Nanoscope Therapeutics Strengthens Research and Development Leadership with Appointment of Najam Sharif, PhD, DSc.
DALLAS, Oct. 26, 2023 / — Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases, today announced the appointment of Najam Sharif, PhD, DSc, a veteran in drug/device discovery and development, as Vice President of Global Research and Development.
“We are delighted to welcome Naj to the Nanoscope team,” said Sulagna Bhattacharya, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nanoscope. “His extensive experience in ophthalmology and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development is a natural fit for our organization, and we look forward to drawing on his clinical and regulatory expertise in particular at this pivotal time for MCO-010.”
“I am honored to join Nanoscope, a company that I see as transformative in the field of ophthalmology. As their lead asset, MCO-010, advances toward FDA approval, I look forward to the opportunity to positively impact the lives of people living with inherited retinal diseases, and to bring treatment options to a population for which there are no established cures,” said Dr. Sharif.
Dr. Naj Sharif brings over three decades of experience in pharmaceutical drug/device discovery and development to Nanoscope, including specialized expertise in ophthalmology and neuroscience. Throughout his career, he contributed to the discovery and development of several FDA-approved commercial drugs, including anti-glaucoma agent Travatan® and anti-allergic/inflammatory drugs such as Patanol® /Pataday® and Emedine®. In addition, Dr. Sharif was instrumental in guiding three drugs through to FDA approvals: Simbrinza® for glaucoma, IZBA® for the treatment of ocular hypertension and glaucoma, and PAZEO™ for the treatment ocular allergies. Most recently, Dr. Sharif served as Vice President, Global Biomedical Sciences & Head of Glaucoma and Neuroprotection at Santen, where he managed the company’s Clinical Sciences, Data Sciences, and Biometrics departments, and where he also established and directed Global Alliances & External Research activities. Prior to this, he held positions related to R&D and regulatory affairs at Alcon Research-Novartis, Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp, and Syntex Pharma / Roche Pharmaceutical Corp. He is widely published with an extensive number of peer-reviewed publications, edited books and holds multiple patents for mitigation of neurological and ophthalmic diseases. He has been an invited organizer, chairman and speaker at multiple national and international conferences.
In addition to his professional experience, Dr. Sharif has served on numerous boards and committees. Dr. Sharif is an elected Fellow of multiple learned societies such as Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Association for Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics and British Pharmacological Society. Currently he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Glaucoma Foundation and as an adjunct professor for the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, and Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London. He is the recipient of several honors, including the Ernst H. Barany prize for “Outstanding Contributions to Ocular Pharmacology”, the first and inaugural “Dr. Roger Vogel Award” for Pharmaceutical Research, and the Sir James Black Award for “Contributions to Drug Discovery”.
Dr. Sharif received a PhD in neuroscience, DSc (by thesis) in ophthalmology, and dual bachelor’s degree in physiology and biochemistry from the University of Southampton (UK).
About Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc.
Nanoscope Therapeutics is developing gene-agnostic, sight-restoring optogenetic therapies for the millions of patients blinded by inherited retinal diseases, for which no cure exists. The company’s lead asset, MCO-010, recently reported topline results from the RESTORE Phase 2b multicenter, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled clinical trial in the U.S. for retinitis pigmentosa (NCT04945772). The company has also recently completed their end-of-study visit for the Phase 2 STARLIGHT trial of MCO-010 therapy in Stargardt patients (NCT05417126). MCO-010 has received FDA fast track designations and FDA orphan drug designations for both retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt. Preclinical assets include non-viral laser-delivered MCO-020 gene therapy for geographic atrophy.
SOURCE Nanoscope Therapeutics