Oxurion NV appoints Prof Alan Stitt as Chief Scientific Officer

Written by: Nola Cadman
Published on: 22 Jan 2021

Leuven, BE and Boston, MA, US - January 20, 2021 – 08.00 AM CET Oxurion NV (Euronext Brussels: OXUR), a biopharmaceutical company developing next generation standard-of-care ophthalmic therapies, with a focus on diabetic macular edema (DME), is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Alan Stitt, Ph.D. as the company’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), effective January 19, 2021. This appointment follows the retirement of current CSO Jean Feyen, PhD, who has served in this position since joining the company in 2013. Dr. Feyen will remain available to the company during a transition period to support Professor Stitt and the rest of the pre-clinical development team. 

Professor Stitt is the Chair of Experimental Ophthalmology at Queen’s University of Belfast and is internationally known for his research in ophthalmology, particularly in basic science relating to the pathogenesis of retinal diseases, especially diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. He has also been awarded many accolades for his research including a Royal Society Merit Award, election to membership of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) and Fellowship of the Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (ARVO).

Beyond his research programme, Alan contributes significantly to the international academic community by serving on advisory boards and grant panels and has a range of editor and editorial board memberships in the ophthalmology are­­na.  Going forward, Alan will continue to perform his University duties and affiliations on a part time basis.

I am excited to be joining Oxurion, a highly innovative company that I know well from my academic collaborations that have contributed to the selection and early development of THR-149 and THR-687,” said Professor Alan Stitt. “I look forward to working with their great team of scientists to help advance and broaden Oxurion’s highly promising pipeline. This comprises of novel drug candidates with differentiated modes of action targeting retinal disorders such as DME, but also dry AMD, for which there are currently no treatment options.”

Patrik De Haes, M.D., CEO of Oxurion, said: “We are delighted to welcome Alan, with whom we have collaborated successfully for many years, to Oxurion to lead and direct our scientific research efforts. His successful research career in eye disease, extensive international network, and experience in translating science into clinical leads provide an ideal skill set to enhance our discovery and pre-clinical efforts. I look forward to working with Alan as our CSO as we pursue our mission to prevent vision loss and fight blindness worldwide by developing and delivering next generation treatments for key retinal disorders such as DME and dry AMD.

“I would like to thank Jean for his leadership of the company’s pre-clinical development activities over the last several years which has been instrumental in building Oxurion’s success to date. We are grateful for his support during the transition and wish him well in his retirement.” 

About Oxurion

Oxurion (Euronext Brussels: OXUR) is a biopharmaceutical company developing next generation standard of care ophthalmic therapies, which are designed to better preserve vision in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), the leading cause of vision loss in diabetic patients worldwide.

Oxurion is aiming to build the leading global franchise in the treatment of DME, based on the successful development of its two novel therapeutics:

  • THR-149, a plasma kallikrein inhibitor being developed as a potential new standard of care for DME patients who respond sub-optimally to anti-VEGF therapy. THR-149 has shown positive topline Phase 1 results for the treatment of DME.  The company is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating multiple injections of THR-149 with DME-patients who previously responded sub-optimally to anti-VEGF therapy.  THR-149 was developed in conjunction with Bicycle Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: BCYC)
  • THR-687 is a pan-RGD integrin inhibitor, that is initially being developed as a potential new standard of care for all DME patients.  Positive topline results in a Phase 1 clinical study assessing THR-687 as a treatment for DME were announced in January 2020. THR-687 is expected to enter a Phase 2 clinical trial by mid-2021 after receiving regulatory approval.   THR-687 is an optimized compound derived from a broader library of integrin inhibitors in-licensed from Galapagos NV (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG).

Oxurion is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and is listed on the Euronext Brussels exchange under the symbol OXUR.  More information is available at www.oxurion.com.