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Nanoscope names former Iveric Bio CEO as chairman of the board

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Nanoscope Therapeutics has appointed Glenn Sblendorio, an ophthalmic industry veteran, as its new chairman of the board, effective immediately.

Talk about Nanoscope.

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Nanoscope Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing gene-agnostic, sight-restoring optogenetic therapeutics for inherited retinal diseases (IRDs).

The company’s lead investigational asset is MCO-010, an ambient-light activatable multi-characteristic opsin (MCO) optogenetic, currently in clinical trials for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and Stargardt disease (more on that later, though).

So about Sblendorio; what’s his background?

With over 30 years in the industry, Sblendorio previously held various executive leadership roles at Iveric Bio, Inc., an Astellas Company, including CEO, president, director, executive vice president (EVP), chief operating officer (COO), and treasurer.

His executive ophthalmic experience also extends to The Medicines Company (acquired by Novartis in 2020), where he served as president, CEO, chief financial officer (CFO), and director, as well as EVP and CFO at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals.

So, what will he be doing at Nanoscope?

Per the company, Sblendorio is expected to use his financial and business development experience to play a “pivotal role in ensuring the effectiveness of the board of directors in implementing Nanoscope's organizational strategy and direction.”

Remember: the company is targeting vision restoration in IRDs via its optogenetic therapeutic lead asset.

Now, talk about this asset.

Administered as a single intravitreal injection, MCO-010 (sonpiretigene isteparvovec) is intended to potentially restore vision with enhanced contrast and definition in real-world environments.

Essentially, the gene therapy reprograms healthy retina cells to make them photosensitive by using proprietary adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (AAV2) vector and promoter technology to deliver the MCO genes into retina bipolar cells, enabling vision in different color environments.

And its clinical update?

The therapy is currently the only broadband, fast, and most-light sensitive opsin in clinical trials. It has also already received Orphan Drug and Fast Track designations from the FDA in 2022 for RP and Stargardt.

To note, Nanoscope reported favorable 6-month data in August 2023 from its phase 2 STARLIGHT trial (NCT05417126) on MCO-010 for Stargardt. Click here for details.

Prior to that, the company released promising key efficacy data in May 2023 from its RESTORE phase 2b trial (NCT04945772) on MCO-010 for RP. See here for coverage.

And the significance of MCO-010?

As no  FDA-approved therapeutic for both RP and Stargardt currently exists, this potential treatment could become a game-changer for patients.