Press Release

Aura Biosciences Announces Clinical Data Presentations at the Upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology 2019 Annual Meeting

CAMBRIDGE, MA – September 26, 2019 – Aura Biosciences, a leader in the development of novel targeted therapies in ocular oncology, today announced multiple data presentations at the upcoming American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2019 Annual Meeting, being held October 12-15, 2019 in San Francisco, CA.  Aura’s lead clinical asset, AU-011, will also be highlighted in presentations at related medical meetings taking place in San Francisco around AAO 2019, including the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit taking place October 10, 2019, and the American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists (AAOOP) 2019 Annual Meeting taking place October 13, 2019.

Two key presentations at the AAO meeting include study updates by key opinion leaders Dr. Jay S. Duker, Director New England Eye Center, Professor and Chair Tufts Medical Center and Dr. Amy C. Schefler, Weill Cornell Medical College and Retina Consultants of Houston, which will include updated clinical data from Aura’s ongoing Phase 1b/2 clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of light-activated AU-011, the Company’s lead product candidate for the first line treatment of primary choroidal melanoma.  An additional presentation will be given at AAOOP 2019 by Dr. Abdhish Bhavsar, Board Certified Ophthalmologist at The Retina Center and an investigator for Aura’s Phase 1b/2 clinical trial.

“There are no FDA approved therapies for the treatment of choroidal melanoma, the most common type of primary eye cancer,” said Cadmus Rich, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Aura Biosciences.  “Patients are currently treated with radiotherapy and surgery which typically results in severe vision loss, along with many other significant adverse effects and comorbidities.  If approved, AU-011 will be the first targeted therapy for the treatment of choroidal melanoma, with the potential to not only provide tumor control, but also preserve vision.  We are excited to have these presentations  on our AU-011 program and we look forward to sharing our novel technology, clinical data and an update on new delivery methods for AU-011 with the ophthalmology community at AAO and the accompanying events this year.”

The details for the AAO 2019 presentations are as follows:

Title: Aura Biosciences

Presenter: Jay S. Duker, MD, New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical Center

Session: SYM22 The Innovators Symposium

Date and time: Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 2:47 – 2:54 PM PT

Location: Moscone Center, Esplanade Room

Title: Virus-Like Particles for Uveal Melanoma

Presenter: Amy C. Schefler, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College/Retina Consultants of Houston

Session: SYM50 Delivery of Therapeutics to the Posterior Ocular Segment

Date and time: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 from 9:35 – 9:45 AM PT

Location: Moscone Center, West 2002

Additional presentations taking place at other events in San Francisco around AAO 2019 include:

Event: Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS) @ AAO

Title: Update on Aura Biosciences

Presenter: Elisabet de los Pinos, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Aura Biosciences

Session: Innovation Showcase 1

Date and time: Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 8:40-8:47 AM PT

Location: Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O’Farrell Street

Event: American Association of Ophthalmic Oncologists and Pathologists (AAOOP) 2019 Annual Meeting

Title: Study Update of an Ongoing Phase 1b/2 Open-label Clinical Trial of AU-011 for the Treatment of Small to Medium Choroidal Melanoma

Presenter: Abdhish Bhavsar, MD, The Retina Center

Date and time: Friday, October 11, 2019

Location: Grand Hyatt San Francisco, 345 Stockton Street

About Choroidal Melanoma

Choroidal melanoma is a rare and aggressive type of eye cancer. Choroidal melanoma is the most common primary intraocular tumor in adults and develops in the uveal tract of the eye. No targeted therapies are available at present, and current radiotherapy treatments can be associated with severe visual loss and other long-term sequelae such as dry eye, glaucoma, cataracts and radiation retinopathy. The most common current treatment is plaque radiotherapy, which involves surgical placement of a radiation device on the exterior of the eye over the tumor. The alternative is enucleation, or total surgical removal of the eye. Choroidal melanoma metastasizes in approximately 50 percent of cases with liver involvement in 80-90% of cases and, unfortunately, metastatic disease is universally fatal (source: OMF). There is a very high unmet need for a new vision sparing targeted therapy that could enable early treatment intervention for this life-threatening rare disease given the lack of approved therapies, and the comorbidities of radioactive treatment options.

About Light-Activated AU-011

AU-011 is a first-in-class targeted therapy in development for the treatment of primary choroidal melanoma. The therapy consists of proprietary viral-like particle bioconjugates (VPB) that are activated with an ophthalmic laser. The VPBs bind selectively to unique receptors on cancer cells in the eye and are derived from technology originally pioneered by Dr. John Schiller of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), recipient of the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Award. Upon activation with an ophthalmic laser, the drug rapidly and specifically disrupts the cell membrane of tumor cells while sparing key eye structures, which may allow for the potential of preserving patients’ vision and reducing other long-term complications of radiation treatment. AU-011 can be delivered using equipment commonly found in an ophthalmologist’s office and does not require a surgical procedure, pointing to a potentially less invasive, more convenient therapy for patients and physicians. AU-011 for the treatment of choroidal melanoma has been granted orphan drug and fast track designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is currently in clinical development.

About Aura Biosciences

Aura Biosciences is developing a new class of therapies to selectively target and destroy cancer cells. Its lead program, AU-011 for the treatment of primary choroidal melanoma, is being developed under a CRADA with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter.



David Rosen

Argot Partners

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Joseph Rayne

Argot Partners

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