Company recognized for innovations in clinically validated cell therapy for corneal endothelial dystrophies
October 27, 2022 – Seattle, Boston and Tokyo – Aurion Biotech, whose mission is to restore vision to millions of patients with its life-changing regenerative therapies, today announced it has won the prestigious Prix Galien Award for Best Startup in Biotech / Pharma. The Galien Foundation, the premier global institution dedicated to honoring innovators in life sciences, fosters, recognizes, and rewards excellence in scientific innovation to improve the state of human health.
“The Prix Galien is known throughout the world for its ability to shine a bright light on the most important, impactful innovations in medicine, biotechnology, healthcare and the life sciences,” said Greg Kunst, Aurion Biotech chief executive officer. “Aurion Biotech has a transformational opportunity to positively impact the lives of millions of people suffering from corneal endothelial diseases, with our remarkable, sight-restoring cell therapy. On behalf of our patients, employees, scientists and physicians, we thank the Galien Awards Committee for this incredible achievement for our company.”
Aurion Biotech received the Best Start-up in Biotech / Pharma award, one of six different award categories, and was chosen from more than 146 products from 129 nominee companies, spanning 14 therapeutic areas. The vetting process was rigorous: nominees are invited to apply for the Prix Galien award. Judges included leaders from venture capital, medical and academic institutions, and Fortune 1000 biomedical and pharmaceutical companies.
According to the Galien Foundation, the Prix Galien is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical research. The Galien Foundation oversees and directs activities in the US for the Prix Galien, an international awards program dedicated to progress through innovative medicines development, with chapters in 14 countries and the continent of Africa. The Prix Galien was created in 1970 by Roland Mehl in honor of Galien, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology. In the last 50 years, only a handful of ophthalmology products have been awarded the Prix Galien.
Previously, Bernard Poussot, the Chair of Prix Galien Startup, Digital Health and Incubators, Accelerators and Equity Committee; Director of Roche Holding; and Former Chairman & CEO at Wyeth, has stated, “The Prix Galien Awards have become the most coveted prizes for those who dedicate their lives to the development of meaningful drugs and innovations. Members of the Awards Committees applaud the unwavering commitment of each nominee in their quest to provide a healthier future for the next generation.”
About Corneal Endothelial Diseases
Corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction is a sight-threatening and debilitating condition affecting millions of people throughout the world. When corneal endothelial cells die or degrade, they do not regenerate. Ultimately, corneal endothelial cell loss can cause corneal edema and loss of vision. Although corneal transplants are effective, there are disadvantages with these procedures – PKP/DMEK/DSAEK – including limited donor organ supply. Transplants require a supply of donor corneas in a 1:1 ratio (one healthy donor cornea to treat each diseased one), yet it’s estimated that there is only one donor cornea available for every 70 diseased eyes. In addition, post-operative recovery for corneal transplant patients requires that they like flat on their backs for up to three days, in order for the transplant to adhere to the corneal stroma.
About Aurion Biotech
Based in Seattle, Boston and Tokyo, Aurion Biotech is a clinical-stage biotech company. Our mission is to restore vision to millions of patients with our life-changing regenerative therapies. Our first candidate is for the treatment of corneal edema secondary to endothelial dysfunction, and is one of the first clinically validated cell therapies for corneal care. The Aurion Biotech team is preparing for clinical trials in the U.S. The company is privately held, and backed by leading investors that include Deerfield, Alcon, Petrichor, Flying L Partners, Falcon Vision / KKR, and Visionary Ventures. To learn more about Aurion Biotech, visit www.aurionbiotech.com.
 Penetrating Keratoplasty, Descemets Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty / Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty
 JAMA: Global Survey of Corneal Transplantation & Eye Banking: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/2474372