REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.– Kriya Therapeutics, Inc., a fully integrated company pioneering novel technologies and therapeutics in gene therapy, today announced the appointment of Theresa Heah, M.D., MBA as Chief Medical Officer and President of Kriya’s newly launched ophthalmology division, Kriya Ophthalmology™. Dr Heah will be responsible for advancing Kriya’s current pipeline of ophthalmology gene therapies and continuing to expand Kriya’s ophthalmology portfolio through its in-house R&D and business development engines.
Kriya Ophthalmology is focused on the discovery and development of transformative gene therapies for ocular diseases with high unmet need. By leveraging Kriya’s computationally enabled vector design, data analytic and manufacturing technologies, Kriya Ophthalmology is uniquely positioned to accelerate the development of best-in-class gene therapies for rare and prevalent ocular diseases. Kriya Ophthalmology is currently advancing therapeutic programs in uveitis, geographic atrophy and additional undisclosed disease areas.
“Gene therapy has the potential to deliver transformative clinical benefits to address severe ocular diseases for which there are currently few effective treatment options,” said Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kriya Therapeutics. “The launch of Kriya Ophthalmology, and the appointment of Theresa to lead our specialized division focused exclusively on diseases of the eye, reflects our commitment to delivering better products to patients suffering from a range of rare and prevalent ocular diseases. We believe that Kriya’s advanced technology platforms, combined with Theresa’s leadership and track record in ophthalmology, uniquely position this division to become one of the industry leaders in the development of gene therapies for ocular diseases.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Theresa to lead Kriya Ophthalmology,” said Ilise Lombardo, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Kriya Therapeutics. “Her success in developing and launching treatments for ocular diseases will help Kriya play a pivotal role in the advancement of novel gene therapies that address a range of severe ocular conditions.”
Dr. Heah is an accomplished executive with more than 20 years of R&D, regulatory strategy and clinical development experience. She previously served as Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Operations for AsclepiX Therapeutics where she led the company’s Series A financing and advancement of its pipeline products into the clinic. Prior to joining AsclepiX Therapeutics, Dr. Heah served as Chief Medical Officer at Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (AGTC), where she worked to develop gene therapies in ophthalmology and rare diseases. She has also held several leadership positions with increasing responsibility in early-stage private companies (Fovea Pharmaceuticals), publicly traded companies (Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Allergan) and big pharmaceutical companies (Bayer Healthcare, Sanofi).
Dr. Heah has led multiple successful global regulatory submissions and commercialization of products including Ozurdex®, EYLEA®, Rhopressa® and Rocklatan®. While at Bayer, she launched EYLEA® successfully into its eventual status as a blockbuster drug. She earned her M.D. from Guy’s, King’s and St. Thomas’ School of Medicine, King’s College, University of London, and her Executive Master’s in Business Administration from the European School of Management & Technology (ESMT), Berlin.
“My career has been dedicated to patients and the development of transformative and meaningful therapies aimed at improving their quality of life,” said Dr. Heah. “Many still suffer from serious eye diseases for which there are no viable treatments. There is immense untapped potential in gene therapy, and it will be our mission to uncover and advance novel medicines for the betterment of underserved patient communities.”