Former Spark Therapeutics head of ophthalmic medical affairs, responsible for the development and approval of Luxturna™, to lead development of SparingVision’s proprietary asset, SPVN06, and further pipeline development
Paris, February 4, 2021 – SparingVision (the “Company”), a genomic medicine company developing vision saving treatments for ocular diseases, today announces the appointment of Dr Daniel C. Chung as Chief Medical Officer (“CMO”). Dr Chung brings a wealth of experience in successful ocular gene therapy development, having led the global medical strategy for ophthalmology at Spark Therapeutics (“Spark”), a leading rare disease gene therapy company, where he played a pivotal role in the clinical development and approval of Luxturna™, the first gene therapy to be approved in the US for a genetic disease. Spark was acquired by Roche in 2019 for $4.3 billion.
Dr Chung is a highly respected healthcare leader with a demonstrated history working in the biotechnology industry, with experience spanning all phases of ocular gene therapy development, from pre-clinical studies through to clinical development and post marketing activities. Dr Chung joined Spark in 2014 and, as the company’s first ophthalmologist, was instrumental in the development of Luxturna™, the first in vivo gene therapy approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for RPE65 related inherited retinal disease. He also later led the medical affairs group responsible for its safe and efficient use in patients. During his tenure at Spark, he served as the inherited retinal disease and ophthalmology expert across various company divisions, not only training preclinical staff for in vivo surgical procedures, but also working in medical affairs, clinical development, patient advocacy, marketing and commercial activities.
Before joining Spark, Dr Chung worked for 11 years at the Scheie Eye Institute within the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, specialising in gene based therapies for inherited retinal diseases and cilia mediated disease. Dr Chung received his medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1994 and undertook extensive postgraduate training at the National Eye Institute, Summa Health Systems and Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
As a member of the executive team at SparingVision, Dr Chung will lead the clinical development and research of SPVN06, SparingVision’s flagship development asset, that is uniquely positioned to treat a much wider population of patients with rod-cone dystrophies than existing gene therapies. He will also be responsible for the clinical development of future additions to the product pipeline. Based in the U.S., Dr. Chung will also lead the education of the medical and patient communities on SparingVision’s unique and game-changing mutation-agnostic approach in gene therapy.
Stephane Boissel, SparingVision President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “SparingVision is focused on leading a significant step shift in the way we treat ocular disease, and we are building a strong global team with the expertise and drive to deliver this vision. We are delighted to have attracted another key leader in the field, which is testament to the potential of our approach. Dan’s extensive ophthalmology knowledge and experience in successfully bringing an ocular gene therapy to market will be highly valued as we prepare to commence our first-in-human study of SPVN06 and investigate the further potential of this asset in other rod-cone dystrophies.”
Dr Daniel C. Chung, Chief Medical Officer of SparingVision, added, “SparingVision’s pioneering science and the team’s track record in drug development, manufacturing and building of successful companies is impressive. SPVN06 could allow the treatment of rod-cone dystrophies to go beyond single gene correction approaches to enable central vision preservation for patients, regardless of genetic cause. I am looking forward to joining SparingVision at such an exciting time in the development of this approach and potentially changing the lives of many patients who currently have no approved treatment options.”
SparingVision is a genomic medicines company, translating pioneering science into vision-saving treatments.
Founded to advance over 20 years of world-leading ophthalmic research from its scientific founders at the Paris Vision Institute, SparingVision is leading a step shift in how ocular diseases are treated, moving beyond single gene correction therapies. At the heart of this is a pipeline of gene independent treatments for rod-cone dystrophies. Lead products, SPVN06 and SPVN20, address mid and late stages of retinitis pigmentosa (RP)respectively. RP is the most common inherited retinal disease affecting two million people worldwide. These novel medicines could form the basis of a suite of new sight-saving treatments with potential applications across many other retinal diseases, regardless of genetic cause.
The Company is supported by a strong, internationally renowned team who aim to harness the potential of genomic medicine to deliver new treatments to all ocular disease patients as quickly as possible.
SparingVision has raised €60 million to date and its investors include 4BIO Capital, Bpifrance, Foundation Fighting Blindness (US), Fondation Voir & Entendre, UPMC Enterprises, Jeito Capital and Ysios Capital. For more information, please visit www.sparingvision.com.