MILAN, ITALY / ACCESSWIRE / June 30, 2022 /AAVantgarde Organica biotechnology start-up developing gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases based on Adeno-Associated Viral (AAV) vectors, announced the appointment of Naveed Shams, MD, Ph.D., as Chief Development and Medical Officer (CDMO).
Most recently, Dr. Shams over 60 scientists to lead Translational Research and Early Development efforts at ProQR Therapeutics, a clinical-stage oligonucleotide (RNA) platform company with a focus on rare inherited retinal disorders.
“Naveed is a seasoned biotech executive and highly respected clinician with more than three decades of expertise in developing and commercializing ophthalmic drugs worldwide. His extensive experience as a global R&D leader in ophthalmology should be invaluable in developing AAVantgarde growing into a clinical stage company,” said Naveed. dr. Ram Palanki, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AAVantgarde†
dr. Shams received his medical degree from Dow Medical College in Karachi, Pakistan, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of South Carolina. After completing a fellowship in cornea and external diseases at the Schepens Eye Research Institute & Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, he served in the department’s research faculty. His industry leadership experience spans multiple therapeutic areas and includes tenures at Santen, Genentech, Novartis Ophthalmics, Opko Health, On Demand Therapeutics, Storz Ophthalmic Instruments. At Genentech, Dr. Shams the clinical team responsible for the development and approval of Ranibizumab (Lucentis®) for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD).
AAVantgarde Bio’s technology builds on existing AAV platforms, the leading viral vector technology used in gene therapy applications. The company is a spin-off of TIGEM, an international research institute based in Naples that is owned and managed by Fondazione Telethon. The founder of AAVantgarde, Professor Alberto Auricchio, is a highly recognized scientist and a pioneer of gene therapy.
“I am excited to join AAVantgarde to lead the development of the company’s next-generation major gene replacement AAV therapies into the clinic,” dr. shams said. “AAVantgarde Bio has two proprietary AAV platforms for large gene delivery with leading programs in ophthalmology. It is an exciting time to join the organization.”
Paola Pozzi, a partner of Telethon Fund of Sofinnova Partners† said: “With the recent clinical trial application successfully submitted to AIFA, Italy, Naveed’s leadership will be critical in developing AAVantgarde’s key research products for the treatment of Ushers syndromes and Stargardt’s disease. Dr. Shams is well known to the Sofinnova Partners’ network as an industry veteran who can build and motivate teams, I look forward to his leadership in helping accelerate the development of AAVantgarde’s innovative portfolio to address unmet patient needs around the world. to grab.”
Since 2021, AAVantgarde has been supported by the Sofinnova Telethon Fund, an early stage fund dedicated to investing in rare genetic diseases.
About AAVantgarde Bio
AAVantgarde Bio is an innovative biotechnology start-up, co-founded by Pr. Alberto Auricchio and born of the research activities carried out in Tigem (Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine) in Naples, Italy, and supported by Sofinnova Partners. For more information visit: www.aavantgardebio.com
Phone: +39 348 6363603
SOURCE: Sofinnova partners
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