Oxurion NV announced the appointment of Grace Chang, MD, PhD, as the company’s Chief Medical Officer, effective August 1, 2020.
Dr. Chang is a board-certified ophthalmologist and practicing vitreoretinal surgeon with deep expertise in ophthalmic drug research and development. She will be responsible for leading the company’s clinical programs for both THR-687 and THR-149 as Oxurion looks to build a world-leading diabetic macular edema (DME) franchise that could provide much improved therapeutic solutions for all DME patients.
Dr. Chang joins Oxurion from Notal Vision, where she held the position of CMO and was responsible for the scientific and clinical strategy, clinical development and medical affairs programs. She is currently an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Vitreoretinal Service at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Prior to this, Dr. Chang held several high-level clinical and strategic roles at Alcon Laboratories, a former subsidiary of Novartis, following a faculty appointment at the University of Washington.
Dr. Chang completed her ophthalmology residency and vitreoretinal fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. Additionally, Dr. Chang earned her MD from Stanford University.
“I am thrilled to be joining Oxurion at such an important point in the company’s development and I look forward to leading the clinical trials of THR-149 and THR-687, two novel molecules targeting DME with modes of action different from anti-VEGFs,” said Dr. Grace Chang. “DME is a leading cause of adult visual loss in developed countries, and new approaches are urgently needed for patients including those who do not respond optimally to anti-VEGF therapy. As a practicing vitreoretinal surgeon, I am excited about THR-687 and THR-149 and their potential to satisfy the needs of all patients with DME.”
Patrik De Haes, M.D., CEO of Oxurion, said: “I am delighted to welcome Grace as a member of our senior leadership team. Her first-hand clinical experience and development knowledge paired with her proven leadership skills come at a critical time as we begin the phase 2 development of our DME-focused pipeline. We have developed clear target product profiles for both THR-687 and THR-149 that together give us great confidence that we will be able to develop a DME franchise that will provide improved treatment options for all patients. This is an exciting time for Oxurion as we look to generate the clinical data needed to demonstrate the potential of our emerging DME franchise.”
Oxurion’s emerging DME franchise will be based on the successful development of both THR-149 and THR-687, two novel therapeutics with different modes of action designed for specific complementary target patient groups.
THR-149, a plasma kallikrein inhibitor, is being developed to potentially become the treatment of choice for DME patients with persistent edema who are currently sub-optimally responding to anti-VEGF therapy.
Oxurion’s second drug candidate, THR-687, is a best-in-class pan-RGD integrin antagonist holding potential to become the standard of care for treatment-naïve patients by replacing anti-VGEF’s as the mainstay of DME therapy.
Oxurion is confident that with both THR-687 and THR-149 it will be able to provide new, tailored therapeutic solutions that deliver improved clinical outcomes to almost all DME patients.