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Exonate appoints Dr Rafiq Hasan as Non-Executive Director

Posted on 28 May 2024


28 May 2024

Exonate appoints Dr Rafiq Hasan as Non-Executive Director

Appointment brings extensive experience in global pharma leadership and progressing ophthalmology drugs to market and further strengthens Board

Cambridgeshire, UK, 28 May 2024: Exonate Ltd., a biotechnology company developing novel, non-invasive, small-molecule therapeutics for patients with retinal vascular diseases, today announced the expansion of its Board with the appointment of Dr Rafiq Hasan as Non-Executive Director. Rafiq brings extensive expertise in ophthalmology, specifically within the diabetic eye disease sector, from his years in global pharmaceutical businesses. The appointment further strengthens the Board of Directors as the Company continues to develop its lead candidate for diabetic eye disease, EXN407, toward Phase IIb clinical trials.

Rafiq has a proven record of success in the global pharmaceutical industry and is currently CEO of Complement Therapeutics, which focuses on developing next-generation complement medicines. In addition to his role at Complement, Rafiq holds Board and advisory roles at Oxular and BioGeneration Ventures. Previous leadership roles within the ophthalmology sector have included Senior Vice President and Global Head of Ophthalmology at Bayer, where he oversaw the launch of Eylea® for five indications within three years, and from launch to >$2.5 billion in five years.

Exonate’s lead candidate EXN407, small molecule SRPK1 inhibitor, is in development as a world first topical therapy for diabetic eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. Exonate plans to progress EXN407 to a CLEAR-DE (CLinical Evaluation of a novel eyedrop for Alleviating Retinopathy in Diabetic Eye disease) Phase IIb clinical trial in 2024.

Catherine Beech, CEO, Exonate, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Dr Hasan to Exonate’s Board as Non-Executive Director. Rafiq’s years of expertise in diabetic eye disease, as well as treatment strategies across all stages of eye disease progression, will be invaluable to Exonate as we continue to develop our lead candidate through the clinic.”

Dr Rafiq Hasan, Non-Executive Director, Exonate, commented: “Exonate’s lead candidate is extremely promising, with the potential to transform treatments options for diabetic eye disease by alleviating the need for repeated, invasive injections into the eye. I look forward to working with Catherine and the team to help guide the Company’s continued success.”

To stay up to date on Exonate’s pipeline, visit:


Notes to Editors

Dr Rafiq Hasan, Non-Executive Director, Exonate
Catherine Beech, CEO, Exonate

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About Exonate

Exonate is a biotechnology company developing novel, non-invasive, small-molecule therapeutics for patients with retinal vascular diseases which may lead to vision loss.

The Company’s pipeline is built around inhibition of pro-angiogenic VEGF by influencing splice patterns, for the treatment of conditions that have the formation of new blood vessels as a significant contributor, such as wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD) and Diabetic Eye Disease. Developed to penetrate to the back of the eye, reach the retina and prevent growth of blood vessels, Exonate’s treatments for retinal diseases are being developed as eye drops, eliminating the need for monthly injections into the eye, laser surgery or use of steroids, without sacrificing potency or permeability.

There is a large unmet market opportunity for a topical therapy for diabetic retinopathy that can treat the conditions earlier in the disease process. Exonate’s lead asset, EXN407, has the potential to be the first topical treatment for retinal vascular diseases, including diabetic retinopathy. EXN407 has shown encouraging signs of efficacy, alongside meeting all endpoints, in a Phase Ib/IIa trial in diabetic patients with retinal eye disease.

The Company is led by a highly experienced management team, and has a strong foundation of scientific expertise, with cross-disciplinary experience in medicine and drug development.

For more information, visit the Exonate website, or find Exonate on X (@ExonateUK) and LinkedIn (@ Exonate Limited)

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