Oxurion NV appoints Grace Chang, M.D., Ph.D. as Chief Medical Officer

Monday, 03. August 2020 08:00

Oxurion NV appoints Grace Chang, M.D., Ph.D.
as Chief Medical Officer

Key appointment as Oxurion progresses the clinical development of
THR-149 and THR-687 building innovative Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) therapy franchise

Leuven, Belgium , 03 August 2020 – 08.00 CET Oxurion NV (Euronext Brussels: OXUR), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of next-generation therapies to treat diabetic eye disease, with a focus on diabetic macular edema,  today announces the appointment of Grace Chang, M.D., Ph.D. as the company’s Chief Medical Officer, effective August 1, 2020.

Dr. Chang is a board-certified ophthalmologist and practicing vitreoretinal surgeon with deep expertise in ophthalmic drug research and development. She will be responsible for leading the Company’s clinical programs for both THR-687 and THR-149 as Oxurion looks to build a world-leading diabetic macular edema (DME) franchise that could provide much improved therapeutic solutions for all DME patients.

Dr. Chang joins Oxurion from Notal Vision Inc, where she held the position of CMO and was responsible for the scientific and clinical strategy, clinical development and medical affairs programs. She is currently an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Vitreoretinal Service at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.

Prior to this, Dr. Chang held several high-level clinical and strategic roles at Alcon Laboratories, a former subsidiary of Novartis, following a faculty appointment at the University of Washington.

Dr. Chang completed her ophthalmology residency and vitreoretinal fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, MA. Additionally, Dr. Chang earned her M.D. from Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

I am thrilled to be joining Oxurion at such an important point in the company’s development and I look forward to leading the clinical trials of THR-149 and THR-687, two novel molecules targeting DME with modes of action different from anti-VEGFs.” said Dr. Grace Chang. “DME is a leading cause of adult visual loss in developed countries, and new approaches are urgently needed for patients including those who do not respond optimally to anti-VEGF therapy. As a practicing vitreoretinal surgeon, I am excited about THR-687 and THR-149 and their potential to satisfy the needs of all patients with DME.”

Patrik De Haes, M.D., CEO of Oxurion, saidI am delighted to welcome Grace as a member of our senior leadership team. Her first-hand clinical experience and development knowledge paired with her proven leadership skills come at a critical time as we begin the Phase 2 development of our DME-focused pipeline. We have developed clear target product profiles for both THR-687 and THR-149 that together give us great confidence that we will be able to develop a DME franchise that will provide improved treatment options for all patients. This is an exciting time for Oxurion as we look to generate the clinical data needed to demonstrate the potential of our emerging DME franchise.”

Oxurion’s emerging DME franchise will be based on the successful development of both THR-149 and THR-687, two novel therapeutics with different modes of action designed for specific complementary target patient groups.

THR-149, a plasma kallikrein inhibitor, is being developed to potentially become the treatment of choice for DME patients with persistent edema who are currently sub-optimally responding to anti-VEGF therapy.

Oxurion’s second drug candidate, THR-687, is a best-in-class pan-RGD integrin antagonist holding potential to become the standard of care for treatment-naïve patients by replacing anti-VGEF’s as the mainstay of DME therapy.

Oxurion is confident that with both THR-687 and THR-149 it will be able to provide new, tailored therapeutic solutions that deliver improved clinical outcomes to almost all DME patients.


For further information please contact:

Oxurion NV
Wouter Piepers,
Global Head of Investor Relations
& Corporate Communications
Tel: +32 16 75 13 10 / +32 478 33 56 32
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
David Dible/ Sylvie Berrebi/Frazer Hall
Tel: +44 20 7638 9571

About Oxurion

Oxurion (Euronext Brussels: OXUR) is a biopharmaceutical company developing next generation ophthalmic therapies which are designed to better preserve vision in patients
with diabetic macular edema (DME), the leading cause of vision loss in diabetic patients worldwide.

Oxurion is building a leading global franchise in the treatment of DME based on the successful development of its two novel therapeutics:

  • THR-149, a plasma kallikrein inhibitor is being developed as a potential new standard of care for DME patients who respond sub-optimally to anti-VEGF therapy.
    THR-149 has shown positive Phase 1 results for the treatment of DME. The Company is currently preparing to conduct a Phase 2 clinical program which is now expected to start as soon as COVID-19 related safety considerations allow an efficient study. THR-149 was developed in conjunction with Bicycle Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: BCYC).

  • THR-687, a pan-RGD integrin inhibitor, is initially being developed as a potential new standard of care for all DME patients
    Positive topline results from a Phase 1 clinical study assessing THR-687 as a treatment for DME were announced in January 2020. THR-687 is expected to enter a Phase 2 clinical trial in H1 2021. THR-687 is an optimized compound derived from a broader library of integrin inhibitors in-licensed from Galapagos NV (Euronext & NASDAQ: GLPG).

Oxurion is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and is listed on the Euronext Brussels exchange under the symbol OXUR. More information is available at www.oxurion.com.

Important information about forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this press release may be considered “forward-looking”. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, and, accordingly, entail and are influenced by various risks and uncertainties. The Company therefore cannot provide any assurance that such forward-looking statements will materialize and does not assume an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties affecting the business and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement is contained in the Company’s Annual Report. This press release does not constitute an offer or invitation for the sale or purchase of securities or assets of Oxurion in any jurisdiction.  No securities of Oxurion may be offered or sold within the United States without registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or in compliance with an exemption therefrom, and in accordance with any applicable U.S. state securities laws.

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