Dr Peter Widdowson becomes CTO & company moves to Norwich Research Park
Norwich, UK, July 29 2020 – Ikarovec, which is developing novel gene therapies to treat major ophthalmic indications, has appointed experienced gene therapy developer Dr Katie Binley as Chief Scientific Officer. At Oxford Biomedica for over 20 years, she worked on a range of ocular programmes, managing their translation from the bench to the clinic. Dr Binley will be working alongside the company’s Chief Technology Officer and Founder Dr Peter Widdowson, who transitions from CSO, at its new facilities at Norwich Research Park. She joins Ikarovec from University of Oxford spin-out PepGen.
Ikarovec has taken laboratory and office space in the Innovation Centre at Norwich Research Park, with access to shared scientific facilities. The location also brings proximity to Norwich Medical School and a clinical trials unit which will be valuable as the company develops.
Ikarovec launched earlier this year with £2.5m of seed funding from UKI2S with co- investment from LifeArc and Parkwalk. Primary use of funds is to take the company’s lead programme, a multicistronic gene therapy for diabetic macular edema, to IND-enabling studies. It was recently awarded a £458,740 Innovate UK grant for one of its earlier stage programmes in wet age-related macular degeneration.
Dr Katie Binley, CSO of Ikarovec, said, ‘Ikarovec is developing an exciting new gene therapy approach to the treatment of devasting eye diseases. I’m looking forward to driving its development into important new products for patients.’
Robert Haigh, Executive Chairman of Ikarovec, said, ‘With her extensive gene therapy product development experience, Katie is a valuable asset to the company and I welcome her as Chief Scientific Officer. We are pleased to have established a presence at Norwich Research Park which makes an excellent base for our R&D activities.’