29 October 2020
SparingVision Strengthens Management Team
Dr. Florence Lorget to lead development sciences as Chief Development Sciences Officer
Dr. Rajiv Gangurde to lead manufacturing operations as Chief Technology Officer
Both positions are US-based
Paris, October 29 2020 – SparingVision (the “Company”), a genomic medicine company focused on ocular diseases, today announces the strengthening of its senior management team with the appointment of Dr. Florence Lorget as Chief Development Sciences Officer (“CDSO”) and Dr. Rajiv Gangurde as Chief Technology Officer (“CTO”).
As CDSO, Dr. Florence Lorget will head the translational research and development sciences groups of the Company. As such, she will be leading the Company’s nonclinical studies and notably, will conduct IND/CTA regulatory activities for SPVN06, SparingVision’s lead product candidate for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).
From 2018 to 2020, Dr. Lorget was the Senior Director of Nonclinical Safety Evaluation at Sangamo Therapeutics, an American genomic medicine company, where she led the translational pharmacology team and oversaw pharmacology, toxicology and PK activities for a large portfolio of gene editing, gene regulation and gene therapy programs in various therapeutic areas. For five years prior to joining Sangamo, she was a Senior Scientist in the Safety Assessment department at Genentech, where she worked as the Toxicology Therapeutic Area Lead for Ophthalmology and led the Ocular Platform team. Prior to that, Dr. Lorget was a Senior Pharmacologist/Toxicologist at BioMarin. She started her career at Amgen. Dr. Lorget has a Masters in Bioengineering from the University of Technology of Compiegne (France), a Pharm.D. and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Picardie- Jules Verne (France). She completed her postdoctoral research at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and at the Nestle Research Center. Dr. Lorget has also been a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology since 2014.
As CTO, Dr. Rajiv Gangurde will lead SparingVision’s technical operations, including process and analytical development, cGMP manufacturing and quality assurance. As such, he will be leading the production activities to supply clinical trial material as well as the development of a commercial manufacturing process for SPVN06.
Dr. Gangurde joins SparingVision with over 14 years of industry experience in biopharmaceutical development, garnered mainly from his time at the biotechnology hub in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Most recently, he served as Senior Director and Head of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (“CMC”) at Voyager Therapeutics, a gene therapy company based in Cambridge, MA. In this role, Dr. Gangurde was responsible for CMC strategy and management of the company’s entire gene therapy portfolio. Prior to Voyager, Dr. Gangurde was Director of Bioprocess Development & Manufacturing at Genocea Biosciences, where he led upstream and downstream process development and biochemistry groups for early- and late-stage recombinant-protein-based therapeutic vaccines. Prior to Genocea, Dr. Gangurde was Head of Protein Sciences at LakePharma (previously called, Blue Sky Bioservices), leading therapeutic protein production efforts for pre-clinical studies.
Dr. Gangurde obtained his Ph.D. in Life Sciences from Mumbai University in India and did postdoctoral research at the Department of Biochemistry at the New Jersey Medical School, and at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University.
Both Dr. Lorget and Dr. Gangurde will be based in the US.
Stephane Boissel, SparingVision President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “To welcome scientists of Florence and Rajiv’s calibre to the SparingVision team is a further validation of the potential of the Company. Both are experienced leaders in their respective technical fields and will be great additions to the team. Their background and expertise in regulatory interactions, and notably with the US FDA, will be of particular importance at a time when the Company is rapidly progressing towards its first in human study of SPVN06, the Company’s flagship treatment for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), scheduled to start in 2021.”
Dr. Florence Lorget, SparingVision Chief Development Sciences Officer, said, “Given my background in both ophthalmology and genomic medicine, joining SparingVision as head of development sciences at this very important juncture for its lead product candidate SPVN06 is a hugely exciting opportunity. The path towards Clinical Trial Applications and Investigational New Drug certificates has already been well paved by the team and
I look forward to delivering a nonclinical dossier to the regulatory authorities with the highest possible standards
Dr. Rajiv Gangurde, SparingVision Chief Technology Officer, said, “I am thrilled to join SparingVision as head of technical operations. Over the next few years, we need to continue to produce high-quality drug product for clinical trials and simultaneously work on developing a commercial manufacturing process and supply chain for SPVN06. Furthermore, I’ll also be focussing on developing a Chemistry Manufacturing and Controls strategy for SPVN06, which will serve as a roadmap for our future products.”
Notes to Editors
SparingVision is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapies for the treatment of blinding inherited retinal diseases. SparingVision is developing SPVN06, a gene-independent treatment for retinitis pigmentosa, the most common inherited retinal degeneration. There is currently no treatment to treat all genetic forms of this rare retinal disease that leads to blindness and affects nearly 2 million people worldwide. SparingVision is a spin-off of the Paris Vision Institute. SparingVision’s 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
SPVN06 is a proprietary, mutation-agnostic, AAV gene therapy approach comprised of one neurotrophic factor and one enzyme reducing oxidative stress which, acting synergistically, aim at slowing or stopping the degeneration of photoreceptors, which inevitably leads to blindness in RP patients. RP is one of the most common inherited retinal diseases that affects two million patients worldwide. There is currently no treatment approved to treat RP patients independently of their genetic background.