Najam Sharif, Ph.D., DSc, has been appointed as vice president of global research and development by Dallas-based Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases.
Sharif is a veteran in drug/device discovery and development, the company said.
“We are delighted to welcome Naj to the Nanoscope team,” Sulagna Bhattacharya, co-founder and CEO of Nanoscope, said in a statement. “His extensive experience in ophthalmology and pharmaceutical drug discovery and development is a natural fit for our organization, and we look forward to drawing on his clinical and regulatory expertise in particular at this pivotal time for MCO-010.”
Sharif brings more than three decades of experience in pharmaceutical drug/device discovery and development to Nanoscope, including specialized expertise in ophthalmology and neuroscience.
“I am honored to join Nanoscope, a company that I see as transformative in the field of ophthalmology. As their lead asset, MCO-010, advances toward FDA approval, I look forward to the opportunity to positively impact the lives of people living with inherited retinal diseases, and to bring treatment options to a population for which there are no established cures,” Sharif said in a statement.
Deep expertise in new eye medications and treatments
Throughout his career, Sharif contributed to the discovery and development of several FDA-approved commercial drugs, including anti-glaucoma agent Travatan and anti-allergic/inflammatory drugs such as Patanol/Pataday and Emedine.
Sharif was instrumental in guiding three drugs through to FDA approvals: Simbrinza for glaucoma, IZBA for the treatment of ocular hypertension and glaucoma, and PAZEO for ocular allergies.
Most recently, Sharif was vice president, Global Biomedical Sciences & Head of Glaucoma and Neuroprotection at Santen, where he managed the company’s clinical sciences, data sciences, and biometrics departments, and where he also established and directed Global Alliances and external Research activities.
Before that, he held positions related to R&D and regulatory affairs at Alcon Research-Novartis, Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp., and Syntex Pharma/Roche Pharmaceutical Corp.
Sharif is widely published with an extensive number of peer-reviewed publications, edited books and has been granted multiple patents for the mitigation of neurological and ophthalmic diseases. He has been an invited organizer, chairman and speaker at multiple national and international conferences, the company said.
Nanoscope Therapeutics is developing gene-agnostic, sight-restoring optogenetic therapies for the millions of patients blinded by inherited retinal diseases, for which no cure exists, the company said. Its lead asset, MCO-010, recently reported topline results from the RESTORE Phase 2b multicenter, randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled clinical trial in the U.S. for retinitis pigmentosa.
Nanoscope also recently completed its end-of-study visit for the Phase 2 STARLIGHT trial of MCO-010 therapy in Stargardt patients. MCO-010 has received FDA fast-track and orphan drug designations for both retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt.
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