Raleigh’s Opus Genetics, with $19M in funding, hires two executives

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Opus Genetics, which launched in September with $19 million in funding, is adding to the company’s leadership team, the company announced today.

Ash Jayagopal, Ph.D., has joined the company as its chief scientific officer and Joe Schachle is now the company’s chief operating officer.

The company was launched with the goal of advancing what it called in a statement “an AAV-based gene therapy portfolio to treat neglected, orphan inherited retinal diseases.”

The company is pursuing two programs, named OPGx-001 and OPGx-002.

According to the company, Dr. Jayagopal has “more than 13 years of experience in drug development, drug delivery platforms and biomarker development for retinal diseases.”  Previously, Dr. Jayagopal was the executive director of discovery medicine at Kodiak Sciences and before that was head of molecular pharmacology and biomarkers in ophthalmology at Roche.

“Opus was formed to bring an unprecedented combination of resources, elite science and the expertise of pioneers in ocular gene therapy to bear and drive transformative treatments to patients,” said Dr. Jayagopal in a statement.  “With its advanced pipeline – unique for a company at this stage – Opus has the potential to be clinical-stage in the near-term, and I look forward to working with the team to break new scientific ground in the pursuit of better treatments for inherited retinal diseases.”

Schachle most recently was vice president of customer experience enablement and vice president of global commercial services and controlling at Grifols.  Before that, . Previously, Schachle was the COO for Parion Sciences, the chief commercial officer for Inspire Pharmaceuticals, and an employee of GlaxoSmithKline, the company noted in a statement.

“Opus is built by and for patients to efficiently move validated science toward patients leveraging scalable, strategic manufacturing and processes,” said Schachle in a statement. “I look forward to leading the work to operationalize this first-of-its-kind model to address significant unmet need in the treatment of neglected, orphan inherited retinal diseases.”

Original Source: WRAL TechWire