SEATTLE, BOSTON AND TOKYO—Arnaud Lacoste, MBA, PhD, has been named chief scientific officer of Aurion Biotech, whose mission is to cure blindness by developing a differentiated platform of advanced therapies to treat ocular diseases. Arnaud will lead R&D teams based in Boston and Seattle. “Arnaud is a brilliant scientist, a strategic executive, and an inspiring manager and colleague,” said Greg Kunst, chief executive officer of Aurion Biotech. “Throughout his career, Arnaud’s insights, drive and innovations have catapulted him to ever-increasing leadership roles.

"The fact that he chose to work with us at Aurion Biotech speaks volumes about the exciting opportunities for our company. I look forward to collaborating with Arnaud as we develop our transformational platform of advanced therapies to cure blindness.”

The company’s first candidate is a cell therapy for the treatment of corneal endothelial dysfunction, invented by world-renowned ophthalmic surgeon and research scientist Professor Shigeru Kinoshita and his colleagues at Kyoto Prefecture University of Medicine (KPUM) in Japan.
Lacoste joins Aurion Biotech from Novartis, where for 12 years he directed cell and gene therapy programs and built cell processing and engineering platforms. During his tenure at Novartis, Arnaud and his team were responsible for advancing clinical candidates from early discovery to clinical stages, including treatments for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), CAR-T[1] based therapeutics and cell therapies for the treatment of retinal and corneal blindness.
Before Novartis, Lacoste was the director of Rockefeller University’s stem cell facility and one of the first scientists in the world to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Before Rockefeller University, Arnaud was co-founder and chief scientific officer of Inseron, which developed genetic biomarkers for drug discovery and pathway profiling.
Lacoste holds a PhD in life sciences from the Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI), an MBA from Boston University, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Bordeaux.