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 been nominated for the prestigious Prix Galien Startup Award. The Galien Foundation, the premier global institution dedicated to honoring innovators in life sciences, fosters, recognizes, and rewards excellence in scientific innovation to improve the state of human health.
“We are delighted and honored to be participating in this prestigious award process,” said Greg Kunst, Aurion Biotech chief executive officer. “Regardless of outcome, having this experience and favorable exposure from the Galien Foundation will help Aurion Biotech advance our ground-breaking cell therapy for the treatment of corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction.”
The Galien Foundation oversees and directs activities in the US for the Prix Galien, an international awards program dedicated to progress through innovative medicines development, with chapters in 14 countries and the continent of Africa. The Prix Galien was created in 1970 by Roland Mehl in honor of Galien, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology. Worldwide, the Prix Galien is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical research.
In a press release dated July 28, Bernard Poussot, the Chair of Prix Galien Startup, Digital Health and Incubators, Accelerators and Equity Committee; Director of Roche Holding; and Former Chairman & CEO at Wyeth, stated, "The Prix Galien Awards have become the most coveted prizes for those who dedicate their lives to the development of meaningful drugs and innovations. Members of the Awards Committees applaud the unwavering commitment of each nominee in their quest to provide a healthier future for the next generation."
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 US3 and approximately 1,500 corneal specialists, the Company estimates that fewer than 300 actively perform the DMEK/DSAEK procedures.
- Onerous post-op patient recovery. Patients must lie flat on their backs for up to three days, in order for the corneal transplant to adhere to the cornea’s stroma.
Aurion Biotech Corneal Endothelial Cell Therapy
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 research and 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 Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty / Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty
2 JAMA: Global Survey of Corneal Transplantation & Eye Banking: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2474372