Adverum Appoints Rabia Gurses Ozden, M.D. and Soo J. Hong, M.B.A., to Board of Directors

Thursday, 17. March 2022 21:05

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADVM), a clinical-stage gene therapy company targeting unmet medical needs in ocular and rare diseases, today announced the appointment of Rabia Gurses Ozden, M.D. and Soo J. Hong, M.B.A., as independent members of Adverum’s Board of Directors. Dr. Ozden joins with two decades of experience in ophthalmology, clinical development and operations, pharmacovigilance, regulatory affairs and gene therapy. Ms. Hong brings a deep expertise in human capital management, executive and leadership development as well as executive and board compensation design and governance serving rapidly growing organizations during periods of transformation.  

“We are very pleased to have Rabia and Soo join Adverum’s Board. Dr. Ozden and Ms. Hong bring a tremendous depth of experience and add to the diverse perspectives on our board. We look forward to their input and insights as we advance ADVM-022 toward a Phase 2 trial with the aim of bringing wet age-related macular degeneration patients a new transformational treatment option with a single-dose, intravitreal injection,” stated Patrick Machado, J.D., board chair of Adverum Biotechnologies.

“On behalf of the management team at Adverum, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Rabia and Soo,” added Laurent Fischer, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Adverum Biotechnologies. “Rabia’s experience in ophthalmology, gene therapy and medical device development using optical coherence tomography will be invaluable to us as we work to advance ADVM-022 and our pipeline through clinical development. We are also excited to have Soo’s expertise in human capital management and corporate operations, particularly given the current challenges and competitive market in recruiting and retaining top talent for development stage biotech companies. As the workplace evolves in a post-COVID world, it’s paramount we leverage Soo’s expertise to create an engaged and fulfilling work environment that allows us to attract and retain the best talent and scale from a clinical to commercial stage company in the coming years.”

“I am thrilled to work with Adverum as they seek to reduce the wet AMD injection treatment paradigm to a single dose,” commented Dr. Ozden. “Given my background in gene therapy clinical development, I am grateful to have the opportunity to support ADVM-022 development as a member of the Board of Directors. The data generated to date suggests this potential new treatment option could provide a meaningful benefit to patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and the healthcare system as a whole.”

“I am pleased to be a part of Adverum’s team as we begin the company’s important next phase of ADVM-022 clinical trials,” stated Ms. Hong. “With my previous work guiding organizations through periods of growth, I look forward to advising Adverum as it continues its path towards later stage development. This promising product candidate holds great potential to improve the lives of wet AMD patients and their caregivers, which is an exciting prospect for the entire Adverum organization.”

Dr. Ozden currently serves as the senior vice president of clinical development at Ocular Therapeutix, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the formulation, development, and commercialization of innovative therapies for diseases and conditions of the eye. Prior to joining Ocular Therapeutix, Dr. Ozden served as the chief development officer at Akouos, leveraging their adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapy platform to advance precision therapies for forms of sensorineural hearing loss. Prior to joining Akouos, Dr. Ozden served as the chief medical officer at Nightstar Therapeutics, an ocular gene therapy company focused on AAV treatments for inherited retinal diseases, which was acquired by Biogen in 2019. Additionally, Dr. Ozden has held leadership positions at Applied Genetic Technologies and GlaxoSmithKline, while spending her early career in clinical development roles. Dr. Ozden earned her M.D. from Hacettepe University School of Medicine, completed her ophthalmology residency at Ankara University School of Medicine, and her clinical fellowship in Glaucoma at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Ms. Hong currently serves as the chief people officer at Sunbit, a financial technology company. Prior to joining Sunbit, she served as the chief people officer at National Veterinary Associates. Ms. Hong has also led people and talent organizations at WeWork and Tinder throughout phases of transformative growth and organizational expansion. In addition to a deep expertise in human capital management, Ms. Hong brings deep and varied experience in executive and leadership development, as well as executive and Board compensation design and governance. She has been recognized for her analytical, data-driven approach to human resources, being named one of Hot Topic’s Tech HR100, and she received the Tri-State National Diversity Council’s Most Influential Woman of the Year award for her efforts in supporting diversity and leadership of women in the workplace. Ms. Hong earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and her M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

About Adverum Biotechnologies

Adverum Biotechnologies (Nasdaq: ADVM) is a clinical-stage gene therapy company targeting unmet medical needs in serious ocular and rare diseases. Adverum is evaluating its novel gene therapy candidate, ADVM-022, as a one-time, intravitreal injection for the treatment of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration. For more information, please visit www.adverum.com.

Forward-looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release regarding the events or results that may occur in the future are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include but are not limited to statements regarding: the potential for ADVM-022 in treating patients with wet AMD; Adverum’s expectations as to the advancement and commercial potential of ADVM-022; and Adverum’s expectations as to the benefits it expects from the addition of Dr. Ozden and Ms. Hong. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties. Risks and uncertainties facing Adverum are described more fully in Adverum’s Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on November 4, 2021, under the heading “Risk Factors.” All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. Adverum undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.

Inquiries

Anand Reddi
Vice President, Head of Corporate Strategy and External Affairs & Engagement
Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc.
T: 650-649-1358

Or

Laurence Watts
Gilmartin Group
(619) 916-7620
laurence@gilmartinir.com

Jennifer Arcure
Canale Communications
917-603-0681
jennifer.arcure@canalecomm.com

Source: Adverum Biotechnologies, Inc.


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