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Atsena Therapeutics Appoints Kenji Fujita, MD, as Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Fujita brings extensive clinical development and regulatory strategy experience

DURHAM, NC – Atsena Therapeutics, a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on bringing the life-changing power of genetic medicine to reverse or prevent blindness, today announced the appointment of Kenji Fujita, MD, to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer. An internist and cardiologist, Dr. Fujita brings more than 20 years of experience in academic medicine and the biopharmaceutical industry to the Atsena leadership team.

“We are delighted to welcome Kenji to Atsena as our Chief Medical Officer,” said Patrick Ritschel, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Atsena. “His extensive experience leading clinical development programs and executing regulatory strategies will be invaluable as we continue to develop cutting-edge gene therapies with the goal of overcoming the unique hurdles of inherited retinal diseases to prevent or reverse blindness.”

Dr. Fujita’s experience spans preclinical to post-marketing research across a wide range of disease areas and therapeutic platforms. He has spearheaded five successful regulatory filings. Prior to joining Atsena, he was Vice President of Clinical Development at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals. There, he led the successful filing and registration of OXLUMO™, the first treatment for hyperoxaluria, in addition to leading clinical programs in hypertension and liver disease. Dr. Fujita has also held clinical development roles at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he led neurology and rare metabolic disease programs, and Merck, where he worked in cardiovascular clinical development and served as the Clinical Development Lead of the Emerging Markets Research and Development group.

Dr. Fujita currently serves as an Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He holds an MD from Harvard Medical School and AB in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College.

“I’m pleased to join Atsena as the company accelerates its Phase I/II LCA1 clinical trial and continues to advance two preclinical programs leveraging its AAV technology platform,” said Dr. Fujita. “Together with Atsena’s team deeply rooted in ocular gene therapy, I look forward to advancing life-changing treatments for patients with inherited retinal diseases.”

About Atsena Therapeutics

Atsena Therapeutics is a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing novel treatments for inherited forms of blindness. The company’s ongoing Phase I/II clinical trial is evaluating a potential therapy for one of the most common causes of blindness in children. Its additional pipeline of leading preclinical assets is powered by an adeno-associated virus (AAV) technology platform tailored to overcome significant hurdles presented by inherited retinal disease, and its unique approach is guided by the specific needs of each patient condition to optimize treatment. Founded by ocular gene therapy pioneers Dr. Shannon Boye and Sanford Boye of the University of Florida, Atsena is based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, an environment rich in gene therapy expertise. For more information, please visit

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Tony Plohoros
6 Degrees
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