BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Akouos, a precision genetic medicine company developing gene therapies to restore and preserve hearing, today announced the appointment of Rabia Gurses Ozden, M.D., as chief development officer. “We are excited to welcome Rabia to the Akouos team,” said Manny Simons, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO of Akouos. “As we advance our industry-leading pipeline of gene therapies for hearing disorders, Rabia is a key addition to the Akouos leadership team, bringing tremendous experience and expertise in clinical development of gene therapies for rare genetic disorders. Rabia will be instrumental as we work to bring our lead program, AK-OTOF, into clinical trials, and as we continue building the company to translate our research pipeline into gene therapies with the potential to address a wide range of hearing disorders.”
Dr. Ozden brings to Akouos more than 15 years of clinical development, operations and medical affairs experience with novel therapeutics and medical devices. Most recently, she served as the chief medical officer at Nightstar Therapeutics, a gene therapy company focused on rare inherited retinal diseases, which was acquired by Biogen this year. Prior to Nightstar, Dr. Ozden held leadership positions at Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation and GlaxoSmithKline, and earlier in her career held clinical development and operations roles at Quark Pharmaceuticals, Baush & Lomb Pharmaceuticals and Carl Zeiss Meditec. Dr. Ozden received her M.D. from Hacettepe University School of Medicine, completed her ophthalmology residency at Ankara University School of Medicine, and her fellowship in glaucoma at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.
“Hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss, and yet there are no FDA-approved medicines currently to restore or preserve hearing,” said Dr. Ozden. “Akouos is focused on combining novel delivery technology with the latest advances in gene therapy and hearing research to bring forward the first potential precision medicines designed to restore the natural function of the inner ear. I am excited to join the world-class team at Akouos and unite forces in supporting the company’s mission of tackling one of the greatest challenges in medicine today.”
Akouos is a precision genetic medicine company dedicated to developing gene therapies that restore and preserve hearing. Leveraging its adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-based gene therapy platform, Akouos is focused on developing precision therapies for forms of sensorineural hearing loss. Headquartered in Boston, the Company was founded in 2016 by world leaders in the fields of neurotology, genetics, inner ear drug delivery, and AAV gene therapy. Akouos has strategic partnerships with Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Lonza, Inc. For more information, please visit www.akouos.com.