SEATTLE, BOSTON & TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aurion Biotech, whose mission is to restore vision to millions of patients with its life-changing regenerative therapies, today announced it has appointed Michael Goldstein, M.D., M.B.A., as president and chief medical officer. Dr. Goldstein will lead the Company’s clinical strategy, development and operations; medical affairs; and manufacturing and quality teams for its first product candidate, a cell therapy to treat corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction.
“As both a world-renowned ophthalmologist and experienced biotech executive with multiple products brought to market under his leadership, Dr. Goldstein is exactly what we need to propel our development at Aurion Biotech,” said Greg Kunst, Aurion Biotech chief executive officer. “We are thrilled to welcome Michael to our team.”
Before joining Aurion Biotech, Dr. Goldstein served as president and chief medical officer of Ocular Therapeutix (Nasdaq: OCUL), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the formulation, development, and commercialization of innovative therapies for diseases and conditions of the eye. Before that, Dr. Goldstein was chief medical officer of Applied Genetic Technologies Corp (Nasdaq: AGTC), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of products for the treatment of rare diseases of the eye. Before joining AGTC, Dr. Goldstein held several positions of increasing responsibility with Eleven Biotherapeutics, including chief medical officer and vice president of clinical research.
“Like many of my colleagues in ophthalmology, I am intrigued by the life-changing potential of corneal endothelial cell therapy,” said Dr. Goldstien. “It’s why I’m eager to help the Aurion team bring this transformational cell therapy to patients in need throughout the world.”
Since 2002, Dr. Goldstein has served as co-director of the cornea and external disease service and assistant professor of ophthalmology at the New England Eye Center and Tufts University School of Medicine. Previously, he was director of the refractive surgery service and assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Dr. Goldstein has published extensively and is a reviewer for multiple ophthalmology scientific journals.
“The fantastic team at Aurion Biotech just got even better!” said Edward Holland, M.D. and chair, Aurion Biotech medical advisory board. ”I’ve known Mike Goldstein for many years, and am delighted to work closely with him as we develop this ground-breaking corneal endothelial cell therapy.”
Dr. Goldstein holds an M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and earned his B.A. in Political Economy from Williams College.
About Corneal Endothelial Diseases
Corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction is a sight-threatening and debilitating condition affecting millions of people throughout the world. When corneal endothelial cells die or degrade, they do not regenerate. Ultimately, corneal endothelial cell loss can cause corneal edema and loss of vision. Although corneal transplants are effective, there are disadvantages with these procedures (DMEK/DSAEK1):
- Limited donor organ supply. Transplants require a supply of donor corneas in a 1:1 ratio (one healthy donor cornea to treat each diseased one), yet it’s estimated that there is only one donor cornea available for every 70 diseased eyes.2
- Complex surgical procedure. Although there are approximately 20,000 ophthalmologists in the US3and approximately 1,500 corneal specialists, the Company estimates that fewer than 300 actively perform the DMEK/DSAEK procedures.
Clinical studies treating over 100 patients in Japan and El Salvador support the significant potential advantages of Aurion Biotech’s cell therapy for treating patients with corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction:
- Abundant supply of corneal endothelial cells. From a single donor, the Company can manufacture corneal endothelial cells to treat up to 100 recipient eyes.
- Straightforward procedure to perform. As a simple injection, the cell therapy procedure can be performed efficiently and is less complex than corneal transplantation.
- Patient-friendly procedure. Post-operative recovery for cell therapy is several hours, as compared to several days for corneal transplant procedures.
About Aurion Biotech
Based in Seattle, Boston and Tokyo, Aurion Biotech is a clinical-stage biotech company. Our mission is to restore vision to millions of patients with our life-changing regenerative therapies. Our first candidate is for the treatment of corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction, and is one of the first clinically validated cell therapies for corneal care. Healthy cells from a donor cornea are cultured in a novel, multi-step, proprietary and patented process. Cells manufactured from a single donor can treat more than 100 recipient eyes. In clinical trials in Japan, patients have experienced significant and durable improvements in key measures of corneal health: visual acuity, corneal endothelial cell density and central corneal thickness. The Aurion Biotech team is preparing for clinical trials in the U.S. To learn more about Aurion Biotech, visit www.aurionbiotech.com.
1 Descemets Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty / Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty
2 JAMA: Global Survey of Corneal Transplantation & Eye Banking: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2474372