIAL (BUT NOT RECORD) OWNER, YOU WILL NEED TO REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO OBTAIN A CONTROL NUMBER BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS IN THE ACCOMPANYING PROXY STATEMENT. THE ONLINE MEETING WILL BEGIN PROMPTLY AT 9:00 A.M., EASTERN TIME. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO ACCESS THE MEETING PRIOR TO THE START TIME. ALTERNATIVELY, YOU MAY SUBMIT YOUR VOTE VIA THE INTERNET PRIOR TO THE ANNUAL MEETING OR BY TELEPHONE BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS SET FORTH ON YOUR NOTICE OR, IF YOU CHOOSE TO REQUEST PAPER COPIES OF PROXY MATERIALS, YOUR PROXY CARD.



TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
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IVERIC bio, Inc.

PROXY STATEMENT FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING OF STOCKHOLDERS
to be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Information About the 2020 Annual Meeting and Voting
This proxy statement is furnished in connection with the solicitation of proxies by the board of directors (the “board of directors” or the “board”) of IVERIC bio, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“IVERIC,” “we," “us” or the "company") for use at the 2020 annual meeting of stockholders (the “2020 annual meeting”) to be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 , beginning at 9:00 a.m., Eastern time, and at any adjournment or postponement thereof. To support the health and well-being of our stockholders, directors, officers and employees in light of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic, our 2020 annual meeting will be a virtual meeting of stockholders where stockholders can participate by accessing a website using the Internet. There will not be a physical meeting location. In light of the public health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe that hosting a virtual meeting will facilitate stockholder attendance and participation for our 2020 annual meeting by enabling stockholders to participate remotely from any location around the world. We have designed the virtual annual meeting to provide the same rights and opportunities to participate as stockholders would have at an in-person meeting, including the right to vote and ask questions through the virtual platform.
In accordance with the rules promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, we have elected to furnish our proxy materials to stockholders over the Internet. All stockholders are receiving by mail a Notice Regarding the Availability of Proxy Materials (the "Notice"), which provides general information about the 2020 annual meeting, the address of the website on which our proxy statement and 2019 annual report are available for review, downloading and printing, and instructions on how to submit proxy votes. For those who wish to receive their materials in a different format (e.g., a paper copy by mail), the Notice contains instructions on how to do so. Stockholders who have elected to receive paper copies of the proxy materials will receive these materials by mail free of charge.
You may attend the annual meeting live online by visiting www.meetingcenter.io/243189272. The webcast will start at 9:00 am, Eastern time, on June 9, 2020. You will need the control number included on your notice and, if you choose to request paper copies of proxy materials, your proxy card, in order to be able to submit questions and vote your shares on the annual meeting website. Otherwise, you may participate as a "Guest". Instructions on how to attend and participate online, including how to demonstrate proof of stock ownership, are provided in the Notice or, if you choose to request paper copies of proxy materials, on the proxy card. We expect online check-in to be available starting around 9:00 a.m., Eastern time, on the day before the 2020 annual meeting, June 8, 2020, and you should allow ample time for the online check-in proceedings. We will have technicians standing by and ready to assist you with any technical difficulties you may have in accessing the virtual meeting. If you encounter any difficulties accessing the virtual meeting during the check-in or meeting time, please visit the site's support page at https://support.vevent.com, which includes a form to contact the site's technical support team.
If you wish to submit a question prior to the meeting, you can visit www.meetingcenter.io/243189272 and follow the prompts on the website. If you wish to submit a question on the day of the 2020 annual meeting, you may log into, and ask a question on, the virtual meeting platform at www.meetingcenter.io/243189272. Our virtual meeting will be governed by our Annual Meeting Rules of Conduct. which will be posted at www.meetingcenter.io/243189272 in advance of the meeting. The Annual Meeting Rules of Conduct will address the ability of stockholders to ask questions during the meeting, including permissible topics, and rules for how questions and comments will be recognized and disclosed to participants.
On April 15, 2020 , the record date for the determination of stockholders entitled to vote at the 2020 annual meeting, there were outstanding and entitled to vote an aggregate of 49,751,032 shares of our common stock, par value $0.001 per share (“common stock”). Each share of common stock entitles the record holder thereof to one vote on each of the matters to be voted on at the 2020 annual meeting. A list of registered stockholders as of the close of business on the record date will be available for examination by any stockholder during the whole time of the 2020 annual meeting at www.meetingcenter.io/243189272.
Your vote is important no matter how many shares you own. Please take the time to vote. Take a moment to read the instructions below. Choose the way to vote that is easiest and most convenient for you, and cast your vote as soon as possible.

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If you are the “record holder” of your shares, meaning that you own your shares in your own name and not through a bank, broker or other nominee, you may vote in one of three ways:
(1)
You may vote over the Internet during the annual meeting. You may vote your shares over the Internet by accessing the annual meeting website by following the instructions provided in the Notice or, if you choose to request paper copies of proxy materials, on the proxy card. You do not need to register in advance to attend the annual meeting online. You can cast your votes by following the prompts provided by the website.
(2)
You may vote over the Internet prior to the annual meeting . You may vote your shares over the Internet by following the "Vote over Internet Prior to Annual Meeting" instructions on the Notice or, if you choose to request paper copies of proxy materials, on the proxy card. If you vote over the Internet prior to the annual meeting, you do not need to vote during the annual meeting or by telephone.
(3)
You may vote by telephone prior to the annual meeting. You may vote your shares by following the “Vote by Phone” instructions on the Notice or, if you choose to request paper copies of proxy materials, on the proxy card. If you vote by telephone, you do not need to vote over the Internet.
All proxies that are executed or are otherwise submitted over the Internet or by telephone will be voted on the matters set forth in the accompanying Notice of Annual Meeting of Stockholders in accordance with the stockholders’ instructions. However, if no choice is specified on a proxy as to one or more of the proposals, the proxy will be voted in accordance with the board of directors’ recommendations on such proposals as set forth in this proxy statement.
After you have submitted a proxy, you may still change your vote and revoke your proxy prior to the 2020 annual meeting by doing any one of the following things:
voting online at the 2020 annual meeting;
submitting a new proxy by following the “Vote by Internet Prior to Annual Meeting” or “Vote by Phone” instructions on the Notice or, if you choose to request paper copies of proxy materials, on the proxy card, prior to the start of the 2020 annual meeting; or
giving our Secretary a written notice via email at proxyrequest@ivericbio.com before or at the 2020 annual meeting that you want to revoke your proxy.
Your virtual attendance at the 2020 annual meeting alone will not revoke your proxy.
If the shares you own are held in “street name” by a bank, broker or other nominee record holder, which, for convenience, we refer to in this proxy statement collectively as brokerage firms, your brokerage firm, as the record holder of your shares, is required to vote your shares according to your instructions. If you choose to attend the online annual meeting, please follow the instructions in the following paragraph. If you choose to have your brokerage firm vote your shares, you will need to follow the directions your brokerage firm provides you. Many brokerage firms also offer the option of providing for voting over the Internet prior the annual meeting or by telephone, instructions for which, if available, would be provided by your brokerage firm on the voting instruction form that it delivers to you. Because most brokerage firms are member organizations of the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, the rules of the NYSE will likely govern how your brokerage firm would be permitted to vote your shares in the absence of instruction from you. Under the current rules of the NYSE, if you do not give instructions to your brokerage firm, it will still be able to vote your shares with respect to certain “discretionary” items, but will not be allowed to vote your shares with respect to certain “non-discretionary” items. The ratification of Ernst & Young LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm (Proposal 3) is considered to be a discretionary item under the NYSE rules, and your brokerage firm will be able to vote on that item even if it does not receive instructions from you, so long as it holds your shares in its name. The election of class I directors (Proposal 1) and the non-binding, advisory vote to approve named executive officer compensation, or “say-on-pay” vote (Proposal 2) are “non-discretionary” items, meaning that if you do not instruct your brokerage firm on how to vote with respect to any of these proposals, your brokerage firm will not vote with respect to that proposal and your shares will be counted as “broker non-votes.” “Broker non-votes” are shares that are held in “street name” by a brokerage firm that indicates on its proxy that it does not have or did not exercise discretionary authority to vote on a particular matter.

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If you plan to attend and vote your shares online at the 2020 annual meeting and your shares are held in street name, you must register in advance. To do so, you must submit a legal proxy, which you can obtain from your brokerage firm, showing that you were the beneficial owner of the shares as of the record date (April 15, 2020), along with your name and email address, to ComputerShare. Requests for registration must be labeled as “IVERIC bio Legal Proxy” and be received no later than 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on June 4, 2020. You will receive a confirmation of your registration, including your control number, by email after ComputerShare receives your registration materials. If you do not register in advance, you will not receive a control number and you may only participate in the online meeting as a "Guest" without the ability to vote your shares or submit your questions at the annual meeting. However, you may choose to vote before the annual meeting by following the instructions from your broker and if you choose, attend the online annual meeting as a "Guest".
Requests for registration should be directed to ComputerShare at the following addresses:
By email (preferred):
legalproxy@computershare.com
Or by mail:
Computershare
IVERIC bio Legal Proxy
P.O. Box 43001
Providence, RI 02940-3001

Votes Required
The holders of a majority of the shares of our common stock issued and outstanding and entitled to vote at the 2020 annual meeting will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the 2020 annual meeting. Shares of common stock represented in person on the annual meeting website or by proxy (including shares which abstain or do not vote with respect to one or more of the matters presented for stockholder approval) will be counted for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at the 2020 annual meeting. Shares present virtually during the 2020 annual meeting will be considered shares of common stock represented in person at the meeting. The following votes are required for approval of the proposals being presented at the 2020 annual meeting:
Proposal 1: To Elect Two Class I Directors. The two nominees for director receiving the highest number of votes “FOR” election will be elected as directors. This is called a plurality.
Proposal 2: Advisory Vote to Approve Named Executive Officer Compensation, or “Say-on-Pay.” This proposal calls for a non-binding, advisory vote, and accordingly there is no “required vote” that would constitute approval. However, our board, including our compensation committee, values the opinions of our stockholders and, to the extent there are a substantial number of votes cast against the executive officer compensation as disclosed in this proxy statement, we will consider our stockholders’ concerns and evaluate what actions may be appropriate to address those concerns.

Proposal 3: To Ratify the Selection of Ernst & Young LLP as IVERIC’s Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm for the Fiscal Year Ending December 31, 2020. The affirmative vote of the holders of shares of common stock representing a majority of the votes cast on the matter is required for the ratification of the selection of Ernst & Young LLP as our independent registered public accounting firm for the current fiscal year.
Shares that abstain from voting as to a particular matter and shares held in “street name” by brokerage firms who indicate on their proxies that they do not have discretionary authority to vote such shares as to a particular matter will not be counted as votes in favor of such matter, and will also not be counted as shares voting on such matter. Accordingly, abstentions and “broker non-votes” will have no effect on the voting on the proposals referenced above.

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CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

Board of Directors
Members of Our Board of Directors
Set forth below are the names and certain biographical information about each member of our board of directors as of April 15, 2020. The information presented includes each director’s principal occupation and business experience for the past five years and the names of other public companies of which he or she currently serves or has served as a director during the past five years. We believe that all of our directors possess the attributes and characteristics described in “Board Processes—Director Nomination Process.”
Name
 
Age
 
Position
David R. Guyer, M.D. (4)
 
60
 
Executive chairman
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 
64
 
Chief executive officer, president, and director
Axel Bolte (1)(3)
 
48
 
Director
Adrienne L. Graves, Ph.D. (2)(4)
 
66
 
Director
Jane P. Henderson (1)(2)(3)
 
54
 
Director
Calvin W. Roberts, M.D. (1)(2)(3)(4)
 
67
 
Director

(1)
Member of our audit committee.
(2)
Member of our compensation committee.
(3)
Member of our nominating and corporate governance committee.
(4)    Member of our research and development committee.
David R. Guyer, M.D. is a co-founder of our company and beginning in July 2017, serves as our executive chairman. Dr Guyer has served as chairman of our board of directors since our inception in January 2007, and previously served as our chief executive officer from April 2013 through June 2017. Prior thereto, Dr. Guyer served as a partner at SV Life Sciences Advisers, LLC, a venture capital firm, from 2009 to 2013, and as a venture partner at SV Life Sciences from 2006 to 2009. In April 2013, Dr. Guyer resumed his role as venture partner at SV Life Sciences, a role in which he served until 2016. He currently serves on the board of directors of EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Oxurion NV (formerly ThromboGenics NV), and previously served on the board of directors of Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, all of which are publicly traded biotechnology or biopharmaceutical companies. Dr. Guyer co-founded Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc. and served as its chief executive officer and as a member of its board of directors from 2000 until it was acquired by OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in November 2005. Prior to co-founding Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Guyer was a professor and served as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Guyer received a B.S. from Yale College and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Guyer completed his ophthalmology residency at Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital and a retinal fellowship at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School. We believe that Dr. Guyer is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive executive leadership experience, his extensive experience in ophthalmology, his extensive experience in the life sciences industry as an entrepreneur and venture capital investor, and his service on our board of directors and the board of directors of other life sciences companies.
Glenn P. Sblendorio assumed the position of chief executive officer in July 2017, in addition to his role as president, and has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2017. Mr. Sblendorio has served as our president since January 2017 and previously served as our executive vice president and chief operating officer from April 2016 to January 2017. In addition, he served as our chief financial officer and treasurer from April 2016 until April 2017. Mr. Sblendorio previously served as a member of our board of directors from July 2013 through March 2016. Prior to joining us, Mr. Sblendorio served as the president and chief financial officer of The Medicines Company, a publicly traded medical solutions company, from March 2006 until December 2015. Mr. Sblendorio served as executive vice president and chief

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financial officer of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from February 2002 until it was acquired by OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in November 2005. From July 2000 to February 2002, Mr. Sblendorio served as senior vice president of business development at The Medicines Company. Mr. Sblendorio currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Amicus Therapeutics Inc. and Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., both of which are publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies, and previously served on the board of directors of The Medicines Company. Mr. Sblendorio received a B.B.A. from Pace University and an M.B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University. We believe that Mr. Sblendorio is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive executive leadership experience, knowledge of the life sciences industry and service on the board of directors of other life sciences companies.
Axel Bolte has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2007. From March 2003 through January 2017, Mr. Bolte served as investment advisor to HBM Partners AG, a provider of investment advisory services in the life sciences industry. From February 2017 to September 2019, Mr. Bolte served as a venture partner to HBM Partners AG. In February 2017, Mr. Bolte began serving as president and chief executive officer of Inozyme Pharma Inc., a private biotechnology company, and as a managing member of Healthcare Advisors GmbH, a private healthcare advisory company. Mr. Bolte previously served on the boards of directors of Allena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Nabriva Therapeutics AG, both of which are publicly traded biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Bolte received a degree in biochemistry from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. We believe that Mr. Bolte is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his many years of service as one of our directors, his extensive experience as a venture capital investor in the life sciences industry, his executive leadership experience and his service on the board of directors of other life sciences companies.
Adrienne L. Graves, Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since December 2018. From 1995 to 2010, Dr. Graves worked at Santen, Inc., the United States subsidiary of a Japanese publicly traded pharmaceutical company, where Dr. Graves served as senior vice president of worldwide clinical development (United States, Europe and Japan) for seven years and chief executive officer and president for eight years. Prior to Santen, Dr. Graves served in various roles of increasing responsibility at Alcon for nine years. Dr. Graves currently serves on the boards of directors of Akorn Inc., Greenbrook TMS Inc., NicOx, S.A. and Oxurion NV, and previously served on the board of directors of TearLab Corporation, all of which are publicly traded biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Graves received an A.B. in psychology from Brown University and a Ph.D. in psychobiology from the University of Michigan, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in visual neuroscience at the University of Paris. We believe Dr. Graves is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of her strong background in ophthalmology, her extensive experience in pharmaceutical development and commercialization, and her service on the boards of directors of other life sciences companies.
Jane P. Henderson  has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2018. Ms. Henderson has served as chief financial officer of Turnstone Biologics, a privately-held biotechnology company, since June 2018. From January 2017 to June 2018, Ms. Henderson served as chief financial officer and senior vice president, corporate development at Voyager Therapeutics, Inc., a publicly-traded clinical-stage gene therapy company. From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Henderson served as senior vice president, chief financial and business officer of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which was a privately held pharmaceutical company, and from 2010 to 2012, Ms. Henderson served as vice president, business development of ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a publicly-traded specialty pharmaceutical company, until its acquisition by Bausch & Lomb Incorporated. Previously, Ms. Henderson served as chief financial officer and head of business development at Axerion Therapeutics, Inc., and chief financial officer and chief business officer of Panacos Pharmaceuticals, Inc, both privately held biotechnology companies. In addition to her industry experience, Ms. Henderson was managing director and held other senior roles at HSBC Holdings plc, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Lehman Brothers and Salomon Brothers. Ms. Henderson currently serves on the boards of directors of Sesen Bio Inc. and Akero Therapeutics, Inc., both of which are publicly traded biotechnology companies. Ms. Henderson received a B.S. in psychology from Duke University. We believe that Ms. Henderson is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of her extensive leadership experience in the life sciences industry and in health care investment banking.
Calvin W. Roberts, M.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since January 2019. Dr. Roberts has served as president and chief executive officer of the Lighthouse Guild since April 2020. Previously, he served as the senior vice president, chief medical officer of Eye Care at Bausch Health Companies Inc., a publicly traded pharmaceutical company, from March 2011 to March 2020. Since 1982, Dr. Roberts has also served as a clinical professor of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College and was a practicing ophthalmologist for over 26 years. Dr. Roberts is a renowned specialist in cataract and refractive surgery. Dr. Roberts previously served as a consultant for Allergan, Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Novartis AG. Dr. Roberts currently serves on the board of directors of Auris Medical Holding AG and previously served on the board of directors of Alimera Sciences, Inc., both publicly-traded biotechnology companies. Dr. Roberts received an A.B.

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from Princeton University and an M.D. from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Dr. Roberts completed his internship and ophthalmology residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and cornea fellowships at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Schepens Eye Research Institute in Boston. Dr. Roberts holds patents on a number of devices used for ophthalmic surgery. We believe Dr. Roberts is qualified to serve on our board of directors because of his extensive experience in the opthalmology field, both as a practitioner and as a senior industry executive.
Former Members of Our Board of Directors
Thomas Dyrberg, M.D., D.M.Sc. served as a member of our board of directors from August 2007 to May 2019, when Dr. Dyrberg's term as a class III director expired at our 2019 annual meeting. Dr. Dyrberg was not nominated for re-election at our 2019 annual meeting. In 2019, before the expiration of his term, Dr. Dyrberg served on our compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees.
David E. Redlick served as a member of our board of directors from January 2016 to October 2019, when Mr. Redlick resigned from our board of directors. Mr. Redlick's resignation was not as a result of any disagreement with the company. In 2019, before his resignation, Mr. Redlick was our independent lead director, chaired our compensation committee and also served on our audit committee.
Michael J. Ross, Ph.D. served as a member of our board of directors from May 2013 to February 2019, when he resigned from our board of directors based on his commitments to SV Health Investors, where he served as a managing partner, and not as a result of any disagreement with the company. In 2019, before his resignation, Dr. Ross served on our compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees.
Board Composition
Our board of directors is currently authorized to have, and currently consists of, six members. Our board of directors is divided into three classes, class I, class II and class III, with members of each class serving staggered three-year terms. The members of the classes are divided as follows:
the class I directors are Ms. Henderson and Mr. Sblendorio, and their term expires at the 2020 annual meeting;
the class II directors are Mr. Bolte and Dr. Roberts, and their term expires at our annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2021; and
the class III directors are Dr. Graves and Dr. Guyer, and their term expires at our annual meeting of stockholders to be held in 2022.
Upon the expiration of the term of a class of directors, directors in that class are eligible to be elected for a new three-year term at the annual meeting of stockholders in the year in which their term expires. Our directors may be removed only for cause by the affirmative vote of the holders of 75% or more of our voting stock.
Board Determination of Independence
Rule 5605 of the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules requires a majority of a listed company’s board of directors to be comprised of independent directors within one year of listing. In addition, the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules require that, subject to specified exceptions, each member of a listed company’s audit, compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees be independent and that audit committee members also satisfy independence criteria set forth in Rule 10A-3 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. Under Rule 5605(a)(2), a director will only qualify as an “independent director” if, in the opinion of our board of directors, that person does not have a relationship that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director.
In order to be considered independent for purposes of Rule 10A-3, a member of an audit committee of a listed company may not, other than in his or her capacity as a member of the audit committee, the board of directors, or any other board committee: (1) accept, directly or indirectly, any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee from the listed company or any of its subsidiaries; or (2) be an affiliated person of the listed company or any of its subsidiaries.

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In addition, in affirmatively determining the independence of any director who will serve on a company’s compensation committee, Rule 10C-1 under the Exchange Act requires that a company’s board of directors consider all factors specifically relevant to determining whether a director has a relationship to such company which is material to that director’s ability to be independent from management in connection with the duties of a compensation committee member, including, but not limited to: (i) the source of compensation of the director, including any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee paid by such company to the director; and (ii) whether the director is affiliated with the company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.
Based upon information requested from and provided by each director concerning his or her background, employment and affiliations, including family relationships, our board of directors has determined that none of Mr. Bolte, Dr. Graves, Ms. Henderson or Dr. Roberts, representing four of our six current directors, nor Dr. Ross, Dr. Dyrberg or Mr. Redlick, who served on our board of directors until February 2019, May 2019 and October 2019, respectively, has or had a relationship that would interfere with the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out the responsibilities of a director and that each of these directors is “independent” as that term is defined under Rule 5605(a)(2) of the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules. Our board of directors has also determined that Ms. Henderson, Mr. Bolte and Dr. Roberts, who comprise our audit committee, Dr. Graves, Ms. Henderson and Dr. Roberts, who comprise our compensation committee, Mr. Bolte, Ms. Henderson and Dr. Roberts, who comprise our nominating and corporate governance committee, Dr. Ross, who served on our compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees until his resignation in February 2019, Dr. Dyrberg, who served on our compensation and nominating and corporate governance committees until the expiration of his term in May 2019, and Mr. Redlick, who served on our compensation and audit committees until his resignation in October 2019, satisfy the independence standards for such committees established by the SEC and the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules, as applicable. In making such determination, our board of directors considered the relationships that each such non-employee director has with our company, including the transactions described below in “Board Policies—Related Person Transactions,” and all other facts and circumstances our board of directors deemed relevant in determining independence.
Mr. Sblendorio, who is a class I director, is an employee and is therefore not “independent.” Dr. Guyer, who is a class III director, is an employee and is therefore also not “independent.”
How Our Board Is Organized
Board Leadership Structure
Dr. Guyer currently serves as the executive chairman of our board of directors, a role created when we separated the roles of chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer and appointed Mr. Sblendorio as our chief executive officer effective July 2017. This change provided an opportunity to retain both Mr. Sblendorio in the role of chief executive officer, enabling him to lead the company in our day-to-day operations and in structuring, negotiating and executing our business development strategy, while also providing an opportunity to retain Dr. Guyer in the newly created role of executive chairman. Our board believes this leadership role for Dr. Guyer is particularly appropriate for our company given Dr. Guyer’s long history with our company, his extensive knowledge of and experience with our business and industry, his experience as a practicing retinal physician and his ability to effectively identify strategic priorities for us. In his role as executive chairman, Dr. Guyer has remained intimately involved in shaping our medical, clinical and business development strategies at a level that we believe exceeds that of a typical non-employee director. Our board also believes that Dr. Guyer’s role of executive chairman of our board of directors has promoted effective execution of strategic goals and facilitates information flow between management and our board. Our board believes this separate governance structure benefits our company because it enables Mr. Sblendorio to focus his entire energy on running the company while providing for the continued leadership and other contributions from Dr. Guyer.
Because Dr. Guyer is an employee and is therefore not “independent,” our board of directors has appointed Dr. Graves, an independent director within the meaning of Nasdaq rules (see “Board of Directors—Board Determination of Independence” above), as independent lead director. Dr. Graves’s duties as independent lead director include the following:
chairing meetings of the independent directors in executive session;
facilitating communications between other members of our board, our executive chairman and our chief executive officer;

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working with our executive chairman and our chief executive officer in the preparation of the agenda for each board meeting and in determining the need for special meetings of our board;
reviewing and, if appropriate, recommending action to be taken with respect to written communications from stockholders submitted to our board (see “Board Processes—Communications with Stockholders” below);
consulting with our executive chairman and our chief executive officer on matters relating to corporate governance and board performance; and
meeting with any director who is not adequately performing his or her duties as a member of our board of directors or any committee.
Before his resignation in October 2019, Mr. Redlick served as our independent lead director. Upon his resignation, our board designated Dr. Graves as our independent lead director.
Our nominating and corporate governance committee evaluates our board leadership structure from time to time and may recommend further alterations of this structure in the future.
Board Committees
Our board of directors has established an audit committee, a compensation committee, a nominating and corporate governance committee and a research and development committee, each of which operates under a charter that has been approved by our board. Copies of these committee charters are posted on the Investor Relations section of our website, which is located at https://investors.ivericbio.com.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, our board appointed a committee of independent directors to review certain stockholder litigation demands that we received. In addition, during the fourth quarter of 2019, our board appointed a committee of independent directors to investigate the allegations made in the complaint for a shareholder derivative action filed against current and former members of our board of directors and certain of our current and former officers in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, captioned Luis Pacheco v. David R. Guyer, et al. , Case No. 1:18-cv-07999. Ms. Henderson is the chair of both the demand review and special litigation committees, and Dr. Graves is a member of both committees. A description of these matters is set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which was filed with the SEC on February 27, 2020 .
Our board may also appoint additional committees from time to time as it deems appropriate.
Audit Committee
The members of our audit committee are Ms. Henderson, Mr. Bolte and Dr. Roberts. Ms. Henderson chairs our audit committee. Mr. Redlick served on our audit committee until his resignation in October 2019, at which time Dr. Roberts was appointed to serve on our audit committee.
Our audit committee’s responsibilities include:
appointing, approving the compensation of, and assessing the independence of our registered public accounting firm;
overseeing the work of our independent registered public accounting firm, including through the receipt and consideration of reports and other communications from such firm;
reviewing and discussing with management and our independent registered public accounting firm our annual and quarterly financial statements and related disclosures;
monitoring our internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures;
overseeing our risk assessment and risk management policies and programs, including our code of business conduct and ethics and our compliance activities;

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overseeing cybersecurity, including measures to protect and improve our informational technology systems, and monitoring cybersecurity and privacy risks;
establishing policies regarding hiring employees from our independent registered public accounting firm and procedures for the receipt and retention of accounting-related complaints and concerns;
meeting independently with our independent registered public accounting firm and management;
reviewing and approving or ratifying any related person transactions; and
preparing the audit committee report required by SEC rules.
All audit and non-audit services, other than de minimis non-audit services, to be provided to us by our independent registered public accounting firm must be approved in advance by our audit committee.
Our board of directors has determined that Ms. Henderson is an “audit committee financial expert” as defined in applicable SEC rules. We believe that the composition of our audit committee meets the requirements for independence under the current Nasdaq Marketplace Rules and SEC rules and regulations.
The audit committee met four times during 2019.
Compensation Committee
The members of our compensation committee are Dr. Graves, Ms. Henderson and Dr. Roberts. Dr. Graves currently chairs our compensation committee. Mr. Redlick chaired our compensation committee until his resignation in October 2019, at which time Dr. Graves began chairing our compensation committee. At the same time, Ms. Henderson was appointed to our compensation committee. Dr. Roberts began serving on our compensation committee in February 2019. Dr. Ross served on our compensation committee until his resignation in February 2019. Dr. Dyrberg served on our compensation committee until the expiration of his term in May 2019.
Our compensation committee’s responsibilities include:
reviewing and approving, or making recommendations to our board with respect to, the compensation of our executive chairman, our chief executive officer and our other executive officers;
overseeing an evaluation of our senior executives;
overseeing and administering our cash and equity incentive plans;
reviewing and making recommendations to our board with respect to director compensation;
overseeing and reviewing with management the human capital of the company, including ways to attract, develop and retain key employees for the growth of our business;
reviewing and discussing annually with management our compensation disclosure required by SEC rules; and
preparing the compensation committee report required by SEC rules.
The processes and procedures followed by our compensation committee in considering and determining executive compensation is described below under “Executive Compensation—Compensation Discussion and Analysis.” The processes and procedures followed by our compensation committee in considering and determining director compensation is described below under “Board Processes—Director Compensation Processes.”
The compensation committee met seven times during 2019 and took action by written consent five times.

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Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee
The members of our nominating and corporate governance committee are Mr. Bolte, Ms. Henderson and Dr. Roberts. Mr. Bolte has chaired our nominating and corporate governance committee since February 2019. Dr. Dyrberg chaired our nominating and corporate governance committee until February 2019, following which he continued to served as a member of our nominating and corporate governance committee until his term expired in May 2019. Ms. Henderson and Dr. Roberts began serving on our nominating and corporate governance committee in February 2019. Dr. Ross served on our nominating and corporate governance committee until his resignation in February 2019.
Our nominating and corporate governance committee’s responsibilities include:
identifying individuals qualified to become members of our board;
recommending to our board the persons to be nominated for election as directors and to each of our board’s committees;
reviewing and making recommendations to our board with respect to our board leadership structure;
reviewing and making recommendations to our board with respect to management succession planning;
developing and recommending to our board corporate governance principles; and
overseeing a periodic evaluation of our board.
The nominating and corporate governance committee met three times during 2019 and took action by written consent twice.
Research and Development Committee
In February 2019, our board established our research and development committee. Our research and development committee assists our board and management with reviewing and evaluating our research and development programs in light of our long-term strategic goals. The committee also helps us with identifying new and emerging trends in health care, pharmaceutical science, technology, manufacturing and regulation to assist our board and management with making well-informed choices in developing our research and development capabilities and using our research and development resources.
The members of our research and development committee are Dr. Roberts, Dr. Graves and Dr. Guyer. Dr. Roberts chairs our research and development committee. Our research and development committee met four times during 2019.
Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation
During 2019, the members of our compensation committee consisted of:
Dr. Graves, who served throughout the year;
Ms. Henderson, who served starting in October 2019 following Mr. Redlick's resignation;
Dr. Roberts, who served starting in February 2019;
Mr. Redlick, who served until his resignation in October 2019;
Dr. Ross, who served until his resignation in February 2019; and
Dr. Dyrberg, who served until the expiration of his term in May 2019.
None of our executive officers serves as a member of the board of directors or compensation committee, or other committee serving an equivalent function, of any other entity that has one or more of its executive officers serving as a

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member of our board of directors or our compensation committee. None of the current or former members of our compensation committee set forth in the list above are, or have ever been, an officer or employee of our company.
Board Meetings and Attendance
Our board of directors met fourteen times during 2019 and took action by written consent six times. During 2019, each of our incumbent directors attended at least 75% of the aggregate number of board meetings and committee meetings held by all committees of the board on which he or she then served.
Our directors are expected to attend our annual meetings of stockholders. In 2019, all of our then-serving directors attended our annual meeting of stockholders, except for Dr. Dyrberg, who did not attend our 2019 annual meeting because his term expired upon the commencement of the 2019 annual meeting.
Board Processes
Oversight of Risk
Our board of directors oversees our risk management processes directly and through its committees. Our management is responsible for risk management on a day-to-day basis. One of the roles of our board and its committees is to oversee the risk management activities of management. They fulfill this duty by discussing with management the policies and practices utilized by management in assessing and managing risks and providing input on those policies and practices. In general, our board oversees risk management activities relating to business strategy, acquisitions, capital allocation, organizational structure and certain operational risks, including risks posed by macro-economic, political and social developments such as the COVID-19 pandemic; our audit committee oversees risk management activities related to financial controls and legal and compliance risks, including cybersecurity and privacy; our compensation committee oversees risk management activities related to our compensation policies and practices and human capital; our nominating and corporate governance committee oversees risk management activities related to board composition, corporate governance and management succession planning; and our research and development committee oversees risk management activities related to scientific, development and technical matters. Each committee reports to the full board on a regular basis, including reports with respect to the committee’s risk oversight activities as appropriate. In addition, since risk issues often overlap, committees from time to time request that the full board discuss particular risks.
Director Nomination Process
The process followed by our nominating and corporate governance committee to identify and evaluate director candidates may include requests to board members and others for recommendations, evaluation of the performance on our board and its committees of any existing directors being considered for nomination, consideration of biographical information and background material relating to potential candidates and, particularly in the case of potential candidates who are not then serving on our board, interviews of selected candidates by members of the committee and our board.
In considering whether to recommend any particular candidate for inclusion in our board’s slate of recommended director nominees, our nominating and corporate governance committee applies the criteria set forth in our corporate governance guidelines described below under “Corporate Governance Guidelines.” Consistent with these criteria, our nominating and corporate governance committee expects every nominee to have the following attributes or characteristics, among others: integrity, honesty, adherence to high ethical standards, business acumen, good judgment and a commitment to understand our business and industry.
Each of the director nominees for election at the 2020 annual meeting is a current member of our board of directors. The biographies under “Board of Directors—Members of Our Board of Directors” indicate the experience, qualifications, attributes and skills of each nominee that led our nominating and corporate governance committee and our board to conclude that he or she should serve as a director of our company. Our nominating and corporate governance committee and our board believe that each of the nominees has the individual attributes and characteristics required of each of our directors, and that our board of directors as a group possess the skill sets and specific experience desired of our board as a whole.
Our nominating and corporate governance committee considers the value of diversity when selecting nominees and believes that our board, taken as a whole, should embody a diverse set of skills, experiences and backgrounds. Although the committee may consider characteristics such as gender, racial or ethnic identity, international experience or expertise in a

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particular discipline or field in selecting or evaluating a nominee, the committee does not make any particular weighting of diversity or any other characteristic in evaluating nominees and directors.
Stockholders may recommend individuals for consideration as potential director candidates by submitting the individuals’ names, together with appropriate biographical information and background materials, and information with respect to the stockholder or group of stockholders making the recommendation, including the number of shares of common stock owned by such stockholder or group of stockholders, to our Secretary at IVERIC bio, Inc., One Penn Plaza, 35 th  Floor, New York, New York 10119, Attention: Corporate Secretary. The specific requirements for the information that is required to be provided for such recommendations to be considered are specified in our bylaws and must be received by us no later than the date referenced below in “Other Matters—Deadline for Submission of Stockholder Proposals for 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.” Assuming that appropriate biographical and background material has been provided on a timely basis, the nominating and corporate governance committee will evaluate stockholder-recommended candidates by following substantially the same process, and applying substantially the same criteria, as it follows for candidates submitted by others.
Communications with Stockholders
Our management will give appropriate attention to written communications that are submitted by stockholders, and will respond if and as appropriate. Stockholders may communicate with our management by writing to our Secretary at IVERIC bio, Inc., One Penn Plaza, 35 th Floor, New York, New York 10119, Attention: Corporate Secretary, or by calling (212) 845-8200. Additional information about contacting us is available on the Investor Relations section of our website, which is located at https://investors.ivericbio.com.
In addition, stockholders who wish to communicate with our entire board may do so by writing to Dr. Adrienne L. Graves, Independent Lead Director, IVERIC bio, Inc., One Penn Plaza, 35 th Floor, New York, New York 10119. Communications will be forwarded to other directors if they relate to substantive matters that our independent lead director, in consultation with our general counsel, considers appropriate for attention by the other directors. In general, communications relating to corporate governance and long-term corporate strategy are more likely to be forwarded than communications relating to ordinary business affairs, personal grievances or matters as to which we tend to receive repetitive or duplicative communications.
Director Compensation Processes
Our director compensation program is administered by our board of directors with the assistance of the compensation committee and our independent compensation consultant. The compensation committee conducts an annual review of director compensation and makes recommendations to the board with respect thereto. As part of the process for reviewing our director compensation, our independent compensation consultant provides, and our compensation committee considers, market data for director compensation programs at peer companies in the group selected. In evaluating our director compensation program in early 2020, our compensation committee reviewed market data for companies in our 2020 peer group that we used to make executive compensation determinations at the end of 2019. For information regarding the companies included in this peer group, please see the section, "Executive Compensation—Compensation Discussion and Analysis—Compensation Determination Process—Use of Peer Groups—2020 Peer Group".
Our stockholders approved our Non-Employee Director Compensation Policy at our 2019 annual meeting. For more information about this policy, please see the section, "Director Compensation—Director Compensation Arrangements".
Corporate Governance Guidelines
Our board of directors has adopted corporate governance guidelines to assist in the exercise of its duties and responsibilities and to serve the best interests of our company and our stockholders. The guidelines provide that:
our board’s principal responsibility is to oversee our management;
a majority of the members of our board must be independent directors;
the independent directors meet in executive session at least twice a year;
directors have full and free access to management and, as necessary, independent advisors;

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new directors participate in an orientation program and all directors are expected to participate in continuing director education on an ongoing basis; and
our board will conduct an annual self-evaluation to determine whether it and its committees are functioning effectively.
A copy of the corporate governance guidelines is posted under the heading “Corporate Governance” on the Investor Relations section of our website, which is located at https://investors.ivericbio.com.
Board Policies
Related Person Transactions
Our board of directors has adopted written policies and procedures for the review of any transaction, arrangement or relationship in which we are a participant, the amount involved exceeds $120,000 and one of our executive officers, directors, director nominees or 5% stockholders, or their immediate family members, each of whom we refer to as a “related person,” has a direct or indirect material interest.
If a related person proposes to enter into such a transaction, arrangement or relationship, which we refer to as a “related person transaction,” the related person must report the proposed related person transaction to our general counsel. The policy calls for the proposed related person transaction to be reviewed and, if deemed appropriate, approved by our audit committee. Whenever practicable, the reporting, review and approval will occur prior to entry into the transaction. If advance review and approval is not practicable, the audit committee will review, and, in its discretion, may ratify the related person transaction. The policy also permits the chair of the audit committee to review and, if deemed appropriate, approve proposed related person transactions that arise between audit committee meetings, subject to ratification by the audit committee at its next meeting. Any related person transactions that are ongoing in nature will be reviewed annually.
A related person transaction reviewed under the policy will be considered approved or ratified if it is authorized by the audit committee after full disclosure of the related person’s interest in the transaction. As appropriate for the circumstances, the audit committee will review and consider:
the related person’s interest in the related person transaction;
the approximate dollar value of the amount involved in the related person transaction;
the approximate dollar value of the amount of the related person’s interest in the transaction without regard to the amount of any profit or loss;
whether the transaction was undertaken in the ordinary course of our business;
whether the terms of the transaction are no less favorable to us than terms that could have been reached with an unrelated third party;
the purpose of, and the potential benefits to us of, the transaction; and
any other information regarding the related person transaction or the related person in the context of the proposed transaction that would be material to investors in light of the circumstances of the particular transaction.
The audit committee may approve or ratify the transaction only if the audit committee determines that, under all of the circumstances, the transaction is in, or is not inconsistent with, our best interests. The audit committee may impose any conditions on the related person transaction that it deems appropriate.
In addition to the transactions that are excluded by the instructions to the SEC’s related person transaction disclosure rule, our board of directors has determined that the following transactions do not create a material direct or indirect interest on behalf of related persons and, therefore, are not related person transactions for purposes of this policy:

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interests arising solely from the related person’s position as an executive officer of another entity (whether or not the person is also a director of such entity) that is a participant in the transaction, where (a) the related person and all other related persons own in the aggregate less than a 10% equity interest in such entity, (b) the related person and his or her immediate family members are not involved in the negotiation of the terms of the transaction and do not receive any special benefits as a result of the transaction and (c) the amount involved in the transaction is less than the greater of $200,000 or 5% of the annual gross revenues of the company receiving payment under the transaction; and
a transaction that is specifically contemplated by provisions of our charter or bylaws.
The policy provides that transactions involving compensation of executive officers shall be reviewed and approved by the compensation committee in the manner specified in its charter.
In addition to the compensation arrangements with directors and executive officers described elsewhere in this proxy statement, since January 1, 2019, we have been party to the following transactions with executive officers, directors or affiliates of our executive directors or directors, and with holders of more than 5% of our voting securities or their affiliates at the time the transaction was entered into. We believe the transactions described below were made on terms no less favorable to us than could have been obtained from unaffiliated third parties.
Participation in Follow-on Public Offering
In December 2019, we completed an underwritten public offering in which we sold 7,750,000 shares of our common stock, which includes shares purchased pursuant to the underwriters' option to purchase additional shares of our common stock, at a public offering price of $4.00 per share. We also sold to certain investors pre-funded warrants to purchase 3,750,000 shares of our common stock at a public offering price of $3.999 per share underlying each warrant. We raised approximately $42.6 million in net proceeds from this offering.

The following table sets forth the total number of shares of our common stock or the total number of shares of common stock represented by pre-funded warrants, in each case purchased by our executive officers, directors and holders of more than 5% of our voting securities and their affiliates and the aggregate purchase price for such securities.
Name
 
Shares of Common Stock Purchased or Shares of Common Stock Represented by Pre-Funded Warrants Purchased
 
Aggregate Purchase Price
Glenn P. Sblendorio (1)
 
62,500
 
$250,000
Stonepine Capital, L.P. (2)
 
2,500,000
 
$9,997,500

(1)
Mr. Sblendorio was our president and chief executive officer, and a director, at the time the transaction was entered into. He purchased 62,500 shares of our common stock at the public offering price of $4.00 per share.
(2)
Stonepine Capital, L.P. and its affiliates were collectively a more than 5% shareholder at the time the transaction was entered into. Stonepine Capital, L.P. purchased a pre-funded warrant to purchase 2,500,000 shares of our common stock at the public offering price of $3.99 per share underlying such pre-funded warrant.
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
Our board of directors has adopted a written code of business conduct and ethics that applies to our directors, officers and employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller, or persons performing similar functions. In December 2019, we amended our code of business conduct and ethics to better align the code with our stage of development, including, among other things, updates relating to compliance with laws, rules and regulations applicable to pharmaceutical development, interactions with healthcare providers, data privacy and international trade regulations. A copy of the code of business conduct and ethics is posted on the Investor Relations section of our website, which is located at https://investors.ivericbio.com. In addition, to the extent applicable, we intend to

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post on our website, all disclosures that are required by law or the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules concerning any amendments to, or waivers from, any provision of our code of business conduct and ethics.

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EXECUTIVE OFFICERS
The following table sets forth information regarding our executive officers as of April 15, 2020:
Name
 
Age
 
Position
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 
64
 
Chief executive officer and president
David R. Guyer, M.D.
 
60
 
Executive chairman
David F. Carroll
 
54
 
Senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer
Keith Westby
 
45
 
Senior vice president and chief operating officer

In addition to the biographical information for Mr. Sblendorio and Dr. Guyer, which are set forth above, under “Corporate Governance—Board of Directors—Members of Our Board of Directors,” set forth below is certain biographical information about each of our other executive officers:
David F. Carroll has served as our senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer since April 2017. Mr. Carroll joined us in June 2016 and previously served as senior vice president, finance from June 2016 to April 2017. Prior to joining us, Mr. Carroll served in several senior financial leadership roles at The Medicines Company from May 2008 to June 2016, including vice president, controller from October 2008 to December 2015 and senior vice president, chief accounting officer from January 2016 to June 2016. Earlier in his career, Mr. Carroll served in various financial management positions of increasing responsibility for Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, Novartis AG, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Mr. Carroll is a certified public accountant and received a B.A. in economics from Ursinus College and an M.B.A. from Rutgers University.
Keith Westby has served as our senior vice president, chief operating officer since January 2017. Mr. Westby joined us in 2007 and previously served as senior vice president of development operations from October 2014 to January 2017, as vice president, program management and business operations from December 2012 to September 2014 and senior director, project management from August 2007 to December 2012. Prior to joining us, Mr. Westby served as director, project and alliance management at Pharmasset, Inc., a pharmaceutical company, from December 2005 to August 2007. He also served in positions of increasing responsibility at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from January 2002 to December 2005, including director, alliance & project management. Earlier in his career, Mr. Westby worked at Tunnell Consulting as a senior consultant. Mr. Westby received a B.S. in physics from the State University of New York, College at Geneseo, an M.S. in engineering management from Drexel University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.
Our executive officers are elected by, and serve at the discretion of, our board of directors. There are no family relationships among any of our directors or executive officers.

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EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
Compensation Discussion and Analysis
This Compensation Discussion and Analysis, or CD&A, describes the philosophy, objectives, process, and structure of our fiscal year 2019 executive compensation program. It also discusses the principles underlying our policies and decisions with respect to the compensation of our executive officers and the most important factors relevant to an analysis of these policies and decisions. In addition, this CD&A section outlines the response to our annual outreach efforts to our stockholders regarding our compensation and governance programs. This CD&A is intended to be read in conjunction with the tables that immediately follow this section and the accompanying narrative disclosure, which provide further historical compensation information for our 2019 named executive officers, or NEOs, as identified below:
Name
 
Position
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 
Chief executive officer and president
David R. Guyer
 
Executive chairman
David F. Carroll
 
Senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer
Keith Westby
 
Senior vice president and chief operating officer
Executive Summary

We are a science-driven biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel treatment options for retinal diseases with significant unmet medical needs. We are currently developing both therapeutic product candidates for age-related retinal diseases and gene therapy product candidates for orphan inherited retinal diseases, or IRDs. During 2019, we made significant progress toward our business goals, including the following, which impacted executive compensation:

delivered topline data from our randomized, controlled OPH2003 clinical trial, confirming that Zimura® (avacincaptad pegol), our complement factor C5 inhibitor, met its prespecified primary endpoint in reducing the mean rate of geographic atrophy (GA) growth in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD);

initiated toxicology studies for IC-100, our novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy product candidate for the treatment of rhodopsin-mediated autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, in line with our plans to initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for IC-100 during the fourth quarter of 2020 as of the end of 2019;

identified and selected a contract manufacturer and continued preparations for investigational new drug (IND)-enabling activities for IC-200, our novel AAV gene therapy product candidate for the treatment of BEST1-related inherited retinal diseases, in line with our plans to initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for IC-200 during the first half of 2021 as of the end of 2019;

entered into an exclusive global license agreement with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Florida Research Foundation for rights to develop and commercialize IC-200;

entered into an exclusive global license agreement with the University of Massachusetts for rights related to our miniCEP290 gene therapy program for the treatment of Leber Congenital Amaurosis type 10;

completed an underwritten public offering that raised approximately $42.6 million in net proceeds;

hosted multiple R&D symposiums to educate investors regarding our Zimura and gene therapy programs;

re-branded the company, changing our name from Ophthotech Corporation to IVERIC bio, Inc. and launching a new website;

ended 2019 with approximately $125.7 million in cash and cash equivalents; and

made several key hires to support our gene therapy research and development programs, including a chief scientific officer, to help position us to move our gene therapy pipeline forward.

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For a detailed description of our business, please see our periodic filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, filed on February 27, 2020.

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Compensation and Governance Program Highlights
We believe our compensation and governance programs incorporate market best practices where appropriate for our company, based on the current stage of our business. The following chart provides a summary of some of the practices we use to align our programs with our stockholders’ interests, as well as several potentially problematic practices we avoid:

What We Do
• Pay-for-performance philosophy and culture - significant portion of NEO compensation is “at risk” based on company performance
• Performance-based stock option awards for our chief executive officer and executive chairman
• Annual stockholder outreach with thoughtful consideration of feedback received
• Provide comprehensive and transparent compensation disclosure to our stockholders; include robust CD&A disclosure despite our “smaller reporting company” status and being eligible to omit this disclosure from our proxy statement
• Objective performance criteria for short-term cash incentive program set at the beginning of each year based on key strategic, operational, financial and other company goals for the coming year
• Payouts under short-term cash incentive program limited to 150% of each NEOs target opportunity
• Rigorous stock ownership and retention requirements for all NEOs and non-employee directors
• Comprehensive clawback policy applicable to both cash and equity incentive compensation
• Responsible use of shares under our long-term incentive program
• Regularly consult with an independent advisor on compensation levels and practices
• Focus on recruiting board members with different experiences and perspectives when board openings occur or new board members are sought
• Annual review of corporate governance provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws
• Assess risks when establishing our compensation policies and practices
What We Don’t Do
X No immediate vesting (“single‑trigger”) of stock options or restricted stock units upon change of control or other similar events
X No hedging or pledging of company stock permitted other than pledges in certain limited, pre-approved circumstances
X No excise tax gross-up provisions in employment contracts
X No above-market executive severance packages
X No backdating or repricing of stock option awards
X No supplemental executive retirement plans
X No highly leveraged incentive plans that encourage excessive risk taking
X No excessive perquisites

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Annual Stockholder Outreach and Review of Corporate Governance Provisions

Beginning in 2017, we began the practice of an annual stockholder outreach campaign to pro-actively engage stockholders in discussions regarding our compensation and governance programs. In light of the timing of our receipt and public announcement of top-line results from our OPH2003 Zimura clinical trial in October 2019, the R&D investor symposium to discuss these results in November 2019, our underwritten public offering in December 2019 and the significant turnover in our stockholder base throughout the fall of 2019, we deferred our 2019 outreach campaign until early 2020. In January 2020, we contacted 24 of our top stockholders (representing ~70% of shares outstanding based on available information) to offer an opportunity to discuss and provide feedback regarding our programs. Three of these stockholders responded to our outreach, with a representative from one stockholder requesting a meeting with our management team. During the meeting, we reviewed and responded to questions regarding our business and company history. The stockholder’s representative provided us with information regarding the stockholder’s general guidelines for director overboarding and board classification and policies for corporate sustainability. Our management team shared this information with our board of directors.

In February 2020, as part of our annual corporate governance review, our nominating and corporate governance committee reviewed several corporate governance provisions, including those related to board classification, together with peer group and comparable company data. Based on this review, we believe that our corporate governance is in line with our peer group and comparable companies. Our nominating and corporate governance committee concluded that no changes are warranted at this time. The committee will continue to evaluate these provisions annually to ensure that they are designed to promote acting in the best interests of our stockholders.
Compensation Philosophy and Objectives

The primary objectives of our executive compensation program, as determined by our compensation committee, are to:
attract, retain and motivate experienced and talented executives;

align the interests of our executives with our stockholders by rewarding performance that leads to the creation of stockholder value;

promote the achievement of key strategic, development and operational performance measures by linking compensation to the achievement of measurable corporate goals; and

provide an opportunity for executives to realize value over the long-term based on company performance and appreciation in our stock price.

To achieve these objectives, the compensation committee evaluates our executive compensation program and seeks to set compensation at levels that are appropriate based on each executive’s level of experience, performance, growth potential and job responsibility and that the compensation committee believes are competitive with other companies in our industry that compete with us for executive talent. In addition, our executive compensation program reinforces a pay‑for‑performance culture by tying a significant portion of each executive’s overall compensation to the achievement of key corporate and individual goals and the value of our stock.
Components of Our Executive Compensation Program
The primary elements of our executive compensation program are:
base salary;

short-term cash incentive awards; and

long-term equity incentive awards.


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Our approach with respect to each of these elements is described below. Our objective in allocating between short‑term compensation, including base salary and short-term cash incentive awards, on the one hand, and long‑term equity incentive awards, on the other hand, is:
to ensure adequate currently‑paid base compensation to attract and retain talent;

to provide rewards for meeting near-term business goals; and

to provide incentives to align the interests of our management with those of our stockholders by incentivizing our executives to take steps to maximize our long‑term value.

We also provide our NEOs with broad‑based health and welfare benefits, a 401(k) retirement plan and severance and change in control benefits, each of which are described in greater detail below under “Additional Compensation Policies and Practices.”
Base Salary
We use base salaries to recognize the experience, skills, knowledge and responsibilities of our employees, including our executive officers. Base salaries for our NEOs typically are established through arm’s length negotiation at the time the executive is hired or promoted, taking into account the position for which the executive is being considered and the executive’s qualifications and prior experience, and is generally set out in a written employment agreement with each NEO. Each NEO’s base salary has been approved by our compensation committee. None of our NEOs is currently party to an employment agreement that provides for automatic or scheduled increases in base salary. Our compensation committee, however, with input from our chief executive officer, reviews and evaluates on an annual basis whether any increases to the base salaries of our NEOs other than our chief executive officer and our executive chairman should be made based on changes or expected changes in the scope of an NEO’s responsibilities. Our compensation committee, without any input from our chief executive officer or executive chairman, also reviews and evaluates on an annual basis whether any increases to the base salaries of our chief executive officer and executive chairman should be made based on the overall performance of our company in that year.
In evaluating our NEOs’ base salaries, our compensation committee also considers promotions, the individual contributions made by, and performance of, the executive during the prior year, the executive’s performance over a period of years, overall labor market conditions, the relative ease or difficulty of replacing the executive with a well‑qualified person, our overall growth and development as a company, general salary trends in our industry and among our peer group and where the executive’s salary falls in the salary range presented by that data, as well as any additional input from our compensation consultant. We do not provide for any formulaic base salary increases for our NEOs.
Short-term Cash Incentive Program
Awards made under our short-term cash incentive program emphasize pay‑for‑performance and reward our NEOs for the achievement of specified annual corporate goals, as well as individual goals for NEOs other than our chief executive officer and executive chairman. For NEOs other than our chief executive officer and executive chairman, short-term cash incentive awards are weighted 70% based on achievement against our corporate goals and 30% based on achievement of individual goals.
Our annual corporate goals have typically focused on the achievement of specified preclinical, clinical, regulatory, operational, financial and cultural milestones, with a focus on the advancement of our research and development programs, including our product candidates in preclinical and clinical development, the pursuit of various internal and external initiatives, including in relation to business development, and provision of adequate funding for our research and development programs. Each year, senior management proposes a set of corporate goals for the coming year. The compensation committee reviews and discusses the proposed goals, making modifications where it deems appropriate. Following the compensation committee’s review, our full board of directors reviews and discusses the goals, making any further modifications it deems appropriate prior to finalization. The corporate goals are designed to require significant effort and operational success on the part of our executives and employees, but also to be achievable with hard work and dedication.

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Once our corporate goals are finalized, each NEO proposes his or her own individual goals. Our chief executive officer reviews proposed individual goals for NEOs, other than himself and our executive chairman, and approves these goals with such modifications as he deems appropriate.
The target amount for short-term cash incentive awards for each NEO, which is usually expressed as a percentage of each NEO’s base salary, is established through arm’s length negotiation at the time the executive is hired or promoted, or, in the case of our executive chairman, at the time his role was created. The target percentages, which have been approved by our compensation committee and are generally set out in written employment letter agreements with each NEO, were derived from peer group data that the compensation committee then interpreted to match the level of qualification and experience of the NEO as well as based on internal comparisons. Our compensation committee may in the future approve increases to an NEO’s target percentage for short-term cash incentive awards as part of the annual compensation review process or as it otherwise deems appropriate from time to time. Our compensation committee has not made any such modifications since our NEOs were appointed to their respective current positions. Our compensation committee has limited payouts under our short-term cash incentive program to a maximum of 150% of each NEOs target short-term cash incentive opportunity.
Equity Incentive Awards
Our equity award program is the primary vehicle for offering long‑term incentive compensation to our executives. We believe that equity awards provide our executives with a strong link to our long‑term performance, create an ownership culture and help to align the interests of our executives and our stockholders. In addition, we believe that equity awards with a time‑based or performance‑based vesting feature promote executive retention because this feature incentivizes our executive officers to remain in our employment during the applicable vesting or performance period.
To date, we have used equity awards both to compensate our executive officers in the form of new hire grants in connection with the commencement of employment, as well as to provide additional, ongoing long‑term incentives to our executive officers as our business has developed. In the future, we generally plan to continue to grant equity awards on an annual basis to our executive officers.
We determine whether to grant a new hire equity award in connection with the commencement of an executive's employment on a case-by-case basis under the specific hiring circumstances. The size of each new hire award is established through arm's length negotiation at the time the executive is hired, taking into account the position for which the executive is being considered and the executive's qualifications, prior experience, the company’s market capitalization at the time of negotiation and equity holdings at prior companies, as well as external factors such as market demand.
At the end of each year as part of our compensation review process, our chief executive officer considers industry and peer company market data developed by our compensation consultant for annual equity awards for our NEOs, other than himself and our executive chairman. This data includes information regarding comparative stock ownership of, and equity awards received by, executives at companies in our peer group and in our industry. Taking into account each NEO’s individual performance, our chief executive officer then makes a recommendation to our compensation committee regarding equity awards for NEOs other than himself and our executive chairman. In determining awards for each of our NEOs, including our chief executive officer and executive chairman, our compensation committee considers each executive’s individual performance, the amount of equity previously awarded to such executive and the expected value to be realized upon the future vesting of such awards, as well as our overall corporate performance and the potential for enhancing the creation of value for our stockholders. In determining the form of equity awards, our compensation committee considers the retentive value of the awards, and in particular the relative value of stock options as compared to restricted stock units, as well as the number of shares we have available under our stock incentive plan.
Typically, the stock options and restricted stock units we have granted to our executive officers vest over a period of four years. In late 2019, in special recognition of their service and contributions to the company, we made additional awards of restricted stock units that vest over a two-year period to Mr. Carroll and Mr. Westby. Vesting ceases upon termination of employment, and exercise rights for options cease shortly after termination of employment. Prior to the exercise of a stock option or settlement of a restricted stock unit, the holder has no rights as a stockholder with respect to the shares subject to such option or restricted stock unit, including voting rights or the right to receive dividends or dividend equivalents. We have historically granted stock options with exercise prices that are set at no less than the fair market value of shares of our common stock on the date of grant as determined by reference to the closing market price of our common stock on such date. Beginning with awards granted at the end of 2018 and continuing with the awards granted at the end of 2019, stock options awarded to our chief executive officer and executive chairman include performance-based vesting criteria: each award will not vest and become exercisable with respect to any shares until the average closing sale price of our common stock equals or exceeds 125% of the per share exercise price of the options for a period of twenty consecutive trading days.

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Measures Demonstrating Pay-for-Performance Philosophy
Our compensation committee utilizes the three compensation elements described above to create pay packages that appropriately balance short- and long-term incentives while aligning the interests of our NEOs with those of stockholders.

Percent of pay “at risk”

Consistent with our pay‑for‑performance philosophy, the compensation committee believes an appropriate NEO pay package consists of a sizeable portion of variable, at-risk pay. We consider pay to be “at risk” if it is subject to performance‑based payment conditions, including achievement of corporate or individual goals, or time-based vesting conditions, or has a value dependent upon our share price. Specifically, when compensation was set at the end of 2018 for 2019, 54% of the target total direct compensation (defined as base salary, plus target short-term cash incentive opportunity, plus the grant date fair value of long-term equity incentive awards) for Mr. Sblendorio, our chief executive officer, was “at risk,” and 47% of the target total direct compensation of our other continuing NEOs, on average, was at risk. The overall proportion of pay that was “at risk” for 2019 was affected by our stock price at the time we made long-term equity incentive awards at the end of 2018, and the grant date fair value associated with these awards.

The following charts illustrate for both our chief executive officer and our other NEOs as a group, the percentage of overall target compensation for 2019 represented by:

each component of compensation, including 2019 base salary, 2019 short-term cash incentive opportunity and the long-term equity awards granted in December 2018 as incentive compensation for 2019 and beyond;

long-term and short-term compensation; and

“at risk” pay.

atriskpay.jpg

* STI - short-term cash incentive opportunity.

“Realizable pay” compared to reported pay
An additional metric that we believe demonstrates our pay-for-performance alignment is to review the actual pay received and that is “realizable” by our executives, as compared to the value of compensation awarded as reported in our Summary Compensation Table, or SCT, which immediately follows this CD&A. Because a significant amount of our executive compensation includes long-term equity incentive awards, the amount of compensation that an executive can “realize” based on prior awards fluctuates substantially over time based on our stock price. During the period encompassing 2017, 2018 and 2019, our stock price has traded in a range between $0.906, which was the low price on October 23, 2019, prior to our reporting data from the OPH2003 trial, and $8.97, which was the high price on December 31, 2019. The closing price of our stock was $8.58 on December 31, 2019. During the first quarter of 2020, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has broadened and registered in financial markets, there has been significant volatility in the stock market in general, and the price of our stock in particular. The closing price for our stock was $3.44 on March 31, 2020.

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The accompanying chart illustrates the amount of compensation that our prior chief executive officer, Dr. Guyer, and our current chief executive officer, Mr. Sblendorio, have actually received or had the potential to realize in their capacity as chief executive officer calculated at the end of 2019, in contrast to the three year aggregate total direct compensation amount reflected under the reporting requirements for the SCT. To further illustrate the impact of volatility in our stock price on the amount of pay realizable by our named executive officers, we have also included a calculation for the amount of pay realizable over the period calculated as of March 31, 2020. As Dr. Guyer transitioned from chief executive officer to executive chairman in mid-2017 and Mr. Sblendorio assumed the role of chief executive officer at such time, we have created a composite calculation, factoring in the compensation we awarded to Dr. Guyer for the first half of 2017 and the compensation we awarded to Mr. Sblendorio for the second half of 2017 and full-year 2018 and 2019.
We believe the chart provides a useful supplemental perspective to assist our stockholders in understanding our executive compensation program, as it demonstrates how the value of compensation that is actually received or realizable by our executives is tied to the performance of the company.

realizablepaya02.jpg
In the above chart:
SCT compensation consists of the aggregate three-year pay for Dr. Guyer (first half of 2017), and Mr. Sblendorio (second half of 2017 and full-year 2018 and 2019). SCT pay consists of: (i) actual base salary; (ii) the value of the retention award (consisting of a mix of cash and restricted stock units) granted to Dr. Guyer on the grant date in January 2017, based on the expected cash value and grant date fair value of the restricted stock units, calculated as required for the SCT; (iii) actual short-term cash incentive awards earned; and (iv) the fair value of all long‑term incentive awards on the date of grant, calculated as required for the SCT.

Realizable pay as of FYE consists of (i) actual base salary; (ii) the value of the 2017 retention award realized by Dr. Guyer based on the cash value and the value of the shares issued upon vesting of the restricted stock units in June 2017 and December 2017; (iii) actual short-term cash incentive awards earned; and (iv) the value of long‑term incentive awards on the vesting date (if vested) or on December 31, 2019 (if unvested), which was the last trading day of 2019.

Realizable pay as of 3/31/20 consists of (i) actual base salary; (ii) the value of the 2017 retention award realized by Dr. Guyer based on the cash value and the value of the shares issued upon vesting of the restricted stock units in June 2017 and December 2017; (iii) actual short-term cash incentive awards earned; and (iv) the value of long‑term incentive awards on the vesting date (if vested) or on March 31, 2020 (if unvested), which was the last trading day of the first quarter of 2020.

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Compensation Determination Process
Role of the Compensation Committee and Our Chief Executive Officer
Our compensation committee oversees our executive compensation program. The committee currently consists of three members of our board of directors: Dr. Graves, the committee’s chair, Ms. Henderson. and Dr. Roberts.
Each member of our compensation committee has extensive experience in our industry and is an “independent” director under applicable Nasdaq and SEC rules and an “outside director” under Internal Revenue Service rules. Our compensation committee uses its judgment and experience when determining the amount and appropriate mix of compensation for each of our executive officers. Pursuant to the authority granted to our compensation committee under its charter, our compensation committee approves the grant of individual equity awards to our executive officers.
The compensation committee periodically evaluates the need for revisions to our executive compensation program to ensure our programs are appropriate given the stage and status of our business and are competitive with the companies with which we compete for executive talent.
Our chief executive officer typically provides input and recommendations to our compensation committee on salary adjustments, individual performance ratings including performance against individual goals, eligibility to participate in our short‑term cash incentive program and appropriate equity incentive compensation levels for executive officers other than himself or the executive chairman. Our chief executive officer supports his recommendations by taking into account each executive’s performance in the past year, including the executive’s individual contributions towards achieving our corporate goals. Our chief executive officer also supports his recommendations regarding NEO compensation by considering market data that is provided to us by Radford, which is part of the Rewards Solutions practice at Aon plc. Radford is an industry leader in providing talent and compensation consulting services to technology and life sciences companies .
Annual Compensation Review Process
Each year we evaluate each NEO’s performance for the completed year and assign an individual performance rating. Our chief executive officer, with respect to each executive other than himself and our executive chairman, prepares a subjective, written evaluation based on his assessment of the executive’s performance. The evaluation includes an assessment of each NEO’s performance against his or her pre-defined individual goals. This process leads to an overall individual performance rating and a recommendation by our chief executive officer to the compensation committee with respect to each NEO, other than himself and our executive chairman, as to:
the level of performance and contributions made by our NEOs, including performance against individual goals and eligibility to participate in our short-term cash incentive program;

the need for salary increases; and

whether or not equity awards should be made and the recommended amounts.

Our chief executive officer also provides a recommendation to the compensation committee regarding the company’s performance against our annual corporate goals, following which, our compensation committee makes its own determination of the company’s performance against our annual corporate goals. Our compensation committee may exercise discretion to reduce the payout of short-term cash incentive awards based on an evaluation of our overall performance, irrespective of corporate goal achievement.

The recommendations of our chief executive officer for NEOs other than himself and our executive chairman are reviewed by the compensation committee and taken into account, together with the compensation committee’s determination of the company’s performance against our annual corporate goals, when making a final determination regarding the overall compensation packages for these NEOs. Our chief executive officer does not make any recommendations regarding his own compensation or compensation matters for our executive chairman. Rather, our compensation committee determines compensation for our chief executive officer and executive chairman based on the committee’s assessment of our performance and other relevant factors it deems relevant. In making its determinations, the compensation committee meets with Radford, in executive session, without any members of management present. Neither Mr. Sblendorio nor Dr. Guyer has any control over setting the amount or mix of their respective compensation packages and are not present when either the compensation committee or the full board discusses their compensation.

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Use of Compensation Consultants
Our compensation committee considers executive compensation data from U.S. companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries to help guide its executive compensation decisions for NEOs at the time the NEO is hired and thereafter for annual compensation reviews or as otherwise needed. Our compensation committee retains the services of Radford to provide this data and to advise the committee generally on our compensation and governance programs. Although the compensation committee considers the advice and recommendations from Radford when reviewing executive compensation, the compensation committee ultimately makes its own independent decisions about these matters.
None of the compensation committee members and none of our executive officers or directors have any personal relationship with Radford. In addition to the compensation consulting services provided by Radford to the compensation committee, we participate in and pay for the Radford Global Life Sciences Survey and we receive from Radford the results from such survey. With the approval of the compensation committee chair, Radford also provides consulting services to management regarding our non‑executive compensation programs to ensure policy alignment between our executives and non‑executive employees given the importance of teamwork across all aspects of the organization to reach our business goals.
The compensation committee reviewed its relationship with Radford during 2019, and determined that Radford’s work for the compensation committee did not raise any conflicts of interest. Radford’s work has conformed to the independence factors and guidance provided by the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC and Nasdaq.
Use of Peer Groups
Our compensation committee uses peer groups to gather data to compare with our existing executive compensation practices and to guide future compensation decisions. The compensation committee considers peer group and other industry compensation data, including survey data, as well as the recommendations of our compensation consultant when making decisions related to executive compensation, giving consideration to the competitiveness of our compensation program, internal perceptions of equity and individual circumstances. As such, the committee utilizes the peer group as one of several reference points, and therefore does not aim to benchmark our executive pay levels to any particular percentile of the peer group.
Working with Radford, we review and adjust our peer group in the later part of each year for upcoming end-of-year pay decisions, which are typically made in December of each year. Decisions regarding 2019 salaries and target short-term cash incentive opportunities were made by our compensation committee in December 2018 by reference to our 2019 peer group. Decisions regarding 2019 long-term equity incentive awards were made by our compensation committee in December 2019 by reference to our 2020 peer group. This cadence is typical for our company. Accordingly, we provide information regarding both our 2019 and 2020 peer groups here.
2019 Peer Group
In September 2018, the compensation committee sought to identify companies for our 2019 peer group that fit the following criteria:
biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry;

Phase 2 stage of clinical development;

market capitalization in the range of $30 million to $300 million; and

fewer than 120 employees.

Based on these criteria, the compensation committee retained eight companies from our 2018 peer group, and, after considering a number of companies meeting these criteria, identified eight additional companies for our 2019 peer group. Of the eight companies from our 2018 peer group that were removed, seven were removed because of their market capitalizations, with five companies rising above the range and two falling below, and one was removed because it had been acquired. Although not a firm requirement, our compensation committee generally seeks to develop a peer group where our market capitalization is roughly in line with the median. As a result, several of the companies that the compensation

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committee added to our peer group for 2019 had market capitalizations below our market capitalization at the time of selection. Our market capitalization placed us slightly below the median market capitalization of our 2019 peer group at the time our 2019 peer group was finalized.
Our 2019 peer group consisted of the following 16 companies:
Aevi Genomic Medicine, Inc.*
Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.*
Outlook Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Oncobiologics, Inc.)*
Aldeyra Therapeutics, Inc.
CTI BioPharma Corp.
Sesen Bio, Inc. (formerly Eleven Biotherapeutics, Inc.)
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc.*
Gemphire Therapeutics Inc.*
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc.*
Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc.*
Immune Design Corporation
Tracon Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Chimerix, Inc.
Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Inc.*
 
Cidara Therapeutics, Inc.
NewLink Genetics Corporation
 
*
New company for 2019 peer group.
2020 Peer Group
In November 2019, the compensation committee sought to identify companies that fit the following criteria:
biotechnology or pharmaceutical industry;

Phase 2 or Phase 3 stage of clinical development;

focus in gene/cell therapy and/or ophthalmology;

market capitalization in the range of $50 million to $400 million; and

fewer than 120 employees.

Based on these criteria, the compensation committee retained six companies from our 2019 peer group, and, after considering a number of companies meeting these criteria, identified twelve additional companies for our 2020 peer group. Ten companies from our 2019 peer group that were removed for several reasons including their market capitalizations being outside of the range, change in stage of development, or due to acquisition. Although not a firm requirement, our compensation committee seeks to develop a peer group where our market capitalization is roughly in line with the median. As a result, several of the companies that the compensation committee added to our 2020 peer group had market capitalizations below our market capitalization at the time of selection. Our market capitalization placed us slightly above the median market capitalization of the 2020 peer group at the time our 2020 peer group was finalized.
Our 2020 peer group consisted of the following 18 companies:
Aldeyra Therapeutics, Inc.

Chimerix, Inc..
Ovid Therapeutics Inc.*
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.*
Cidara Therapeutics, Inc.
Sesen Bio, Inc.
Axovant Gene Therapies Ltd.*
Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc.*
Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Exicure, Inc.*
Syndax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.*
Catalyst Biosciences, Inc.*
Eyenovia, Inc.*
Xoma Corporation*
Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc.*
Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc.*
Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc.*
*
New company for 2020 peer group.
Risk Considerations in Our Compensation Program
Our compensation committee has reviewed and evaluated the philosophy and standards on which our compensation programs have been developed and implemented across our company, including the level of risk that our compensation programs pose. It is our belief that our compensation programs do not encourage inappropriate actions or risk taking by our

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executive officers. We do not believe that any risks arising from our employee compensation policies and practices are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on our company. In addition, we do not believe that the mix and design of the components of our executive compensation program encourage management to assume excessive risks.
We believe that our current business process and planning cycle fosters the following behaviors and controls that mitigate the potential for excessive risks caused by the actions of our executives:
establishment of corporate goals for our short-term cash incentive program and individual goals for our executive officers that are consistent with our annual operating and strategic plans, that are designed to achieve the proper risk/reward balance, and that should not require excessive risk taking to achieve;

the mix between fixed and variable, annual and long‑term and cash and equity compensation is designed to encourage strategies and actions that balance our short‑term and long‑term best interests (for example, our short-term cash incentive program provides an incentive to accomplish short-term objectives while our policy of limiting the maximum payout under the program to 150% of each NEO’s target opportunity provides a cap on the reward for short-term performance, which is designed to focus NEOs on long-term value creation);

equity awards generally vest over a period of time, which we believe encourages executives to take a long‑term view of our business; and

our ownership guidelines, which require NEOs to hold equity over a specified time-period and above a certain value, further align executive interests with the interests of our stockholders.
2019 NEO Compensation Determinations

In December 2019, our compensation committee completed its annual performance review for our NEOs and finalized its compensation determinations. This section describes the decisions our compensation committee made at the end of 2019 based on our 2019 performance.
2020 Base Salary Adjustments
Where warranted, companies in our industry typically grant merit salary increases on a yearly basis to account for individual performance during the prior year. We believe that our NEOs performed well during 2019, however, given our current cash position and our need to focus cash resources on continued investment in our pipeline programs, our compensation committee elected to keep salary increases for 2020 to a minimum across the organization. Based on market data for their positions and their individual performance in 2019, our compensation committee awarded Mr. Westby a 3% increase to his base salary for 2020, bringing it to $397,680, and Mr. Carroll a 2% increase to his base salary for 2020, bringing it to $397,950. Based on the company’s strong performance in 2019 the compensation committee awarded Mr. Sblendorio a salary increase of 2.4% to his base salary for 2020, bringing it to $640,000. Mr. Sblendorio previously received an increase in base salary during 2017 in connection with his promotion to chief executive officer and did not receive any subsequent salary increases prior to the current increase effective in 2020. Additionally, in 2017, we and Dr. Guyer agreed that his salary would decrease effective at the beginning of 2018 based on his new role as executive chairman. The compensation committee has not approved any changes to Dr. Guyer’s base salary since that time.

The 2020 annual base salaries of our NEOs, and percentage changes from 2019, are set forth in the following table:
Name
 
2019
Base Salary
 
% Increase
 
2020
Base Salary
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 
$625,000
 
2.4%
 
$640,000
David R. Guyer
 
$525,000
 
0%
 
$525,000
David F. Carroll
 
$390,150
 
2%
 
$397,950
Keith Westby
 
$386,100
 
3%
 
$397,680

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2019 Short-Term Cash Incentive Awards
Target Opportunities
During 2017, we established target short-term cash incentive opportunities for each of our NEOs based on a percentage of their base salaries. Mr. Sblendorio’s, Mr. Carroll’s and Mr. Westby’s targets were all established in connection with their promotions in 2017, while Dr. Guyer agreed in 2017 to a reduced percentage beginning in 2018 in connection with his transition from chief executive officer to executive chairman. We did not change the target percentages for any of our NEOs for 2018 or 2019 beyond what we had agreed to with them in 2017. The target short-term cash incentive opportunities for our NEOs for 2019 were as follows:
Name
 
Target (as a % of base salary)
Glenn P Sblendorio
 
65%
David R. Guyer
 
50%
David F. Carroll
 
40%
Keith Westby
 
40%
The compensation committee has not approved any modifications to these target percentages for 2020.
2019 Corporate Goals
For 2019, our corporate goals focused on the progress of our gene therapy and therapeutic programs, business development activities and corporate finance, rebranding and human resources goals. The following chart includes a detailed description of each of our 2019 corporate goals, the overall weight assigned to each goal, a description of our performance against such goal, and the final rating that our compensation committee assigned to our performance against each goal:



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2019 Corporate Goals
 
Weighting
 
Assessment
 
Final Rating
Gene Therapy
-    Initiate GLP toxicology study in 2019 for IC-100 and be on target to file IND in 2020 (10%)
-    Identify and select manufacturing partner; initiate IND enabling activities for IC-200 and be on target to file IND in 2021 (10%)
-    Obtain data to make go/no-go decision to enter pre-clinical research for at least one minigene program at UMass (10%)
 
30%
 
Achieved
-    GLP toxicology study initiated during 2019; on target for IND filing in 2020 at end of 2019
-    Contract manufacturer for IC-200 selected during 2019; IND enabling activities initiated; on target for IND filing in 2021 at end of 2019
-    Exclusive license agreement for miniCEP290 program executed in July 2019 based on research data
 
30%
Zimura
-    Topline data available for Zimura OPH2003 (GA) by end of   2019 (10%)
-    Zimura meets primary endpoint with an acceptable safety profile to move to Phase 3 trial (stretch goal: 20% above)
 
10%
 
Over Achieved
-    Provided top-line 12-month data for OPH2003 during 2019
-    Zimura met primary endpoint for both 2mg and 4mg doses with safety profile to move forward to Phase 3 trial (20%)
 
30%
HtrA1 Inhibitor Program
-    Progress formulation development activities for HtrA1 inhibitor program to enable IND filing in 2020
 
15%
 
Achieved
-    Progress made on formulation activities; plan changed to target 2021 IND filing; measure modified accordingly
 
15%
Business Development
-    Execute on one or more acquisition or inlicense transactions if third party funding is available for at least 50% of the upfront and first year development cost (5%)
-    Execute license agreement for IC-200 with UPenn/UF and/or with UMass by end of 2019 (5%)
 
10%
 
Partially Achieved
-    Not achieved



-    License agreement for IC-200 and with UMass executed during 2019
 
5%
Finance
-    Have at least 30 months of cash at the end of 2019* (20%)
-    Year-end cash balance to be at least 95% of 2019 budget target (5%)
 
25%
 
Achieved
-    Measure achieved based on cash runway at end of 2019 in relation to programs that were ongoing at the beginning of 2019;
-    Successful data outcome for OPH2003; public offering with net proceeds of $42.6 million; runway affected by Phase 3 plans
-    Target year-end cash balance of $80.0 million
-    Actual year-end cash balance of $125.7 million
 
25%
Rebranding
-    Complete company name change, launch new website, new corporate presentation
 
5%
 
Achieved
-    Successful company name change and rebranding completed in April 2019
 
5%
Culture/Human Resources
-    Corporate engagement and maintain culture
 
5%
 
Achieved
-    Undertook several initiatives to continue to develop company culture and retain and develop key talent; several key hires made
 
5%
Totals
 
100%
(120% w/ stretch)
 
 
 
115%
*
Based on the company’s business plan as of the beginning of 2019, limited to the continuation of the company’s research and development programs ongoing at such time, and exclusive of any additional expenditures, including associated development costs, in the event any of these programs advanced to the next stage of development or the company in-licensed or acquired any new product candidates or commenced any new sponsored research programs.
As detailed in the chart above, at the end of 2019 our compensation committee determined that we achieved our corporate goals at the 115% level given our success with the Zimura trial stretch goal . In addition, the compensation committee determined that each of Mr. Carroll and Mr. Westby performed exceptionally well in relation to their individual goals and our compensation committee therefore approved rating the individual component of their short-term cash incentive awards, weighted as 30% of the overall award amount, at above 100%. The table below sets forth the short-term cash incentive award amounts for 2019 for each NEO as approved by our compensation committee:

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Name
 
Target (as a % of base salary)
 
Target Amount
 
Corporate Achievement
 
Individual Achievement
 
Overall Achievement
 
2019 Payout
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 
65%
 
$406,250
 
115%
 
n/a
 
115%
 
$467,190
David R. Guyer
 
50%
 
$262,500
 
115%
 
n/a
 
115%
 
$301,880
David F. Carroll
 
40%
 
$156,060
 
115%
 
115% (1)
 
115%
 
$179,470
Keith Westby
 
40%
 
$154,440
 
115%
 
127% (2)
 
118.5%
 
$183,010
(1)
Mr. Carroll’s individual goal achievement rating of 115% was based upon: (i) completing internal reporting requirements ahead of schedule and (ii) financial results exceeding budget for cash and operating loss.

(2)
Mr. Westby’s individual goal achievement rating of 127% was based upon: (i) providing OPH2003 data ahead of schedule (ii) leading successful pre-IND meeting with the FDA for IC-200 program; and (iii) leading efforts around successful re-branding of the company.
 

2019 Annual Equity Awards
We believe there are two general approaches for determining the size of equity awards:
a value-based approach, based on the value of the award at the time of grant; and

a percent of company approach, based on the size of the award relative to the number of shares a company has outstanding at the time of grant.

These approaches can also be mixed through a hybrid approach. During prior years, especially prior to 2017, we primarily used a hybrid approach to determine the size of awards. Beginning in 2017, however, we began shifting to a percent of company approach, which we believe is in line with market practices for companies with a smaller market capitalization. The percent of company approach helps to actively manage dilution, as award sizes are based on a percent of company rather than their value, and provides a degree of consistency in award amounts as award sizes are not affected by fluctuations in our stock price. In determining the size of annual awards, in addition to reviewing percent of company data from our peer group, our compensation committee also considered the retention value in the outstanding equity program based on the value of outstanding awards, as well as overall company and individual performance. Based on this analysis, our compensation committee decided to bring restricted stock units back into the long term equity incentive program for our executive officers. The use of restricted stock units, or a combination of stock options and restricted stock units, is a common practice to help companies conserve shares in their stock incentive plan, reducing dilution, and to aid retention in a competitive market for executive talent.
We believe that stockholders generally support having performance-based criteria as part of a company’s equity compensation program, and we have therefore added a performance element to the stock options we awarded to our chief executive officer and executive chairman in 2018 and have continued that practice in 2019. The compensation committee has chosen to adopt this best practice despite the use of performance-based equity awards being a minority practice for companies in our industry that are our size and stage of development. In addition to being subject to the traditional time-based vesting that we typically use for our other long-term equity awards and which is described in the immediately following paragraph, the performance stock options granted to our chief executive officer and executive chairman will not vest and become exercisable unless, for a period of twenty consecutive trading days, the average closing sale price of our common stock equals or exceeds 125% of the per share exercise price of the options. As with other stock options granted under our stock incentive plan, these stock options have a ten-year term. The performance criteria for these stock options may be satisfied at any time during the ten-year term of these options.

The stock option and restricted stock unit awards approved by our compensation committee for our NEOs in 2019 are detailed in the table below. The stock options granted to Mr. Carroll and Mr. Westby vest with respect to 25% of the shares subject to the option on the first anniversary of the grant date and with respect to the remaining shares in approximately equal monthly installments through the fourth anniversary of the grant date. Subject to satisfaction of the performance condition described above, the stock options granted to Mr. Sblendorio and Dr. Guyer are also subject to the same time-based vesting. The stock options have an exercise price of $5.22 per share, the closing sale price of our common stock on The Nasdaq Global Select Market on December 9, 2019, which was the date of grant. The restricted stock unit awards vest with respect to 25% of the award on each of the first, second, third and fourth anniversaries of the December 9, 2019 grant date.

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Name
 
Stock Options
 
Restricted Stock Units
Glenn P Sblendorio
 
190,000 (1)
 
95,000
David R. Guyer
 
142,500 (1)
 
71,250
David F. Carroll
 
75,000
 
40,000
Keith Westby
 
75,000
 
40,000
(1)
In addition to time-based vesting, these awards will not vest and become exercisable unless, for a period of twenty consecutive trading days, the average closing sale price of our common stock equals or exceeds 125% of the per share exercise price of the options.
In addition to the awards described above, in late 2019, in special recognition of their service and contributions to the company, we made an additional award of 65,000 restricted stock units to each of Mr. Carroll and Mr. Westby. These recognition awards vest with respect to 50% of the award on December 31, 2020 and the remaining 50% of the award on December 31, 2021.
Annual equity plan burn rate, calculated as the total amount of share-based awards made during the year as compared to our total shares outstanding, is a useful metric in measuring the overall dilution to our stockholders on account of our equity compensation programs. Our equity incentive plan burn rate in 2019 was approximately 5.4%, which is well below standard industry guidelines for this measurement.
Additional Compensation Policies and Practices
Limits on Hedging and Pledging
As part of our insider trading policy, all employees, including executive officers, and members of our board of directors are prohibited from engaging in certain types of hedging transactions involving our securities, specifically short sales, including short sales “against the box,” and purchases or sales of puts, calls or other derivative securities. Our insider trading policy also prohibits certain types of pledges of our securities by all employees, including executive officers, and members of our board of directors, specifically purchases of our securities on margin, borrowing against our securities held in a margin account or pledging our securities as collateral for a loan, with an exception for pledges of our securities as collateral for a loan only after certain prerequisites are met and only with the pre‑approval of our chief financial officer or general counsel.
Stock Retention and Ownership Guidelines
In March 2017, our board of directors adopted stock retention and ownership guidelines applicable to our executive officers and directors. The following table sets forth the ownership guidelines for each of our executives and directors.
Position
 
Ownership Guideline
Chief executive officer and executive chairman
 
3x base salary
Other named executive officers
 
1x base salary
Non-employee directors
 
3x annual cash retainer
Individuals serving as of the date of initial adoption of the guidelines are expected to meet these ownership guidelines by January 1, 2023 in the case of our chief executive officer, executive chairman and non‑employee directors or January 1, 2025 in the case of our other executive officers. Newly hired and newly promoted executive officers and newly elected directors are expected to meet these ownership guidelines within five years in the case of a new chief executive officer, new executive chairman or new non‑employee director, or seven years in the case of other executive officers, in each case, measured from the date of hire, promotion or initial election. An executive officer who experiences an increase in base salary or a non-employee director who experiences an increase in annual cash retainer will have two years from the time of the increase to acquire any additional shares needed to meet the ownership guidelines.
Vested stock options are included (and deemed to be held by the covered person) for purposes of determining satisfaction of the ownership guidelines based on 70% of their net value. Unvested restricted stock units subject to only time-based vesting criteria are included (and deemed to be held by the covered person) for purposes of determining satisfaction of the ownership guidelines based on 70% of their value. Stock options that have not yet vested based on time-based vesting or

32


performance‑based vesting conditions that have not been satisfied are not included for purposes of determining satisfaction of the ownership guidelines.
If an executive officer or director does not satisfy the ownership guideline following the conclusion of the phase‑in period, then the individual is expected to retain all shares of common stock (vested or unvested) held by such person as of the end of the phase-in period, and at least 75% of the net after‑tax shares of common stock acquired after such time, until the individual satisfies the ownership guideline.
In addition, until an individual satisfies the ownership guidelines, we expect that each executive officer and director will retain at least 50% of the net after‑tax shares received upon the exercise or vesting of any equity award for a period of at least one year from the vesting date. If an individual satisfies the ownership guidelines, then our expectation regarding share retention will no longer be applicable for the following year and the individual may dispose of shares in an amount that would allow such person to remain in compliance with the ownership guidelines.
Clawback Policy
Also in March 2017, our board of directors adopted a clawback policy. The clawback policy applies to all incentive‑based compensation granted after the policy’s adoption, including cash and equity incentive awards. The policy provides that if both:
an accounting restatement is required due to our material noncompliance with any financial reporting requirement under the U.S. federal securities laws; and

the board of directors (or a committee thereof), in its sole discretion, determines that an act or omission of a current or former executive officer contributed to the circumstances requiring the restatement and that such act or omission involved fraud or intentional misconduct

then we will use reasonable efforts to recover from such person up to 100% of any incentive‑based compensation awarded during the three‑year period preceding the date on which we are required to prepare such accounting restatement.
Tax and Accounting Considerations
Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code, generally disallows a tax deduction to public companies for compensation in excess of $1 million paid in any one year to each of certain of the company’s executive officers. Historically, compensation that qualified under Section 162(m) as performance-based compensation was exempt from the deduction limitation. Subject to certain transition rules, however, tax legislation enacted in December 2017 eliminated the qualified performance-based compensation exception. As a result, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017, all compensation in excess of $1 million paid in any one year to each of the specified executive officers that is not covered by the transition rules will not be deductible by us. Our board of directors reviews the potential effect of Section 162(m) periodically and reserves the right to use its business judgment to authorize compensation payments that may be subject to the limitations under Section 162(m) when the board of directors believes that compensation is appropriate and in the best interests of the company and our stockholders, after taking into consideration changing business conditions and performance of our employees.
We account for equity compensation paid to our employees in accordance with FASB Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718, Compensation-Stock Compensation, or ASC 718, which requires us to measure and recognize compensation expense in our financial statements for all stock‑based payments based on an estimate of their fair value over the service period of the award. We record cash compensation as an expense at the time the obligation is accrued.
Severance and Change in Control Benefits
Pursuant to employment letter agreements we have with our NEOs, our NEOs are entitled to specified benefits in the event of the termination of their employment under specified circumstances, including termination following a change in control of our company. Please refer to “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change in Control” for a more detailed discussion of these benefits. We have provided estimates of the value of the severance payments and other benefits that would have been made or provided to our NEOs under various termination circumstances under the caption “Potential Payments Upon Termination or Change in Control” below.

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We believe that providing these benefits helps us compete for executive talent. After reviewing the practices of companies in our peer group, we believe that our severance and change in control benefits are generally in line with severance packages offered to executives at these companies.
We have structured our change in control benefits as “double trigger” benefits. In other words, the change in control does not itself trigger benefits. Rather, benefits are paid only if the NEO’s employment is terminated during a specified period after the change in control. We believe that a “double trigger” benefit maximizes stockholder value because it prevents an unintended windfall to NEOs in the event of a friendly change in control in which their employment is not threatened, while still providing them appropriate incentives to cooperate in negotiating and executing any change in control transaction in which they believe they may lose their jobs.
Benefits and Other Compensation
We believe that establishing competitive benefit packages for our employees is an important factor in attracting and retaining highly qualified personnel. We maintain broad‑based benefits that are provided to all employees, including medical, dental and vision insurance, group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, long‑ and short‑term disability insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan. We also offer an employee stock purchase plan, the details of which are described in the “Additional Narrative Disclosure” section of this proxy statement. All of our executives are eligible to participate in all of our employee benefit plans, in each case on the same basis as other employees. The compensation committee in its discretion may revise, amend or add to an NEO’s benefits and perquisites if it deems it advisable.
In particular circumstances, we may agree to reimburse an executive officer for certain expenses, such as commuting or travel expenses, or provide corporate housing as an additional incentive to join us in a position where there is high market demand. Whether such expenses are covered and the amount of the reimbursement is determined on a case‑by‑case basis under the specific hiring circumstances.
401(k) Retirement Plan
We maintain a 401(k) retirement plan that is intended to be a tax‑qualified defined contribution plan under Section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. In general, all of our employees are eligible to participate, beginning on the first day of the month following commencement of their employment. The 401(k) retirement plan includes a salary deferral arrangement pursuant to which participants may elect to reduce their current compensation by up to the statutorily prescribed limit, and have the amount of the reduction contributed to the 401(k) plan. During 2019, for the first $200,000 of an employee’s salary, we matched 100% of the employee’s contributions up to the first 3% of salary, and 50% of contributions up to the next 2% of salary, subject to a maximum match of $8,000 for each employee. We expect to continue this matching program in the future.

Rule 10b5‑1 Sales Plans
Some of our employees, including our NEOs, and directors have adopted in the past or may in the future adopt written plans, known as Rule 10b5‑1 plans, pursuant to which an individual employee or director contracts with a broker to buy or sell shares of our common stock on such individual’s behalf. Purchases or sales are typically made under such a plan periodically or over time based on factors determined at the time the individual adopts the plan. Rule 10b5-1 plans may only be adopted when the individual employee or director is not in possession of material, nonpublic information and only in accordance with our insider trading policy. An individual employee or director may also amend or terminate any such plan if he or she is not in possession of material, nonpublic information and otherwise in accordance with our insider trading policy. In addition, individual employees, including our NEOs, and directors may buy or sell shares outside of a Rule 10b5‑1 plan when they are not in possession of material, nonpublic information and otherwise in accordance with our insider trading policy.


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Compensation Committee Report
The compensation committee of the board of directors of IVERIC bio, Inc. has reviewed and discussed the Compensation Discussion and Analysis required by Item 402(b) of Regulation S‑K with the company's management. Based on such review and discussions, the compensation committee recommended to the board of directors that the Compensation Discussion and Analysis be included in this proxy statement and incorporated by reference into the company's Annual Report on Form 10‑K for the year ended December 31, 2019 .
By the compensation committee of the board of directors of IVERIC bio, Inc.
 
Adrienne L. Graves, Ph.D.
Jane P. Henderson
Calvin W. Roberts, M.D.


35


Summary Compensation Table
The following table sets forth information regarding compensation awarded to, earned by or paid to our NEOs during the years ended December 31, 2019 , December 31, 2018 , and December 31, 2017 .
Name and principal position
 
Year
 
Salary
($)
 
Bonus
($)(1)
 
Stock
Awards
($)(2)
 
Option
Awards
($)(2)
 
Non-
Equity
Incentive
Plan
Compensation
($)(3)
 
All
Other
Compensation
($)(4)
 
Total
($)
Glenn P. Sblendorio (5)
 
2019
 
598,558

 

 
495,900

 
803,700

 
467,190

 
96,800

 
2,462,148

President and chief executive officer
 
2018
 
625,000

 

 
133,110

 
190,840

 
365,630

 
96,800

 
1,411,380

 
2017
 
560,000

 
204,188

 
192,765

 
1,648,325

 
406,250

 
100,100

 
3,111,628

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
David R. Guyer, M.D.(6)
 
2019
 
525,000

 

 
371,925

 
602,775

 
301,880

 
8,000

 
1,809,580

Executive chairman
 
2018
 
525,000

 

 
99,760

 
143,000

 
236,250

 
8,000

 
1,012,010


 
2017
 
625,200

 
304,785

 
287,731

 
1,441,714

 
406,380

 
8,000

 
3,073,810

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
David F. Carroll (7)
 
2019
 
390,150

 

 
548,100

 
309,615

 
179,470

 
8,000

 
1,435,335

Senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer
 
2018
 
382,500

 

 
72,500

 
105,711

 
145,730

 
8,000

 
714,441

 
2017
 
371,924

 
191,625

 

 
554,653

 
150,000

 
15,211

 
1,283,413

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Keith Westby (8)
 
2019
 
386,100

 

 
548,100

 
309,615

 
183,011

 
8,000

 
1,434,826

Senior vice president and chief operating officer
 
2018
 
357,500

 

 
72,500

 
105,711

 
130,420

 
8,000

 
674,131

 
2017
 
323,323

 
136,440

 

 
499,581

 
130,000

 

 
1,089,344

(1)
The amounts reported in the “Bonus” column for 2017 reflect the cash portion of retention awards that we granted in January 2017 as an incentive for our continuing NEOs to remain with the company and which vested in two installments in June 2017 and December 2017.
(2)
The amounts reported in the “Stock Awards” and “Option Awards” columns reflect the aggregate fair value of share-based compensation granted during the year computed in accordance with the provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standard Codification, or ASC, Topic 718. See Note 2 to our audited financial statements appearing in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC on February 27, 2020 , regarding assumptions underlying the valuation of equity awards. The amounts reported in the “Option Awards“ column for 2019 and 2018 reflect the grant date fair value of the RSUs granted to Mr. Sblendorio and Dr. Guyer in December 2019 and December 2018, respectively. For more information about these awards, please see Note 4 of “Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table”. The amounts reported in the “Stock Awards” column for 2017 reflect the grant date fair value of the RSU portion of retention awards that we granted in January 2017 as an incentive for our continuing NEOs to remain with the company and which vested with respect to 50% of the shares subject to the award in each of June 2017 and December 2017. In addition, until 2017 our annual equity awards were granted effective in the beginning of the calendar year taking into account performance during the previous year. For example, the compensation committee and our board of directors approved the annual equity grant for 2016 in January 2017. However, for administrative purposes, the compensation committee and our board of directors approved the annual equity grant for 2017 in December 2017 and therefore, the 2017 performance grants that previously would have occurred in January 2018 were granted in December 2017. Therefore, the amounts reported in the “Option Awards” column for 2017 for our NEOs, Mr. Sblendorio, Dr. Guyer, Mr. Carroll and Mr. Westby, include the grant date fair value of multiple stock option grants made in 2017 for different performance years. In 2018 and 2019, we continued this practice by approving annual equity grants for those years in December 2018 and December 2019, respectively.
(3)
The amounts reported in the “Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation” column represent awards to our NEOs under our short-term cash incentive program.

36


(4)
The compensation included in the “All Other Compensation” column includes the following:
for 2019, matching contributions that we made under our 401(k) plan, which was $8,000 for Mr. Sblendorio, $8,000 for Dr. Guyer, $8,000 for Mr. Carroll, and $8,000 for Mr. Westby, and housing payments of $88,800 for Mr. Sblendorio;
for 2018, matching contributions that we made under our 401(k) plan, which was $8,000 for Mr. Sblendorio, $8,000 for Dr. Guyer, $8,000 for Mr. Carroll, and $8,000 for Mr. Westby, and housing payments of $88,800 for Mr. Sblendorio; and
for 2017, matching contributions that we made under our 401(k) plan, which was $8,000 for Mr. Sblendorio, $8,000 for Dr. Guyer, and $8,000 for Mr. Carroll, housing payments of $92,100 for Mr. Sblendorio, and vacation carry-over payouts of $7,211 for Mr. Carroll.
(5)
In 2016, Mr. Sblendorio joined us as our executive vice president, chief operating officer, chief financial officer and treasurer. He subsequently ceased to serve as chief operating officer effective as of January 29, 2017 upon the appointment of Mr. Westby to such position, and was appointed as president effective as of January 30, 2017. He ceased serving as chief financial officer and treasurer effective as of April 24, 2017 upon the appointment of Mr. Carroll to such positions. On July 1, 2017, upon the transition of Dr. Guyer to executive chairman, Mr. Sblendorio assumed the position of chief executive officer in addition to his role as president, and Mr. Sblendorio’s annual salary was increased from $495,000 to $625,000. Mr. Sblendorio also serves as a member of our board of directors but does not receive any additional compensation for his service as a director. In 2019, Mr. Sblendorio elected to reduce his base salary by $26,442 to account for eleven days that he took during 2019 beyond the standard allotment of vacation days for employees.
(6)
In 2017, in connection with Dr. Guyer's transition from his prior role as chief executive officer to his current role as executive chairman, we and Dr. Guyer agreed that starting in 2018, his base salary would be reduced from $625,200 to $525,000. Dr. Guyer also serves as a member of our board of directors but does not receive any additional compensation for his service as a director.
(7)
Mr. Carroll was promoted to the role of chief financial officer and treasurer effective April 24, 2017, at which time he became an executive officer and his annual salary was increased from $365,000 to $375,000.
(8)
Mr. Westby was promoted to the role of chief operating officer effective January 29, 2017, at which time he became an executive officer and his annual salary was increased from $303,200 to $325,000.
CEO Pay Ratio
The following is a reasonable estimate, prepared under applicable SEC rules, of the ratio of the annual total compensation of our chief executive officer, or CEO, to the annual total compensation of the median of all our employees, excluding the CEO.

To identify the median employee, other than our CEO, we calculated total gross wages actually paid to employees for 2019, from our payroll records. This calculation was performed for 38 individuals, excluding Mr. Sblendorio, who were employed by us on December 31, 2019. As there were 38 employees, other than our CEO, as of December 31, 2019, which is an even number, there were two employees who could reasonably be considered the median employee. Of these two employees, we selected the employee with the lower amount of total gross wages actually paid for 2019. To calculate the pay ratio, we then calculated the annual total compensation for the median employee and compared this amount to the annual total compensation for Mr. Sblendorio, as described in the following paragraph. This methodology is the same methodology we used to identify the median employee and calculate the pay ratio for the year ended December 31, 2018.

During 2019 , the principal executive officer of our company was our president and chief executive officer, Mr. Glenn P. Sblendorio. For 2019 , the annual total compensation for Mr. Sblendorio, as reported in the Summary Compensation Table, was $2,462,148 , and the annual total compensation for our median employee, determined on the same basis, was $373,573, resulting in a pay ratio of approximately 6.6 to 1.


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The pay ratio reported above is a reasonable estimate calculated in a manner consistent with SEC rules based on our internal records and the methodology described above. Given the different methodologies that various public companies will use to determine an estimate of their pay ratio, the estimated ratio reported above should not be used as a basis for comparison between companies.
Grants of Plan-Based Awards Table
The following table sets forth information regarding grants of plan-based awards to our NEOs during 2019 .
Name
 
Grant
Date
 
Target
Payouts
Under
Non-Equity
Incentive
Plan
Awards
($)(1)
 
Actual
Payouts
Under
Non-Equity
Incentive
Plan
Awards
($)(1)
 
All Other
Stock
Awards:
Number of
Shares of
Stock or
Units
(#)
 
All Other
Option
Awards:
Number of
Securities
Underlying
Options
(#)
 
Exercise or
Base Price
of Option
Awards ($/
share)(2)
 
Grant Date
Fair Value
of Stock
and
Options
Awards($)(3)
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 

 
406,250

 
467,190

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 
95,000

 
 

 
 
 
 
495,900
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 

 
 
190,000

(4)
 
5.22
 
 
803,700
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
David R. Guyer
 

 
262,500

 
301,880

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 
71,250

 
 

 
 
 
 
371,925
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 

 
 
142,500

(4)
 
5.22
 
 
602,775
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
David F. Carroll
 
 
 
156,060

 
179,470

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 
40,000

 
 

 
 
 
 
208,800
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 
65,000

(5)
 

 
 
 
 
339,300
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 

 
 
75,000

 
 
5.22
 
 
309,615
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Keith Westby
 

 
154,440

 
183,010

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 
40,000

 
 

 
 
 
 
208,800
 
 
 
12/9/2019

 

 

 
65,000

(5)
 

 
 
 

 
339,300
 
 
 
12/09/2019

 

 

 

 
 
75,000

 
 
5.22
 
 
309.615
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(1)
Represents the target payout levels under our short-term cash incentive program. Target payouts for Mr. Sblendorio, Dr. Guyer, Mr. Carroll and Mr. Westby represented 65%, 50%, 40% and 40% of base salary in 2019 , respectively. As discussed above under “Compensation Discussion and Analysis—2019 NEO Compensation Determinations—2019 Short-Term Cash Incentive Awards— 2019 Corporate Goals,” the actual payout with respect to each NEO was more than the target award amount. The short-term cash incentive program did not have threshold payout levels, as the determination of the level of achievement of corporate objectives was subjective and subject to the discretion of our compensation committee and board of directors. Additional information regarding the design of our short-term cash incentive program, including a description of the corporate objectives applicable to 2019 awards, is described above in “Compensation Discussion and Analysis—2019 NEO Compensation Determinations—2019 Short-Term Cash Incentive Awards.”
(2)
The exercise price per share of each option award is equal to the closing market price of our common stock on the date of grant. Each of the option awards vest with respect to 25% of the shares subject to the option on the first anniversary of the grant date and with respect to the remaining shares in approximately equal monthly installments through the fourth anniversary of the grant date.
(3)
The amounts in the “Grant Date Fair Value of Stock and Option Awards” column reflect the grant date fair value of stock and option awards granted in 2019 calculated in accordance with ASC 718.
(4)
These option awards, which were granted to Mr. Sblendorio and Dr. Guyer, were, in addition to being subject to the traditional time-based vesting that we typically use for our other long-term equity awards and which is described in Note 2 above, subject to performance-based vesting. The performance-based vesting

38


condition provided that these awards would not vest and become exercisable unless, for a period of twenty consecutive trading days, the average closing sale price of our common stock equaled or exceeded 125% of the per share exercise price of the options. The performance criteria for these stock options have been satisfied. As with other stock options granted under our stock incentive plan, these stock options have a ten-year term.
(5)
These stock awards vest with respect to 50% of the shares on December 31, 2020 and, with respect to the remaining shares, on December 31, 2021.

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Outstanding Equity Awards as of December 31, 2019
The following table sets forth information regarding outstanding stock options and restricted stock unit awards held by our NEOs as of December 31, 2019 :
 
 
Option Awards
 
Stock Awards
Name
 
Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Exercisable (#)
 
Number of
Securities
Underlying
Unexercised
Options
Unexercisable (#)
 
Option
Exercise
Price
($/share)
 
Option
Expiration
Date
 
Number of
Shares or
Units of
Stock That
Have Not
Vested (#)
 
Market Value
of Shares or
Units of
Stock That
Have Not
Vested ($)
Glenn P. Sblendorio
 
11,084

 

(1)
 
$
13.22
 
 
7/8/2023

 

 
 

 
 
6,949

 

(1)
 
$
33.27
 
 
10/23/2023

 

 
 

 
 
15,000

 

(1)
 
$
37.00
 
 
5/20/2024

 

 
 

 
 
7,000

 

(1)
 
$
48.30
 
 
6/1/2025

 

 
 

 
 
137,500

 
12,500

(2)
 
$
44.90
 
 
3/31/2026

 

 
 

 
 
189,583

 
70,417

(3)
 
$
4.52
 
 
1/29/2027

 

 
 

 
 
200,000

 
200,000

(4)
 
$
2.94
 
 
12/18/2027

 

 
 

 
 
45,875

 
137,625

(5)
 
$
1.45
 
 
12/11/2028

 

 
 

 
 

 
190,000

(6)
 
$
5.22
 
 
12/8/2029

 

 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
18,750

(7)
 
160,875

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
68,850

(8)
 
590,733

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
95,000

(9)
 
815,100

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8,900

(10)
 
76,362

David R. Guyer
 
19,810

 

 
 
$
10.03
 
 
4/25/2023

 

 
 

 
 
85,826

 

 
 
$
10.03
 
 
4/25/2023

 

 
 

 
 
175,000

 

 
 
$
31.29
 
 
1/2/2024

 

 
 

 
 
91,500

 

 
 
$
45.60
 
 
1/1/2025

 

 
 

 
 
93,021

 
1,979

(11)
 
$
73.22
 
 
1/3/2026

 

 
 

 
 
189,583

 
70,417

(3)
 
$
4.52
 
 
1/29/2027

 

 
 

 
 
150,000

 
150,000

(4)
 
$
2.94
 
 
12/18/2027

 

 
 

 
 
34,375

 
103,125

(5)
 
$
1.45
 
 
12/11/2028

 

 
 

 
 

 
142,500

(6)
 
$
5.22
 
 
12/8/2029

 

 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
6,250

(12)
 
53,625

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
51,600

(8)
 
442,728

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
71,250

(9)
 
611,325

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
25,000

(10)
 
214,500

David F. Carroll
 
46,979

 
8,021

(13)
 
$
52.71
 
 
6/30/2026

 

 
 

 
 
27,708

 
10,292

(3)
 
$
4.50
 
 
1/23/2027

 

 
 

 
 
42,333

 
21,167

(14)
 
$
2.81
 
 
4/23/2027

 

 
 

 
 
75,000

 
75,000

(4)
 
$
2.94
 
 
12/18/2027

 

 
 

 
 
25,000

 
75,000

(5)
 
$
1.45
 
 
12/11/2028

 

 
 

 
 

 
75,000

(6)
 
$
5.22
 
 
12/8/2029

 

 
 

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
7,500

(15)
 
64,350

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
37,500

(8)
 
321,750

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
40,000

(9)
 
343,200

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
65,000

(16)
 
557,700

Keith Westby
 
10,169

 

 
 
$
1.65
 
 
4/8/2022

 

 
 

 
 
5,199

 

 
 
$
10.03
 
 
12/29/2022

 

 
 

 
 
67,250

 

 
 
$
31.29
 
 
1/2/2024

 

 
 

 
 
6,250

 

 
 
$
45.60
 
 
1/1/2025

 

 
 

 
 
10,771

 
229

(11)
 
$
73.22
 
 
1/3/2026

 

 
 

 
 
43,750

 
16,250

(3)
 
$
4.52
 
 
1/29/2027

 

 
 

 
 
75,000

 
75,000

(4)
 
$
2.94
 
 
12/18/2027

 

 
 

 
 
25,000

 
75,000

(5)
 
$
1.45
 
 
12/11/2028

 

 
 

 
 

 
75,000

(6)
 
$
5.22
 
 
12/8/2029

 

 
 


40


 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
700

(11)
 
6,006

 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
37,500

(8)
 
321,750