SANTA ROSA, Calif., Feb. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ruthigen, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oculus Innovative Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCLS), today announced the appointment of Sameer Harish, a seasoned finance executive, to the position of chief financial officer effective February 1, 2013. With over 15 years of healthcare industry experience, Mr. Harish brings a wealth of financial, market research, competitive intelligence and business strategy expertise to Ruthigen. "We welcome Sameer's leadership and experience," said Hoji Alimi, chief executive officer and chairman of Ruthigen. "This is a key appointment to our executive team at an important time for Ruthigen . We are confident that Sameer's strategic thinking and analytical background make him the right person to help us prepare to take Ruthigen public and to drive the company toward success in the coming years as we look to unlock the full value of our drug assets." Prior to joining Ruthigen, Mr. Harish served as principal of Harish Life Science Advisors since 2011, an independent consulting firm he founded that provided financial, strategic and market research advisory services to life science companies. From 2005 until 2011, he served as an equity research analyst covering medical devices and diagnostics sectors with Needham & Co, and then subsequently at ThinkEquity. From 2002 through 2005, Mr. Harish worked as a research analyst at Symmetry Capital, a healthcare-focused hedge fund, where he guided investments in the medical device, biotechnology and specialty pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Harish also held research and laboratory positions at Guidant (now part of Abbott Laboratories) and Synteni (acquired by Incyte Corporation). Mr. Harish received a bachelor of arts from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied molecular and cell biology with an emphasis in immunology. "This is a very exciting time to join Ruthigen as the company prepares for its planned initial public offering later this year," said Mr. Harish. "I believe my extensive Wall Street experience, in tandem with the talent and experience of the Ruthigen team, will help accelerate and optimize this planned IPO process. I believe tremendous opportunity lies ahead for the company, first with the growth of our unique and differentiated drug candidate in the surgical space, and later, as we anticipate exploring future applications for other healthcare opportunities."