GAINESVILLE, Fla., Oct. 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq:AGTC), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare eye diseases, today announced the appointment of three new employees. Among these hires, Jonathan M. Sparks, Ph.D. will join AGTC as Vice President of Legal Affairs. The Company also announced the appointments of Ellery Mangas as Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Eric Olson as Senior Director, Corporate Development.
"We are pleased to welcome Jonathan, Ellery and Eric who bring rich and diverse experience to AGTC during a critical growth period," said Sue Washer, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGTC. "Since the beginning of 2014, we've made significant investments to our team with a total of 30 new hires, including five senior management positions. These additions further strengthen our talented team and will help support AGTC's development following our recent advance into clinical trials for our lead gene therapy candidate for XLRS."
Dr. Sparks has served as intellectual property counsel to AGTC for over 8 years. Jonathan joins the company from McCarter & English, LLP where he has been a partner since 2010. Dr. Sparks earned a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M University. He will be based in the company's new Cambridge location.
Eric Olson comes to AGTC from Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, where since joining in 2008, he held multiple roles of increasing responsibility in business development, venture capital investment, and most recently global commercial and corporate strategy. Eric holds an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and an M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from New York University. In his new role with AGTC, Mr. Olson will also be based in the company's Cambridge location where he will support the company's business development activities and oversee the company's strategic collaboration with Biogen.
Ellery Mangas was most recently employed by UCB, Inc. and held multiple roles of increasing responsibility including Associate Director, Regulatory Affairs & Regional Regulatory Lead for New Medicines and North America. Ellery was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs from the University of Georgia and holds a B.S. in Microbiology & Cell Science with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Florida. Mr. Mangas will be based at AGTC's headquarters in Gainesville.
AGTC is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses its proprietary gene therapy platform to develop products designed to transform the lives of patients with severe diseases in ophthalmology. AGTC's lead product candidates focus on inherited orphan diseases of the eye, caused by mutations in single genes that significantly affect visual function and currently lack effective medical treatments.
AGTC has a robust product pipeline, including five named ophthalmology development programs across four targets (XLRS, XLRP, achromatopsia and wet age-related macular degeneration), one non-ophthalmology program (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) and proof-of-concept data in multiple additional indications. The Company employs a highly targeted approach to selecting and designing its product candidates, choosing to develop therapies for indications having high unmet medical need, clinical feasibility and commercial potential. AGTC has a significant intellectual property portfolio and expertise in the design of gene therapy products including capsids, promoters and expression cassettes, as well as expertise in the formulation and physical delivery of gene therapy products.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect AGTC's plans, estimates, assumptions and beliefs. Forward-looking statements include information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies and operations, preclinical and clinical product development and regulatory progress, potential growth opportunities, potential market opportunities and the effects of competition. Forward-looking statements include all statements that are not historical facts and can be identified by terms such as "anticipates," "believes," "could," "seeks," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," "potential," "predicts," "projects," "should," "will," "would" or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, due to a number of important factors. Risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially include, among others: uncertainty inherent in the regulatory review process; uncertainty regarding the ability to achieve the expected benefits from the proposed collaboration, including as a result of risks and uncertainties associated with drug development and commercialization, reliance on third parties over which AGTC may not always have full control and other risks associated with collaborations; and other risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014, as filed with the SEC. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Also, forward-looking statements represent management's plans, estimates, assumptions and beliefs only as of the date of this release. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
CONTACT: David Carey (IR) or Danielle Lewis (PR) Lazar Partners Ltd. T: (212) 867-1768 or (212) 843-0211 [email protected] or [email protected] Corporate Contact: Larry Bullock Chief Financial Officer Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation T: (386) 462-2204 [email protected]