SAN FRANCISCO, May 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Excision BioTherapeutics (“Excision”), a leading developer of potentially curative CRISPR anti-viral therapies to improve patient lives, today announced the appointment of biotechnology industry development veteran, Franz Gerner, Ph.D., as Chief Technology Officer & Head of Manufacturing.
“Dr. Gerner’s extensive experience in biotechnology product development and manufacturing is fundamental to Excision advancing toward initiating clinical trials which employ the Company’s CRISPR platform to treat pandemic viral diseases,” said Daniel Dornbusch, Chief Executive Officer of Excision. “Excision’s unique gene editing approach leverages CRISPR’s natural evolution in bacteria to target and deactivate viral genes. Using CRISPR in this way can potentially maximize both the safety and efficacy compared to other gene editing approaches. Franz’s deep experience is critical to further development of our HIV therapy EBT-101 as it proceeds toward its first clinical trial, as well as our Herpes Virus therapy EBT-104 and Hepatitis B Therapy EBT-107 in preclinical development. His past accomplishments in the sector make him a clear choice to build our rapidly growing team.”
Dr. Gerner has more than 25 years of experience in process and analytical development, as well as manufacturing across several therapeutic gene therapy areas. Prior to joining Excision, Dr. Gerner served as VP, Technical Operations at Sio Gene Therapies, formerly Axovant Gene Therapies, a gene therapy company where he was responsible for development, manufacturing, analytical and supply chain activities for early and late-stage programs based on AAV delivery. As Sr. Director of Technical Innovation and New Technologies at Regenxbio he established strategies for new approaches to increase the yield and improve the purity of AAV vectors. He originally joined Regenxbio at an early stage as Sr. Director of Process Development, being responsible for process/analytical development activities and manufacturing campaigns, and subsequently focusing on building in house process development capacities which led to significant improvements of the manufacturing process for multiple AAV serotypes. Prior to Regenxbio, he was the Director of Process Development and Manufacturing at Omnia Biologics, where he oversaw process development and GMP activities. He was Senior Scientist at Wellstat Ophthalmics Corp, formerly Advanced Vision Therapies, where he designed and produced AAV and lentivirus production programs for ophthalmic gene therapy programs. Dr. Gerner holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.
“Combining gene therapy approaches with anti-viral mechanisms found in bacteria offers a promising approach to treat viral infections in people, and I am thrilled to be joining the highly innovative Excision team at this exciting time,” said Dr. Gerner. “While in vivo gene editing of humans has been controversial in the past, employing CRISPR against its natural viral targets may enable in vivo treatment of genome-integrated viral infections that could be highly accurate and safe. With Excision’s lead asset soon to begin clinical development, I look forward to the establishment and further development of the manufacturing process to support the current and future programs.”
About Excision BioTherapeutics, Inc.
Excision BioTherapeutics, Inc., is a biotechnology company developing CRISPR-based therapies to cure viral infectious diseases. Excision is focused on improving the lives of chronically ill patients by eliminating viral genomes from infected individuals. By using CRISPR in unique ways, the Company has already demonstrated the first functional cure for HIV in animals. Excision is developing technologies and IP developed at Temple University and U.C. Berkeley. Excision is located in San Francisco, California and is supported by ARTIS Ventures, GreatPoint Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adjuvant Capital, Cota Capital, WRVI Capital, IndusAge Partners, Loreda Holdings, Olive Tree, Anzu Partners, SilverRidge Venture Partners, Oakhouse Ventures, and Gaingels. For more information, please visit www.excision.bio.
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