- Gerald Cagle, Ph.D. named Chairman of the Board
- Francine Behar-Cohen, M.D., Ph.D. named Chief Innovation Officer
- Thierry Bordet, Ph.D. named Chief Scientific Officer
Paris, France, and Fort Worth, Texas, United States, March 10, 2020 – Eyevensys, a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company developing non-viral gene therapies for ophthalmic diseases, today announced the expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of Gerald Cagle as the Board’s Chairman, Francine Behar-Cohen to Chief Innovation Officer and Thierry Bordet as the Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr. Cagle, who joined Eyevensys’ Board of Directors in 2018, was the former Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at Alcon Laboratories, the world’s largest eye care device company. He will replace Dr. Garth Cumberlidge, the company’s current Chairman. Dr. Cagle will work closely with and advise Dr. Patricia Zilliox, Eyevensys’ CEO, in strategic decision making for the company. Dr. Cagle said, “I am looking forward to working even closer with the Eyevensys management team to help it achieve its next level of growth and I am truly honored to lead such an extraordinary Board as its Chairman.”
Eyevensys founder and previous Chief Scientific Officer, Pr. Behar-Cohen will assume the role of Chief Innovation Officer – a newly created position at the company. “Within the next 10 years, gene therapies will be accepted treatments for both rare genetic retinal conditions and more common eye diseases and patients will be able to have treatments based on their own specific genetic profiles. Eyevensys is at the forefront of creating technologies that will be best-in-class to treat and prophylactically prevent future ocular maladies,” Pr. Behar-Cohen said.
Dr. Thierry Bordet has been promoted to Chief Scientific Officer, from his previous position as Pre-Clinical Director for the company. Prior to coming to Eyevensys in 2017, Dr. Bordet had over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology sector having managed drug development programs for small molecules, gene therapies, cell-based therapies and tissue engineered products. He was most recently Pre-Clinical Development Director at the Biotherapies Institute for Rare Diseases, in Evry, France where he designed development strategies for advanced therapy medicinal products for various indications, including inherited retinitis pigmentosa.
Eyevensys is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing its innovative technology to enable the sustained intraocular production of therapeutic proteins to treat a broad range of ophthalmic diseases.
The Eyevensys technology, developed by Pr. Francine Behar-Cohen, uses electroporation to deliver improved proprietary DNA plasmids encoding therapeutic proteins into the ciliary muscle of the eye. This approach facilitates the sustained intraocular production of therapeutic proteins.
Eyevensys' lead product EYS606 is a potential new treatment for patients with chronic non-infectious uveitis (CNIU). EYS606 combines Eyevensys’ proprietary Electrotransfection System with plasmids encoding for the production of a potent fusion protein which neutralizes the activity of TNFα, a cytokine that has been shown to play a pivotal role in mediating intraocular inflammation in NIU. EYS606 is currently in a phase I/II clinical trial in the EU and has been granted an Orphan drug designation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of NIU. The therapeutic potential of EYS606 in patients with active, chronic NIU will be further investigated in Part 2 of the ongoing EYS606-CT1 study in the EU and in a second phase 2 trial, the Electro Study (EYS606-CT2) that will be launched in the U.S. in early 2020.
Additionally, Eyevensys is developing EYS611, a treatment for Retinitis Pigmentosa and later stages of Dry AMD. The treatment encodes for a potent iron chelator with antioxidant and endogenous neuroprotective properties. In animal models, the treatment has been shown to be safe and effective at preserving the retina in the wake of both conditions.
Eyevensys is also advancing a third compound, EYS809, for wet AMD, diabetic macular edema, and central retinal vein occlusion, and it is exploring further compounds for undisclosed indications.
Eyevensys was founded in 2008. It is headquartered in Paris, France, and operates a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary out of Fort Worth, Texas. The company is funded by the Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, Pureos Bioventures, Bpifrance through the Innobio Fund, CapDecisif, Inserm Transfert Initiative, Pontifax and the Global Health Sciences Fund.