Axovant Strengthens Team with Additional Expertise to Support Gene Therapy Pipeline
BASEL, Switzerland, (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Axovant Sciences (NASDAQ: AXON), a company developing innovative gene therapies for neurological and neuromuscular diseases, today announced the addition of five senior team members to strengthen its expertise in the development and commercialization of gene therapies. These appointments will expand Axovant’s capabilities in gene therapy manufacturing, vector optimization, operations, clinical development, regulatory affairs and commercialization.
“I am very pleased to announce the addition of several accomplished leaders in gene therapy to the Axovant team,” said Pavan Cheruvu, M.D., chief executive officer of Axovant. “Together, they bring decades of experience in gene and cell therapies, which will further strengthen our ability to quickly and effectively deliver on our potentially best-in-class gene therapy pipeline. At Axovant, we are passionately focused on the delivery of transformative new gene therapies for patients with severe neurological and neuromuscular diseases. These new team members embody these characteristics and I am excited to welcome them to Axovant.”
Greg MacMichael, Ph.D., joins Axovant as senior vice president of technical operations with responsibility overseeing manufacturing of Axovant’s pipeline of gene therapies. Dr. MacMichael has 35 years of biopharmaceutical experience including in the development and manufacturing of biologics, most recently as senior vice president of development, manufacturing and quality control at NantKwest and senior vice president of process, development, manufacturing and quality assurance at Rocket Pharma. He previously served as the global head of biologics process development at Novartis, leading the chemistry, manufacturing and control (CMC) aspects of Novartis’ acquisition and transfer of Kymriah® from the University of Pennsylvania, including building the supply chain for plasmids, lentiviral vector and production capacity. Dr. MacMichael received his Ph.D. in microbiology/biochemistry from Mississippi State University, his M.S. in microbiology/biochemistry from North Carolina State University and his B.S. in microbiology from Pennsylvania State University.
Parag Meswani, Pharm.D., joins Axovant as senior vice president of commercial strategy and operations. Dr. Meswani has over 17 years of experience in the biopharma industry, having served in various commercial and medical affairs leadership roles at Novartis, Pharmacia, Biogen, and most recently, Spark Therapeutics. At Spark, he served as head of U.S. marketing and diagnostics, leading the development and execution of the brand strategy for LUXTURNA™. Prior to Spark, Dr. Meswani held several corporate and franchise leadership roles at Biogen, including serving in the office of the CEO, commercial operations, the multiple sclerosis franchise and the U.S. hemophilia franchise. Dr. Meswani earned his M.B.A. from Columbia University and his Pharm.D. and B.S. from the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University.
Paul Korner, M.D., M.B.A., joins Axovant as senior vice president of clinical development. Dr. Korner has 20 years of experience in clinical development and medical affairs, most recently serving as vice president of medical strategy and clinical development at Sarepta Therapeutics focusing on the development of precision genetic medicines focused on rare neuromuscular diseases. Prior to Sarepta, he held executive-level roles at Ardelyx and Ferring Pharmaceuticals, where he was involved in the FDA approval of seven programs and the execution of 44 local and global studies. Prior to Ferring, Dr. Korner held several roles in clinical development and medical affairs at Bayer, Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Solvay. Dr. Korner received his M.D. from Loyola University, his M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University and his B.S. in biology with honors from the University of Illinois.
Greg Stewart, Ph.D., joins Axovant as senior vice president of vector delivery and optimization with responsibility for ongoing clinical refinement of Axovant’s gene therapy programs. Dr. Stewart has over 25 years of experience in drug development for neurological conditions from preclinical discovery to phase 2/3 clinical trials, most recently serving as chief scientific officer at Pairnomix. Prior to Pairnomix, he was vice president of vector delivery at Voyager Therapeutics, where he directed research to optimize targeted delivery of viral vectors to the brain and spinal cord for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Stewart has also held various scientific and development roles at Medtronic, Genzyme, ALZA and Roche and served as a fellow at the National Institute of Mental Health. He received his Ph.D. in neural sciences from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.S. in neuroscience from Texas Christian University.
Sean O’Bryan joins Axovant as vice president of regulatory affairs. Mr. O’Bryan previously served as vice president of regulatory affairs and quality assurance at Lysogene. Prior to Lysogene, he was senior director of regulatory affairs at Bluebird Bio, where he initiated and led the CMC regulatory affairs group across all programs including CNS, hematology and oncology. In addition, he led efforts focused on the treatment of the rare disease cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy using lentiviral vector-based gene therapy. Prior to this, he served as a regulatory lead for the cell therapy and regenerative medicine division at Sanofi/Genzyme. Sean has more than 20 years of regulatory experience across a range of categories including biologics, gene therapy, CMC and medical devices. Sean holds a B.S. in biology and analysis and policy from Boston University and is regulatory affairs professionals (RAPs) certified.
About Axovant Sciences
Axovant is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing a pipeline of innovative product candidates for debilitating neurological and neuromuscular diseases such as Parkinson's disease, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia, and other indications. For more information, visit www.axovant.com