Chicago, June 3, 2021—CiRC Biosciences, Inc., Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Sai Chavala, M.D., has been awarded the 2021 Ludwig von Sallmann Clinician-Scientist Award from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Foundation for Eye Research. Dr. Chavala was honored for his innovative accomplishments as a young clinician-scientist in the field of vision and ophthalmology.
“My passion is pursuing vision restoration for the millions of people worldwide living with debilitative eye conditions,” said Dr. Chavala. “I am honored to receive this recognition by the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research and will continue my work through CiRC Biosciences, exploring cures for advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and geographic atrophy age-related macular degeneration (Dry AMD).”
CiRC Biosciences, a portfolio company of Paragon Biosciences, is a cell therapy company developing treatments for serious diseases with high, unmet needs with an initial focus on the eye. CiRC Biosciences recently was granted Orphan Drug Designation from U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an investigational therapy for RP, a genetic disorder that causes tunnel vision and eventual blindness. There are no U.S. FDA-approved treatments to restore vision loss in RP or Dry AMD.
“We are extremely impressed by Dr. Chavala’s work in cell therapy innovation and his unwavering commitment to helping those experiencing progressive vision loss,” said Jeff Aronin, chairman and co-founder of CiRC Biosciences and founder, chairman and CEO, Paragon Biosciences. “Undoubtedly, this is just the beginning of honors and accolades for Dr. Chavala. We are proud to have him leading the science at CiRC Biosciences.”
Dr. Chavala is a graduate of the University of Missouri, earning both his bachelor’s degree and medical degree in an accelerated program. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Cole Eye Institute Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a research fellowship in stem cells, regenerative medicine, and angiogenesis at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He also completed a fellowship in retina surgery at Duke University. Thus far, Dr. Chavala has been involved with more than 75 scholarly presentations and research publications, and has obtained several patents.
He participates in philanthropic activities and serves on the board of directors for Prevent Blindness Texas. Earlier in his career, Dr. Chavala founded the North Carolina Institute for the Blind where he served as its chairman. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists, among other organizations, and was one of the youngest members to be accepted into the Retina Society and Macula Society.
Dr. Chavala received his award virtually at the ARVO 2021 Annual Meeting where he also delivered a presentation on “Pharmacologic Engineering to Induce Retinal Plasticity.” Recipients of the von Sallmann Clinician-Scientist Award are determined by a selection committee that identifies distinguished M.D.s 45 years old and younger in the field of vision and ophthalmology. Awardees receive an honorarium and present a lecture at the annual meeting.
Award details are available here: https://www.arvo.org/awards-grants-and-fellowships/research-awards/ludwig-von-sallmann-clinician-scientist-award/
About CiRC Biosciences
CiRC Biosciences is a privately held cell therapy company dedicated to developing cellular therapies for serious diseases with high, unmet needs utilizing its proprietary, novel transdifferentiation technology, with an initial focus on the eye. Currently, CiRC is conducting pre-clinical studies to support development programs for geographic atrophy age-related macular degeneration (Dry AMD) and advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP). CiRC Biosciences is a portfolio company of Paragon Biosciences. Visit our website: https://circbiosciences.com/.
About Paragon Biosciences
Paragon is a life science innovator that creates, invests in and builds life science companies in cell and gene therapy, synthetic biology and advanced biotechnology. The company’s current portfolio includes Castle Creek Biosciences, CiRC Biosciences, Emalex Biosciences, Evozyne, Harmony Biosciences, Qlarity Imaging, Skyline Biosciences, and a consistent flow of incubating companies created and supported by the Paragon Innovation Capital™ model. Paragon stands at the intersection of human need, life science, and company creation. For more information, please visit https://paragonbiosci.com/.
Evelyn M. O’Connor