Adverum Biotechnologies Announces Appointments of Dr. Rabia Gurses Ozden as Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Szilárd Kiss as a Member of the Board of Directors

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., June 11, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADVM), a clinical-stage company pioneering the use of gene therapy as a new standard of care for highly prevalent ocular diseases, today announced the appointments of Dr. Rabia Gurses Ozden to the Company’s executive leadership team as chief medical officer and Dr. Szilárd Kiss to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Ozden has stepped down from the Company’s Board of Directors, with Dr. Kiss filling the existing Board seat.

“Adverum has made significant progress in demonstrating Ixo-vec’s potential best-in-class profile for patients with wet AMD. As we advance Ixo-vec through the LUNA trial and towards pivotal studies, we will greatly benefit from the significant expertise of both Dr. Ozden and Dr. Kiss,” stated Laurent Fischer, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Adverum Biotechnologies. “Dr. Ozden is a pioneer in advancing the clinical development of novel therapies including AAV gene therapies and innovative pivotal trial designs for ocular diseases. Her guidance as a Board member has been invaluable, and we look forward to working closely with her in her operating role as chief medical officer. Dr. Kiss is a world renowned retina specialist with a focus on ocular gene therapy, and his expertise will complement our accomplished group of Board members. We have benefitted from Dr. Kiss’ experience as a long-time scientific and clinical advisor to Adverum and he will continue to bring a valued perspective in this new role on our Board of Directors.”

“I am thrilled to join the executive and clinical teams at Adverum and look forward to supporting the clinical development of Ixo-vec through pivotal studies,” said Dr. Ozden. “Based on the long-term safety and efficacy results from the OPTIC study and the promising profile emerging from LUNA, I believe Ixo-vec has the potential to transform the treatment paradigm by offering a potential lifelong solution to preserve sight for patients with wet AMD.”

“Compliance with the current standard of care for wet AMD, frequent eye injections, is a burden for patients and caregivers, often leading to undertreatment of this disease and vision loss. As a practicing physician with experience across multiple ocular gene therapy programs, I believe in the potential for gene therapy to deliver sustained levels of anti-VEGF at the site of the disease and dramatically reduce the number of injections for patients with wet AMD,” said Szilárd Kiss, M.D., The Bob and Dolores Hope - Robert M. Ellsworth, M.D. Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Professor of Ophthalmology in Genetic Medicine at Weil Cornell Medical College. “At such a pivotal time for Adverum and the Ixo-vec program, it is a great honor to be joining the Board of Directors and an opportunity for me to work more closely with this esteemed management team. I look forward to helping the team continue to advance this exciting treatment for patients.”

Rabia Gurses Ozden, M.D., has over 20 years of ophthalmology drug development experience, including extensive experience in AAV-based ophthalmic gene therapies. Most recently, in addition to serving as a an Adverum Board Member, Dr. Ozden served as Chief Medical Officer for Ocular Therapeutix, where she led the clinical development of Ocular Therapeutix’s pipeline of programs focusing on the front and back of the eye. Dr. Ozden’s breadth of experience includes clinical development, clinical operations, and pharmacovigilance in pharmaceutical and medical device development as well as experience interacting with global regulatory agencies and in new clinical endpoint development. Prior to joining Ocular in 2021, Dr. Ozden served as the chief development officer at Akouos, a precision genetic medicine company developing first-in-class AAV gene therapies to treat hearing disorders, acquired by Eli Lilly in 2022, where she led the clinical development of gene therapies for sensorineural hearing loss. Previously, she served as Chief Medical Officer of Nightstar Therapeutics plc, a gene therapy company focused on the development of AAV treatments for rare inherited retinal diseases that was acquired by Biogen in 2019. Additionally, Dr. Ozden has held leadership positions at Applied Genetic Technologies and GlaxoSmithKline, while spending her early career in clinical development roles. Dr. Ozden earned her M.D. from Hacettepe University School of Medicine and completed her ophthalmology residency at Ankara University School of Medicine and her clinical fellowship in glaucoma at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Szilárd Kiss, M.D. brings over 20 years of ocular gene therapy experience and is a renowned medical and surgical vitreoretinal specialist. His clinical and translational research focuses on four broad areas: retinal imaging, ocular gene therapy, novel therapeutic targets for ocular neovascularization, and genetic markers for retinal diseases. Dr. Kiss has participated as a principal investigator in over two-dozen prospective clinical trials and laboratory investigations. He has authored over 350 scientific publications, given over 300 invited lectureships worldwide, and serves on the Editorial Board and as a Scientific Reviewer to a number of major journals. Dr. Kiss has won numerous academic and scientific awards including the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation Fellowship, the Ronald G. Michels Foundation Fellowship, the Paul Kayser International Fellowship, and the Research to Prevent Blindness Physician-Scientists Award. Dr. Kiss received his undergraduate degree with honors from Columbia College, received his medical school training at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and completed his ophthalmology residency and surgical vitreoretinal fellowship at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.

About Adverum Biotechnologies

Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ: ADVM) is a clinical-stage company that aims to establish gene therapy as a new standard of care for highly prevalent ocular diseases with the aspiration of developing functional cures to restore vision and prevent blindness. Leveraging the capabilities of its proprietary intravitreal (IVT) platform, Adverum is developing durable, single-administration therapies, designed to be delivered in physicians’ offices, to eliminate the need for frequent ocular injections to treat these diseases. Adverum is evaluating its novel gene therapy candidate, ixoberogene soroparvovec (Ixo-vec, formerly referred to as ADVM-022), as a one-time, IVT injection for patients with neovascular or wet age-related macular degeneration. Additionally, by overcoming the challenges associated with current treatment paradigms for debilitating ocular diseases, Adverum aspires to transform the standard of care, preserve vision, and create a profound societal impact around the globe. For more information, please visit

Forward-looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release regarding events or results that may occur in the future are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements associated with the leadership changes and anticipated benefits of the same, the potential benefits of Ixo-vec as a one-time IVT injection for the treatment of wet AMD, including the potential best-in-class profile of Ixo-vec, and other statements containing the words “anticipates,” “expects,” “potential,” “target,” “will” and similar expressions. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, including risks inherent to, without limitation: risks associated with market conditions. Additional risks and uncertainties facing Adverum are set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in Adverum’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and reports, including Adverum’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, as updated by any subsequent reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Adverum undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made, except as required by law.


Adverum Investor Relations


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