Biopharma clinical development veteran to propel Opus’ AAV-based gene therapies for inherited retinal diseases toward patients
Research Triangle Park, N.C. – May 11, 2022 – Opus Genetics, a patient-focused gene therapy company developing treatments for inherited retinal diseases, today announced the appointment of Jennifer Hunt as Chief Development Officer (CDO). In this role, Hunt will lead clinical development and regulatory affairs, responsible for progressing and expanding Opus’ AAV-based gene therapy pipeline which currently includes preclinical candidates OPGx-001, OPGx-002 and OPGx-003 to address forms of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) due to mutations of LCA5, RDH12 and NMNAT1 genes, respectively.
“We’re pleased to welcome Jennifer at this exciting time for Opus, as we build out the team that will be foundational to realizing our mission to efficiently advance therapies for inherited retinal diseases,” Ben Yerxa, Ph.D., CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the Retinal Degeneration Fund, and acting CEO of Opus. “Jennifer’s deep clinical development background and experience overseeing trials in rare diseases and LCA will be instrumental as we progress our current programs toward the patients that need these therapies.”
Hunt brings over 25 years of drug development experience to Opus, with specific expertise in global clinical operations, product development and program management in biologics, small molecules, gene editing and gene therapy. Prior to joining Opus, she held key clinical and regulatory positions at several biopharmaceutical companies, including Genzyme, Voyager Therapeutics and Editas Medicine. While at Editas, she oversaw the development of CRISPR medicines across ophthalmology, hemoglobinopathies and oncology, including Editas’ gene therapy to restore vision loss in patients with LCA type 10, the first in-vivo CRISPR IND ever accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“I am inspired by Opus’ passionate commitment to patient need,” said Hunt. “Opus is in a strong position to advance multiple therapies for inherited retinal diseases. I’m looking forward to leveraging my experience to tackle some of the most neglected forms of inherited blindness and make a difference in the lives of patients.”
Hunt earned a B.S. in Biology from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse and a M.S. in Management from Lesley University.
About Opus Genetics
Opus Genetics is a groundbreaking gene therapy company for inherited retinal diseases with a unique model and purpose. Backed by Foundation Fighting Blindness’s venture arm, the RD Fund, Opus combines unparalleled insight and commitment to patient need with wholly owned programs in numerous orphan retinal diseases. Its AAV-based gene therapy portfolio tackles some of the most neglected forms of inherited blindness while creating novel orphan manufacturing scale and efficiencies. Based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., the company leverages knowledge of the best science and the expertise of pioneers in ocular gene therapy to transparently drive transformative treatments to patients. For more information, visit www.opusgenetics.com.