Ocugen Announces Appointments to Retina Disease and Ocular Graft-Versus-Host Disease Scientific Advisory Boards

November 4, 2019 at 7:30 AM EST

MALVERN, Pa., Nov. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ocugen, Inc., (NASDAQ: OCGN), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing a pipeline of innovative therapies that address rare and underserved eye diseases, today announced the appointment of retina and ocular Graft-Versus-Host Disease (oGVHD) scientific advisory boards comprised of prominent experts to provide strategic advice, clinical and regulatory support, and scientific and industry expertise.

Shankar Musunuri, Ph.D., MBA, Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder remarked, “We are thrilled to welcome this group of industry thought leaders to the Ocugen Scientific Advisory Board as we advance our Phase 3 oGVHD program and continue the development of our modifier gene therapy program to reach the clinic.”

The retina scientific advisory board consists of:

  • David Boyer, M.D.
    Dr. Boyer is a world-renowned clinician, surgeon and educator. His areas of specialty include the treatment of diseases of the retina and vitreous. He is currently a leading investigator for various national clinical trials on retinal diseases and serves as an advisor for multiple research, educational and charitable institutions.
  • Carl D. Regillo, M.D., F.A.C.S.
    Dr. Regillo is Professor of Ophthalmology at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, Chief of the Retina Service at Wills Eye Hospital and founder and former director of the Wills Eye Clinical Retina Research Unit in Philadelphia. He has been the principal investigator of numerous major clinical trials developing new medical and surgical treatments for retinal disorders such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and has authored more than 200 publications along with over 30 book chapters and nine major books. As a recognized leader in the field, he is a recipient of many national and international awards, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement, Senior Achievement, Secretariat, and Lifetime Achievement Awards and the American Society of Retinal Specialists Honor and Senior Honor Awards. He was also selected as a Charter Inductee of the Retina Hall of Fame and named to the Ophthalmologist Power List (Top 100 most influential people in the world of ophthalmology).
  • Mark Pennesi, M.D., Ph.D.
    Dr. Pennesi is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine and Division Chief of the Ophthalmic Genetics Service at the OHSU Casey Eye Institute. Since joining the OHSU faculty, Dr. Pennesi has been a principal investigator on many first-in-human clinical trials including for: LCA Type II and Type 10, Usher Syndrome Type IB and 2A, Stargardt disease, X-linked Retinoschisis, X-Linked retinitis pigmentosa and achromatopsia.
  • Geeta Lalwani, M.D.
    Dr. Lalwani is the founder of Rocky Mountain Retina Associates, where she specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of retinal diseases. Prior to founding Rocky Mountain Retina, Dr. Lalwani served as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Miami’s prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Dr. Lalwani completed her fellowship in vitreoretinal surgery at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and ophthalmology residency at Case Western Reserve, and received her M.D. from Drexel University. Dr. Lalwani is Board Certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmologists, American Society of Retina Specialists, the Vit-Buckle Society, EnVision Summit and the esteemed Retina Society.

The oGVHD scientific advisory board members include:

  • Todd Margolis, M.D., Ph.D.
    Dr. Margolis is the Albert and Edith Wolff Professor and Chairman, John F. Hardesty MD, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Prior to joining Washington University, Dr. Margolis served as professor of ophthalmology and the Rose B. Williams Chair for Research in Corneal Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. Margolis’ clinical expertise is in the diagnosis and management of infectious and inflammatory eye disease, with a particular interest in eye disease due to herpes viruses and ocular disease in immune-compromised patients. 
  • Daniel Couriel, M.D., M.S.
    Since 2015, Dr. Couriel has served as director of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Utah, where he also serves as Professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies. Prior to that, he served as Clinical Professor and Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at the University of Michigan. His research interests are associated with new treatments and biomarkers for acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). He serves on the Editorial Board of Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, the official journal of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Additionally, he co-chaired the GVHD subcommittee for the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), and the Ancillary and Supportive Care committee of a National Institutes of Health Consensus Project on Chronic GVHD.
  • Paul M. Karpecki, O.D., F.A.A.O.
    Dr. Karpecki currently serves as Clinical Director, Corneal Services and Advanced Ocular Surface Disease at Kentucky Eye Institute in Lexington, Kentucky and as a clinician for Gaddie Eye Centers in Louisville, Kentucky. He also serves as an Associate Professor at the Kentucky College of Optometry in Pikeville, Kentucky and is the Medical Director for Kepler Vision and the Dry Eye Institutes of Indiana, Arizona and Colorado. Dr. Karpecki was appointed to the Delphi International Society at Wilmer-Johns Hopkins, which included the top 25 dry eye experts in the world. He co-chaired the Dry Eye Summit for the profession, was selected to the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) Dry Eye Workshop (DEWS) II Diagnostic Methodology sub-committee and appointed co-chair of the 2016 TFOS Symposium in Montpellier, France. He also served as co-chair of the Dry Eye Session at the Ophthalmic Innovations Summit (OIS) during the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Annual Meeting in 2018 and co-chair of the inaugural OIS@SECO in New Orleans, Louisiana. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Editor for Review of Optometry.
  • Michael E. Stern, Ph.D.
    Dr. Stern is Chief Scientific Officer at ImmunEyeZ LLC. He is also co-director of Ocular Immunology at IOBA, University of Valladolid, Spain, and Visiting Professor – Division of Dry Eye and Ocular GVHD in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Cologne, Germany. He previously served as Principal Scientist and Vice-President, Inflammation Research at Allergan PLC. During his 26-year tenure at Allergan, Dr. Stern led an effort elucidating the pathophysiology of dry eye. Dr. Stern and his laboratory were essential in defining this disease as an immune-based inflammation of the Lacrimal Functional Unit. 

About Ocugen, Inc.
Ocugen, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing a pipeline of innovative therapies that address rare and underserved eye diseases. The Company offers a robust and diversified ophthalmology portfolio that includes novel gene therapies, biologics, and small molecules and targets a broad range of high-need retinal and ocular surface diseases. Ocugen is leveraging its groundbreaking modifier gene therapy platform to address genetically diverse inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) and dry AMD, based on nuclear hormone receptor genes NR2E3 (OCU400) and RORA (OCU410), respectively. OCU400 has received two orphan drug designations (ODD) targeting two distinct IRDs. Ocugen is also developing novel biologic therapies for wet-AMD, DME and diabetic retinopathy (OCU200), as well as for retinitis pigmentosa (OCU100). The Company’s late-stage Phase 3 trial for patients with ocular graft versus host disease (oGVHD)(OCU300) leverages Ocugen’s patented OcuNanoE – Ocugen’s ONE Platform™ technology to enhance the efficacy of topical ophthalmic therapeutics. OCU300 is the first and only therapeutic with ODD for oGVHD, providing certain regulatory and economic benefits. For more information, please visit www.ocugen.com.

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Corporate Contact: Ocugen, Inc. Kelly Beck kelly.beck@ocugen.com +1 484-328-4698 Media Contact: LaVoieHealthScience Emmie Twombly etwombly@lavoiehealthscience.com +1 857-389-6042