Nanoscope Therapeutics Appoints Two Pharmaceutical Industry Veterans as Scientific and Clinical Advisors
Dallas, TX (May 25, 2022) — Nanoscope Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing gene therapies to treat retinal degenerative diseases, today announced that Naveed Shams MD, PhD, and Thomas Ciulla MD, both of whom have extensive executive leadership experience at pioneering ophthalmology companies, will serve as advisors to the Company’s Board and Management.
“We are extremely pleased to have these distinguished leaders join our team of advisors. Their deep experience and long list of accomplishments in the ophthalmology space will play a key role in providing guidance to support our clinical and corporate strategy. We look forward to leveraging their expertise as we advance of Nanoscope’s groundbreaking platform of optogenetic therapies,” said Nanoscope’s Co-Founder and CEO, Sulagna Bhattacharya.
“By delivering light-sensitive molecules into retinal cells, Nanoscope is advancing a unique gene therapy approach to restoring vision in people suffering from various inherited retinal degenerative diseases, including Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), Stargardt, and dry AMD,” said Dr. Shams. “Their unique and creative approach to treating blinding eye diseases and strong clinical data to date shows potential to revolutionize how we treat retinal degenerative diseases and improve patient outcomes. I hope to contribute to the rapid advancement of this platform as the Company completes its ongoing Phase 2b study in RP and looks to rapidly expand into other indications.”
“Multi-Characteristic Opsin, or MCOs, have the potential to address all forms of retinal degeneration and are applicable for patients suffering from complete or partial damage to the retina,” said Dr. Ciulla. “Nanoscope has already begun to demonstrate the tremendous potential of this approach, including extraordinary efficacy and good tolerability in severely visually impaired individuals. I look forward to working with their world-class team in seeing the potential of this approach fully elucidated in the clinic.”
Dr. Shams was most recently the Chief Science Officer at ProQR Therapeutics and previously served as President and CEO of Santen Inc, and Global Head of R&D at Santen Pharmaceuticals, a global ophthalmology company, for over a decade. He has over 25 years of global drug development experience across start-ups and large multinationals, including Novartis and Genentech/Roche. At Genentech, Dr. Shams helped to establish the Ophthalmic Clinical R&D Group and led the development of Lucentis® through approval. Prior to joining industry Dr. Shams was on the Faculty at the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Shams holds an MD from Dow Medical College and a PhD in microbiology/immunology from the University of South Carolina. He also completed a fellowship in wound healing and corneal transplantation at Harvard University.
Dr. Ciulla has 25 years of executive management, clinical research and academic leadership experience. He has served as Chief Medical Officer since 2018 and also Chief Development Officer since 2020 at Clearside Biomedical, which pioneered the development of the first FDA-approved suprachoroidal therapy (Xipere®). At Spark Therapeutics, he led medical strategy through approval and commercialization of Luxturna® (voretigene), the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a hereditary retinal disease, which involved novel functional vision endpoints, complex genetic testing paradigms, and new administration procedures. Prior to Spark, he served as VP-Clinical Strategy at Ophthotech (now Iveric Bio), where he contributed to the design of the successful Phase 2/3 trial of Zimura®in Geographic Atrophy (GA). He holds a BA in chemistry from Harvard University, an MD from University of California, San Francisco, Medical School and an MBA from Indiana University. He completed residency at Harvard Medical School, retina fellowship at Tufts Medical School, and is a board-certified ophthalmologist and retina specialist.
About Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc.
Nanoscope Therapeutics is developing gene-agnostic, sight restoring optogenetic therapies for the millions of patients blinded by retinal degenerative diseases, for which no cure exists. The company’s lead asset, MCO-010, is presently in Phase 2b multicenter, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled clinical trials in the U.S. for retinitis pigmentosa (NCT04945772) with top line data expected Q1, 2023. The company has also initiated a Phase 2 trial of MCO therapy in Stargardt patients. MCO-010 has received FDA orphan drug designations for RP and Stargardt. The pipeline also includes therapy for GA.
Kimberly Minarovich, Sam Martin
Opus Biotech Communications