Abeona Therapeutics Appoints João Siffert, M.D. Chief Executive Officer

World News: . []

NEW YORK and CLEVELAND, Feb. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Abeona Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ABEO), a leading clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel cell and gene therapies for serious diseases, today announced the appointment of João Siffert, M.D. as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately. Dr. Siffert joined Abeona as Head of Research & Development (R&D) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in 2018, and has served as interim CEO since November of last year. Dr. Siffert will retain his responsibilities as Head of R&D and CMO until a clinical development lead is identified.

“The Board is confident that João has the right mix of character, leadership, and knowledge to focus Abeona on achieving near-term goals that will pave the way to long-term value for the company,” said Steven H. Rouhandeh, Chairman of the Board and Executive Chairman. “His track record of leading successful therapeutic development programs and his experience at the Board level in gene therapy are well-suited to the opportunities that lie ahead for Abeona.”

“I am honored to assume the role of CEO and thankful for the Board’s confidence in me. I look forward to leading and standing alongside a dedicated team of employees who are committed to bringing transformative treatments for patients in need,” said Dr. Siffert. “The combination of important clinical milestones on the near term horizon, a world-class cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility, and the therapeutic potential of the next-generation AIM vector platform make this an exciting time to take the helm.”

Dr. Siffert has successfully led multiple drug development programs from pre-clinical to regulatory approvals and commercial launches in the U.S. and Europe, and has held several scientific leadership positions in biotech and pharma, including programs in gene therapy. In 2017, Dr. Siffert was appointed to the Board of Directors of gene therapy developer AveXis, which was subsequently acquired by Novartis. He served as Chief Medical Officer for Ceregene from 2007 to 2011, where he was responsible for clinical development of adeno-associated viral (AAV2)-based gene therapies for Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases. Dr. Siffert also led the R&D and medical organizations at Avanir Pharmaceuticals and Avera Pharmaceuticals before most recently guiding translational research, clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs and health economics as Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for Nestle Health Science. Before joining industry, Dr. Siffert spent seven years in academic practice as a neuro-oncologist. He holds an M.D. from the University of São Paulo and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

More news and information about Abeona Therapeutics Inc.

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Globe Newswire: 21:05 GMT Monday 11th February 2019

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