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30 November, 2017 - 14:07 By Kate Sweeney

Exonate forms ophthalmology clinical advisory board

Five ophthalmology leaders have formed a clinical advisory board to support early stage biotech company Exonate in Cambridge which has the potential to revolutionise the current standard-of-care in the treatment of eye diseases.

They will advise on the scientific, pre-clinical development of a revolutionary eye-drop treatment for retinal vascular diseases, including wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (wAMD) and Diabetic Macular Oedema (DME).

The formation of the CAB is a pivotal milestone in Exonate’s development as it builds its ophthalmology pipeline.
The CAB is made up of the international leaders in the ophthalmology field.  With over 100 years of combined experience in the industry, they bring a deep level of understanding and insight into wAMD that will help drive the clinical development of Exonate’s novel eye drop treatment.

Professor Pete Adamson is head of Ophthalmology Research and Development at ProQR Therapeutics an oligonucleotide company specialising in the treatment of rare inherited ophthalmic disease. He was formerly VP and head of research at Ophthiris (GlaxoSmithKline Ophthalmology).

Professor Lloyd Paul Aiello is Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, vice-chair for Centres of Excellence and associate chief of Longwood Ophthalmology at Harvard Department of Ophthalmology, director of the Beetham Eye Institute and head of eye research at the Joslin Diabetes Centre (JDC), and founding chair of the National Eye Institute Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network. He is the recipient of 45 national and international awards for his research.

Professor Peter Campochiaro was trained at the University of Notre Dame, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Virginia. He joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute in 1991 and currently serves there as the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Professor of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience.
Professor Usha Chakravarthy is recognised internationally for research into the molecular mechanisms of AMD and diabetic retinopathy her current work has focused on improved phenotyping of AMD and DR and understanding the therapeutic responses to drugs in interventional clinical trials.
She has served on editorial boards of many journals including IOVS, Eye, Ophthalmic Epidemiology and international and national award bodies. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in 2016 in recognition of her research and her clinical activities within the NHS and the academic role within the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

Professor Robyn Guymer is Professor of Ophthalmology at Melbourne University and deputy director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia. She is also a senior retinal specialist at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. She is a clinician scientist who leads a team of 20 researchers primarily investigating AMD. She has investigated genetic and environmental risk factors for AMD, predictors of response to treatments for late AMD, as well as being a principal investigator in many industry sponsored trials.

She is on several pharmaceutical advisory boards and is part of the Mactel consortium, the Beckman/Ryan AMD initiative (USA) and the International classification of Atrophy group.

Exonate CEO Dr Catherine Beech, said: “We are delighted to announce the formation of our Clinical Advisory Board. Eye-drops are considered the Holy Grail for the treatment of diseases such as wAMD, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. 

“I look forward to working with this outstanding group of scientists’ and to benefit from the expertise they will bring as we investigate the potential for our eye-drops to revolutionise treatment for this devastating disease.”

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