- A pioneering researcher, Dr. Gao has made foundational contributions to the discovery of novel AAV vectors for gene therapy
- Dr. Gao recently served as President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and has been ranked as one of the top 20 translational researchers by Nature Biotechnology
NEW YORK and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sio Gene Therapies, Inc. (NASDAQ: SIOX), a clinical-stage company focused on developing gene therapies to radically transform the lives of patients with neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the appointment of Guangping Gao, Ph.D., as Chief AAV Scientific Advisor. Dr. Gao, a world-recognized scientist and past President of the ASGCT, has played key roles in the discovery and characterization of adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes which were instrumental in the resurgence of gene therapy. In his advisory role, Dr. Gao will provide strategic guidance and scientific and technical input across Sio’s AAV-based gene therapy programs.
“We are honored to welcome Dr. Gao, a gene therapy pioneer, to Sio Gene Therapies,” said Pavan Cheruvu, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Sio. “Dr. Gao brings an incredible wealth of knowledge ranging from fundamental discoveries in viral vectors, preclinical and clinical gene therapy product development, to viral manufacturing for clinical research. We believe his experience and insight will be invaluable to our team as we continue to advance our pipeline and evaluate potential business development opportunities. We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Gao as we work toward our mission of providing transformative treatments to patients with severe genetic disease.”
Dr. Gao said, “Sio’s strategic approach to gene therapy directly targets the underlying disease biology, which I believe has the potential to lead to transformative and life-saving treatments. I have been impressed by the team’s comprehensive execution in driving forward clinical programs while in parallel laying a strong manufacturing foundation to support their mission to deliver these treatments to patients as rapidly as possible. I am thrilled to begin my role at Sio and look forward to leveraging my diverse experiences to fully unlock the potential of their gene therapy portfolio."
Dr. Gao is Co-Director of the Li Weibo Institute for Rare Disease Research, Director of the Horae Gene Therapy Center and Viral Vector Core, Professor of Microbiology and Physiological Systems and Penelope Booth Rockwell Professor in Biomedical Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr Gao’s more than 30 years in scientific research in molecular genetics have made foundational contributions to the development of viral vector gene therapy for rare genetic diseases including the discovery, development and engineering of novel viral vectors for in vivo gene delivery as well as preclinical and clinical gene therapy product development. He has also made significant contributions to the development of viral vector manufacturing for gene therapy applications and the development of technology platforms for novel gene therapy approaches in humans. Dr. Gao has published nearly 300 research papers and serves as the Executive Editor-In-Chief of Human Gene Therapy, Senior Editor of the Gene and Cell Therapy book series and serves on the Editorial Boards of several other gene therapy and virology journals. In addition to previously serving as President of ASGCT, he is an elected fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Inventors, holding 174 patents and an additional 373 patent applications pending with over 10 licensed to pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Gao is co-founder of Voyager Therapeutics, Adrenas Therapeutics and Aspa Therapeutics.
About Sio Gene Therapies
Sio Gene Therapies combines cutting-edge science with bold imagination to develop genetic medicines that aim to radically improve the lives of patients. Our current pipeline of clinical-stage candidates includes the first potentially curative AAV-based gene therapies for GM1 gangliosidosis and Tay-Sachs/Sandhoff diseases, which are rare and uniformly fatal pediatric conditions caused by single gene deficiencies. We are also expanding the reach of gene therapy to highly prevalent conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, which affects millions of patients globally. Led by an experienced team of gene therapy development experts, and supported by collaborations with premier academic, industry and patient advocacy organizations, Sio is focused on accelerating its candidates through clinical trials to liberate patients with debilitating diseases through the transformational power of gene therapies. For more information, visit www.siogtx.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. The use of words such as "will," "expect," "believe," "estimate," and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. For example, all statements Sio makes regarding costs associated with its operating activities are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by Sio’s management that, although Sio believes to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those that Sio expected. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our operations, the initiation and conduct of preclinical studies and clinical trials; the availability of data from clinical trials; the development of a suspension-based manufacturing process for Axo-Lenti-PD; the scaling up of manufacturing, the expectations for regulatory submissions and approvals; the continued development of our gene therapy product candidates and platforms; Sio’s scientific approach and general development progress; and the availability or commercial potential of Sio’s product candidates. These statements are also subject to a number of material risks and uncertainties that are described in Sio’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 13, 2020, as updated by its subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it was made. Sio undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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