Aurion Biotech Names Edward Holland, MD, Chief Medical Advisor


World-Renowned Ophthalmologist to Lead Clinical Development of  
Advanced Therapies to Treat Ocular Diseases

June 29, 2021 – Seattle, Boston and Tokyo – Edward Holland, MD, has been named chief medical advisor of Aurion Biotech, whose mission is to cure blindness by developing a differentiated platform of advanced therapies to treat ocular diseases. Dr. Holland will work closely with the Aurion Biotech executive team in advancing its lead candidate, cell therapy for the treatment of corneal endothelial disease, and in helping to expand the company’s platform of advanced therapies. 

“Dr. Holland has been an innovator in corneal surgery for his entire career, which is why he recognized very early on that corneal endothelial cell therapy is a game-changer. He has been one of Aurion Biotech’s strongest supporters and we are honored that he’ll deepen his engagement with us,” said Greg Kunst, chief executive officer of Aurion Biotech. “It’s nearly impossible to communicate the breadth, depth and impact of his prolific career. From his ground-breaking innovations in endothelial keratoplasty and limbal stem cell therapy, to the volume and quality of his publications, to his teaching and mentoring of ophthalmology residents, fellows and colleagues, Dr. Holland’s productivity and accomplishments are astonishing. We are gratified and excited that he will help drive innovation at Aurion Biotech.” 

The company’s first candidate is a cell therapy for the treatment of corneal endothelial dysfunction, invented by leading ophthalmic surgeon and research scientist Professor Shigeru Kinoshita and his distinguished colleagues at Kyoto Prefecture University of Medicine (KPUM) in Japan. 

“I’m at a fortunate stage in my career, where I can focus my time and efforts on the projects that matter most to me,” said Dr. Holland. “The team at Aurion Biotech is deeply talented, and I’m delighted to continue the incredible work of Professor Kinoshita and his colleagues at KPUM, for the benefit of millions of patients who suffer from corneal endothelial disease.” 

In addition to his position at Aurion Biotech, Dr. Holland serves as the director of cornea services at Cincinnati Eye Institute (CEI) and professor of ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Holland has a national and international reputation for his knowledge and expertise in the field of medical and surgical corneal problems and for limbal stem cell transplantation. His team at CEI/University of Cincinnati has the largest ocular surface transplant program in the world. His clinical interests include corneal transplantation, corneal endothelial cell therapy, ocular surface transplantation, ocular trauma and cataract surgery.  

Dr. Holland received his medical degree from the Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Minnesota. He pursued fellowships in cornea and external disease at the University of Iowa, and in ocular immunology at the National Eye Institute (National Institutes of Health). He returned to serve as director of cornea and refractive surgery service at the University of Minnesota, was promoted to the position of professor, and was granted the Elias Potter Lyon Chair in ophthalmology. He also served as president of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology.  

Dr. Holland was the co-principal investigator of the Cornea Donor Study, the largest clinical trial ever conducted in the field of cornea. He has published extensively in both basic and clinical research and is the author of over 250 articles in peer-review journals. He has co-edited five editions of Cornea, the most widely read textbook on corneal disease and surgery.   

Dr. Holland has received numerous national and international awards, including: the Asian Cornea Foundation Medal of Honor; the Castroviejo Award from the Cornea Society; the Honor Award, Senior Achievement Award and Life Achievement Honor Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the Binkhorst Medal from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery; and the Paton Society Award from the Eye Bank Association of America. 

Dr. Holland formerly served as president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) from 2011-2012. He was also a member of its Executive Committee and now serves as its program chair. Dr. Holland was a former member of the Board of Trustees for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has also served on numerous committees and as secretariat of the Annual Meeting for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Holland has served as chair of the Eye Bank Association and was the former chair of its Medical Advisory Board, as well as a longtime member of its Board of Directors. He is the past president of the Cornea Society and previously served many years on its Board of Directors. 

 About Aurion Biotech 

Based in Seattle, Boston and Tokyo, Aurion Biotech is a clinical stage biotech company. Our mission is to cure leading forms of blindness and transform the lives of millions of patients, by developing a platform of advanced therapies to treat ocular diseases. Our first candidate is for the treatment of corneal endothelial disease, and one of the first clinically validated cell therapies for corneal care. Healthy cells from a donor cornea are cultured in a novel, multi-step, proprietary and patented process. Cells from a single donor can be used to treat more than 100 recipient eyes. In early research and Phase 2 & Phase 3 clinical trials in Japan, patients have experienced significant and durable improvements in key measures of corneal health: visual acuity, corneal endothelial cell density and corneal thickness. The Aurion Biotech team is preparing for clinical trials in the U.S. To learn more about Aurion Biotech, a division of CorneaGen Inc., visit www.aurionbiotech.com   

Media Contacts:

Judith McGarry

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Michele Gray

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