Iveric bio announced the appointment of Abraham Scaria, PhD, to the position of Chief Scientific Officer, effective October 29, 2019. Dr. Scaria will lead the company’s research and preclinical gene therapy activities. Dr. Scaria’s extensive experience includes positions at Genzyme, Sanofi, and most recently at Casebia Therapeutics, leading multiple ocular gene therapy programs. He will report to Glenn P. Sblendorio, Chief Executive Officer and President of Iveric bio.
“We are pleased to welcome Abraham, an accomplished scientist and researcher with extensive experience in AAV-vector mediated gene therapy in the eye, to the Iveric bio team,” Mr. Sblendorio said in a company news release. “We believe Abraham’s expertise will be invaluable to our collaborations with leading academic institutions to broaden and advance our programs as we prepare to enter into the clinic with our lead gene therapy program in the second half of 2020.”
“Gene therapy with AAV vectors present a significant opportunity in treating orphan inherited retinal diseases with unmet medical needs,” stated Dr. Scaria. “The company has built an impressive pipeline of innovative gene therapy programs based on compelling science with the goal of providing transformational therapies for patients. I am excited to be working closely with this dynamic and experienced team.”
Dr. Scaria has more than 25 years of experience in gene therapy, ranging from discovery research to early-stage clinical trials. For much of his career, Dr. Scaria has specialized in viral gene therapy vectors and ocular gene therapy, having served as Senior Scientific Director of Gene Therapy and Ophthalmology at Genzyme-Sanofi and subsequently Head of Gene Therapy Research at Sanofi. Most recently, Dr. Scaria was Vice President and Head of Ophthalmology at Casebia Therapeutics, where he oversaw efforts to develop gene-editing based therapies for inherited retinal diseases. He earned his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Indiana University School of Medicine and conducted postdoctoral research at St. Louis University School of Medicine and at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Dr. Scaria has more than 45 publications and currently serves on several committees for the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy.