SAN FRANCISCO, April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Audentes Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BOLD), a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative gene therapy products for patients living with serious, life-threatening rare diseases, today announced that Mark A. Meltz, J.D. has joined the company as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Sarah J. Spencer has joined the company as Vice President, Corporate Communications. In addition, Thomas P. Soloway, currently Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, has been promoted to the newly created position of Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer.
Tom will continue to lead the finance, accounting, and investor relations functions. Mark will lead the legal, compliance, and corporate governance functions. Sarah will be responsible for internal and external communications to build global awareness of the company, its mission, culture, and innovative product portfolio.
"Tom's promotion is reflective of his outstanding leadership of finance, accounting, and investor relations, as well as his significant contributions to our overall corporate strategy," stated Matthew R. Patterson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are also thrilled that Mark and Sarah are joining Audentes at this exciting time. Both are experienced leaders with significant industry and subject matter expertise which will be invaluable as we continue to advance our portfolio of product candidates through clinical and regulatory milestones and build a commercial organization."
Mark has nearly 20 years of leadership experience serving in various roles at global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as a top international law firm. He joins Audentes from PaxVax, a specialty vaccines company, where he managed business development, legal, compliance, and government affairs/public policy functions, and led the company's October 2018 sale to Emergent BioSolutions. Prior to joining PaxVax, Mark worked at Biogen Idec (now Biogen), where he served as the U.S. commercial lead lawyer for Tysabri® and Tecfidera® (including for its US launch), and as the lead lawyer for global medical affairs. Earlier in his career, Mark served as Head of Legal for Novartis Vaccines for North America and Latin America (including for the U.S. launch of Menveo®). Before joining the industry, Mark practiced law at the international law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP (now part of Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP), where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing, securities regulation, and general corporate matters. Mark earned his Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School, Magna Cum Laude, and his Bachelor of Arts with Departmental Honors in Psychology from Yale University.
Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare and life sciences communications. She joins Audentes from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where she was most recently Head, US Corporate Communications. Sarah spent 13 years at GSK working in a variety of global communications roles both in the UK and the US where she had responsibility for corporate media relations, financial communications, crisis communications, reputation management, and product and pipeline communications. Sarah has worked directly with CEO & C-suite executives extensively. Prior to GSK, Sarah worked at Elan Pharmaceuticals (now Perrigo Company) where she led the launch communications for Tysabri® and helped to build the profile of the company's neurology pipeline. Sarah also worked at Berry PR, a healthcare public relations agency, where she developed and executed communications strategies and campaigns for small and emerging biotech clients. Sarah began her career at Rite Aid Corporation where she served for eight years as a lead media spokesperson handling numerous high-profile issues and crises. Sarah holds a B.S. in Communications & Psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
In connection with Mark's appointment, effective March 28, 2019, the company's compensation committee granted him 104,000 stock options and 37,333 restricted stock units as an inducement to employment pursuant to Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The exercise price of the inducement stock options is $37.26. The option award will vest with respect to 25 percent of the award on March 28, 2020, with the remaining portion of the stock option award vesting monthly thereafter, and the restricted stock units award will vest with respect to 25 percent of the award on March 5, 2020, with the remaining portion of the award vesting quarterly thereafter, each subject to Mark's continued service.
About Audentes Therapeutics, Inc.
Audentes Therapeutics (Nasdaq: BOLD) is a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing innovative gene therapy products for patients living with serious, life-threatening rare diseases. We are currently conducting Phase 1/2 clinical studies of our lead product candidates, AT132 for the treatment of X-linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM), and AT342 for the treatment of Crigler-Najjar syndrome. We have two additional product candidates in development, AT845 for the treatment of Pompe disease, and AT307 for the treatment of the CASQ2 subtype of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CASQ2-CPVT). We are a focused, experienced and passionate team committed to forging strong, global relationships with the patient, research and medical communities.
For more information regarding Audentes, please visit www.audentestx.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to: the timing and nature of clinical development activities, the timing of regulatory submissions or approvals, and the expected benefits of the company's product candidates. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, the company cannot guarantee future events, results, actions, levels of activity, performance or achievements, and the timing and results of biotechnology development and potential regulatory approval is inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause the company's actual activities or results to differ significantly from those expressed in any forward-looking statement, including risks and uncertainties related to the company's ability to advance its product candidates, obtain regulatory approval of and ultimately commercialize its product candidates, the timing and results of preclinical and clinical trials, the company's ability to fund development activities and achieve development goals, establish and scale-up manufacturing processes that comply with regulatory requirements, protect intellectual property and other risks and uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in documents the company files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and the company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
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