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AGTC Appoints Abraham Scaria, Ph.D., as Chief Science Officer

November 16, 2021 at 8:00 AM EST
  • With 25+ years of experience, Dr. Scaria has led numerous gene therapy programs from early research into clinical development 
  • Dr. Scaria completes a newly expanded management team in place to continue development of late-stage programs in XLRP and Achromatopsia and advance AGTC’s preclinical pipeline

GAINESVILLE, Fla., and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: AGTC), a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), today announced the appointment of Abraham Scaria, Ph.D., as Chief Science Officer.

“A gene therapy pioneer with deep knowledge of retinal and rare diseases, Dr. Scaria will bring invaluable insights and expertise as we advance and seek to expand our pipeline of gene therapy programs,” said Sue Washer, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGTC. “We are privileged to have an accomplished scientist and researcher join us in making transformational gene therapies a reality for patients.”

Dr. Scaria has more than 25 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, with deep knowledge in discovery research, preclinical studies and phase 1/2 clinical trials, with a focus on gene therapies to treat rare diseases. Most recently, Dr. Scaria was the Senior Vice President and Chief Science Officer at IVERIC Bio, where he was responsible for preclinical research and development for retinal disease therapies.

“I am excited to become part of the dedicated and talented team at AGTC and to help lead the way in providing breakthrough therapies for patients suffering from inherited retinal diseases and other debilitating indications, many of which have no treatment options available,” said Abraham Scaria, Ph.D. “My research and development experience with a wide variety of gene therapies will be beneficial as the team at AGTC enters a new phase of growth and advances both their clinical and pre-clinical product candidates.”

Before his tenure at IVERIC Bio, Dr. Scaria served as Vice President and Head of Ophthalmology at Casebia Therapeutics, where he built out the ophthalmology research and development group from the ground-up. Prior to Casebia, Dr. Scaria served as the Head of Gene Therapy Research at Sanofi Genzyme, where he was responsible for all aspects of gene therapy research, including AAV vector mediated gene delivery optimization. Previously, he was the Senior Scientific Director for Gene Therapy and Ophthalmology Research at Genzyme Corporation.

Dr. Scaria earned his Ph.D. at the Indiana University School of Medicine and his M.Sc. at the University of Bombay in India.

About AGTC
AGTC is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing genetic therapies for people with rare and debilitating ophthalmic, otologic and central nervous system (CNS) diseases. AGTC is a leader in designing and constructing all critical gene therapy elements and bringing them together to develop customized therapies with the potential to address real patient needs. AGTC’s most advanced clinical programs leverage its best-in-class technology platform to potentially improve vision for patients with an inherited retinal disease. AGTC has active clinical trials in X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) and achromatopsia (ACHM CNGB3 and ACHM CNGA3). Its preclinical programs build on the company’s industry leading AAV manufacturing technology and scientific expertise. AGTC is advancing multiple important pipeline candidates to address substantial unmet clinical need in optogenetics, otology and CNS disorders, and has entered into strategic collaborations with companies including Otonomy, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative therapeutics for neurotology, and Bionic Sight, LLC, an innovator in the emerging field of optogenetics and retinal coding.

Forward-Looking Statements 
This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect AGTC's plans, estimates, assumptions and beliefs, including statements about the potential of the Company’s late-stage development programs in X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa (XLRP) and Achromatopsia (ACHM) and its ability to expand its existing pipeline of gene therapy programs. Forward-looking statements include information concerning preclinical and clinical product development and regulatory progress, potential growth opportunities, and potential market opportunities. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by terms such as "anticipates," "believes," "could," "seeks," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," "potential," "predicts," "projects," "should," "will," "would" or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, due to a number of important factors. Risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially include, among others: gene therapy is still novel with only a few approved treatments so far; AGTC cannot predict when or if it will obtain regulatory approval to commercialize a product candidate or receive reasonable reimbursement; uncertainty inherent in clinical trials and the regulatory review process; risks and uncertainties associated with drug development and commercialization; the direct and indirect impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on our business, results of operations, and financial condition; factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements are set forth under the heading "Risk Factors" in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and subsequent periodic reports filed with the SEC. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Also, forward-looking statements represent management's plans, estimates, assumptions and beliefs only as of the date of this release. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. 

PR Contact:

Kerry Sinclair

Spectrum Science Communications

T: (202) 587-1507  

ksinclair@spectrumscience.com


Corporate Contact:

Jonathan Lieber

Chief Financial Officer

Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation

T: (617) 843-5778

jlieber@agtc.com 


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Source: Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation

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