jCyte Announces Appointment of John Pollack, MD, FASRS, as Chief Medical Officer

October 19, 2021

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – jCyte, Inc., a private biotechnology company dedicated to improving the lives of patients with retinal degenerative diseases, announced the continued expansion of the company’s executive management team with the appointment of John Pollack, MD, FASRS, as the company’s first Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Dr. Pollack is a retinal clinician, surgeon, and educator and brings over two decades of clinical, research, and drug development experience in ophthalmology to jCyte. Dr. Pollack is a past president of the American Society of Retinal Specialists (ASRS), the largest organization of retinal specialists in the world, and its philanthropic arm, the Foundation of ASRS.

“The potential to provide relief to patients suffering from blinding inherited retinal disorders, the impressive team at jCyte, and our shared values made joining the company a compelling opportunity,” said Dr. Pollack. “I believe that jCell has the potential to transform the lives of these patients and their families, and I am delighted to be able to play a role as we work towards this very important goal.”

Dr. Pollack joins jCyte from Neurotech, where he served as CMO. While at Neurotech, Dr. Pollack oversaw the execution of their Phase 3 clinical program, patient safety, and supported the company’s regulatory submissions and development objectives. 

Dr. Pollack has practiced at Illinois Retinal Associates for 25 years, while also being on faculty at the Rush University Medical Center. In addition to seeing patients and being listed in the “Best Doctors in America” and “Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists,” Dr. Pollack is an internationally recognized researcher, serving as a Study Chairperson, Principal Investigator (PI), or Co-PI on nearly 20 studies of novel therapies for age-related macular degeneration, macular edema, retinal detachment, and artificial vision. Dr. Pollack has delivered over 200 scientific presentations at international scientific conferences, published over 60 papers and book chapters, and is a highly sought-after speaker and advisor. Dr. Pollack’s work led to him being honored as a Charter Inductee into the Retina Hall of Fame in recognition of his lifetime achievements and contributions to the field of retina.

Dr. Pollack earned his undergraduate degree in Biology at Washington University in St. Louis and his MD at Georgetown University. He returned to Washington University’s Barnes Hospital to complete his ophthalmology residency followed by a retina-vitreous fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

“I am extremely honored and humbled to have John join our team,” said Dr. Shannon Blalock, Chief Executive Officer, jCyte. “I know John to be a true friend of the patient who has dedicated his life to caring for and changing the lives of patients suffering from retinal disorders. I cannot think of a better person to help ensure that our RMAT designated therapy successfully navigates the final pivotal phase of its development for our lead indication in RP so we can safely deliver it to the many patients who are in desperate need. John’s close work with patients, his thorough understanding of the retina and retinal degenerative diseases, his ability to translate the science to application, and his long-standing leadership position within the ophthalmology community will be critical to our company’s evolution and continued success. We look forward to benefiting from John’s extensive experience as a clinician, surgeon, scientist, researcher, and advisor as we study and commercialize our RMAT designated jCell platform technology for a number of follow-on retinal degenerative conditions.”

jCell is a first-in-class investigational treatment for RP which has received FDA Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy (RMAT) designation. In addition to RMAT designation, jCell has received Orphan Drug designation from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

About jCyte, Inc.

jCyte, Inc. is a late-stage clinical development biotech company focused on developing its first-in-class regenerative cell therapy, jCell, for retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and other retinal degenerative disorders. The treatment is minimally invasive and given as an intravitreal injection. There are currently no FDA approved therapies for RP. The company is pioneering a new era of regenerative therapies to address the significant unmet medical needs of patients suffering from a broad set of retinal degenerative diseases. For more information, visit www.jcyte.com.


jCyte, Inc.
Robert Beathard
Sr. Vice President, Corporate Development