GAINESVILLE, Fla., June 1, 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 Mark S. Shearman, Ph.D. as its Chief Scientific Officer. In that role he will be responsible for leading the company's product candidate selection process, pre-clinical and translational research and long-term research and development planning, while also contributing to the overall strategic direction of the company.
"We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark Shearman as Chief Scientific Officer of AGTC and welcome him to our senior management team," said Sue Washer, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGTC. "Mark brings to the company an outstanding track record of professional achievements spanning over two decades of drug discovery and development experience and has a strong background building and leading research teams and nurturing strategic partnerships. We are confident that his expertise will help us achieve near-term milestones and continue to realize the promise of our innovative technology platform."
"AGTC remains at the forefront of developing novel gene-based therapies for inherited eye diseases and it is a very exciting time to join the company," said Dr. Shearman. "I look forward to working with AGTC's talented scientific research group and helping to advance its groundbreaking treatments for patients with significant unmet medical needs."
Dr. Shearman was employed most recently by EMD Serono, Inc., the U.S. and Canadian subsidiary of Merck KGaA, where he served as Senior Vice-President of Research & Early Development since 2009. Previously, Dr. Shearman was Executive Director of Merck & Co. Research Laboratories, Boston, and Senior Director at the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories Neuroscience Research Centre, U.K. Dr. Shearman earned a B.Sc. from the University of Bristol, a Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham and conducted academic research at institutes in Japan and Germany.
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 X-linked retinoschisis, achromatopsia and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, which are inherited orphan diseases of the eye, caused by mutations in single genes that significantly affect visual function and currently lack effective medical treatments. AGTC is also using its gene therapy expertise to expand into disease indications with large market opportunity such as wet AMD.
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, including, without limitation, those 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 Lazar Partners Ltd. T: (212) 867-1768 [email protected] Corporate Contact: Larry Bullock Chief Financial Officer Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation T: (386) 462-2204 [email protected]