BOSTON, MASSACHUSSETTS — Akouos, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKUS), a precision genetic medicine company dedicated to developing potential gene therapies for individuals living with disabling hearing loss worldwide, today announced the appointment of Aaron Tward, M.D., Ph.D., as chief scientific officer.
Dr. Tward is a surgeon and a scientist with deep experience in genetics, genomics, gene delivery, high-throughput sequencing technologies, and the clinical care of patients with disorders of the ear and skull base. Dr. Tward was previously a member of the Akouos scientific advisory board since 2018.
As chief scientific officer, he will lead the research team, and provide strategic scientific expertise to advance the company’s precision genetic medicine platform to address a broad range of inner ear disorders.
“Since joining our scientific advisory board in 2018, Dr. Tward’s deep scientific and clinical expertise in otology and neurotology has delivered a wealth of insight to our team. As CSO, his leadership within the hearing research field will prove invaluable as we continue to build a leading genetic medicine company with a focus on inner ear conditions
–Manny Simons, Ph.D., M.B.A., Co-Founder, President, and CEO
“As an ear surgeon, I am compelled by my patients to find better options for their hearing loss. The combination of deep auditory and surgical knowledge, best-in-class vectors, and expertise in the hearing research field uniquely positions Akouos to progress its pipeline of potential inner ear therapeutics,” said Aaron Tward, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer. “I look forward to collaborating with this team on our shared goal of restoring physiologic hearing and providing long-lasting benefits to individuals and their families. I am thrilled to be deepening my involvement with the world-class team at Akouos.”
Dr. Tward joins Akouos with robust expertise in otology, neurotology, and skull base surgery focused clinical applications and research. He has served as an associate professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). At UCSF, Dr. Tward’s research efforts have combined interests in genetics, genomics, gene delivery, genome editing, high-throughput sequencing, tumor biology, stem cell biology, and regenerative medicine.
Prior to his tenure at UCSF, Dr. Tward conducted research at the Broad Institute for six years. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications spanning the fields of genomics, cancer biology, stem cell and regenerative medicine, and skull-base surgery. He is also a co-founder of Affinia Therapeutics. He earned a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and an M.D. from UCSF. Dr. Tward completed his residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, followed by a Fellowship in Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
Akouos is a precision genetic medicine company dedicated to developing gene therapies with the potential to restore, improve, and preserve high-acuity physiologic hearing for individuals living with disabling hearing loss worldwide. Leveraging its precision genetic medicine platform that incorporates a proprietary adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector library and a novel delivery approach, Akouos is focused on developing precision therapies for forms of sensorineural hearing loss. Headquartered in Boston, Akouos was founded in 2016 by leaders in the fields of neurotology, genetics, inner ear drug delivery, and AAV gene therapy.