AavantiBio, a gene therapy company focused on transforming the lives of patients with rare genetic diseases, today announced new additions to its leadership team with the appointments of Paul Herzich as Chief Technology Officer and Jared Simons as Vice President of Manufacturing. Both Messrs. Herzich and Simons bring significant AAV manufacturing experience to AavantiBio as the Company begins to advance its compelling gene therapy pipeline forward.
“We are elated to have Paul and Jared join the AavantiBio team as we progress through the strategic planning stages of building out our AAV manufacturing processes with a hyper focus on Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) execution,” said Bo Cumbo, Chief Executive Officer of AavantiBio. “Paul’s deep manufacturing expertise and proven track record of advancing INDs into clinical trials, coupled with his experience developing gene therapies, further enhances our capabilities as we look to bring new treatments to life for diseases with significant unmet need.”
Mr. Herzich brings to AavantiBio more than two decades of experience in start-up and commercial manufacturing optimization for biotechnology companies. He also brings significant experience supporting gene therapy INDs as well as other clinical and commercial vaccine programs. Mr. Herzich most recently served as Vice President of CMC at BridgeBio Gene Therapy (NASDAQ: BBIO), where he managed process and analytical development, facilities, quality compliance and cGMP of the company’s gene therapy products. Previously, he was Senior Director of Manufacturing at LogicBio (NASDAQ: LOGC), where he established and guided the development of manufacturing processes for the company’s platform technology. Prior to LogicBio, Mr. Herzich served as Director of Clinical Gene Therapy Manufacturing at Bamboo Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., where he managed facilities, and cGMP manufacturing of the company’s gene therapy products. Before that, he served as Head of Technical Development Manufacturing at Seqirus. Mr. Herzich received an MBA from North Carolina State University and a BS in Biology from Rutgers University.
“I am excited and inspired to be joining a Company that is committed to expanding the field of genetic medicine and delivering potentially transformational gene therapies to patients,” said Herzich. “I look forward to working closely with Bo and the team to leverage AavantiBio’s strong CMC expertise and put in place the right manufacturing capabilities to enable the Company to advance its innovative pipeline of programs.”
Mr. Simons joins AavantiBio with nearly 20 years of leadership experience in the biotechnology industry, including the development of vaccines and gene therapies as well as building and developing process engineering and validation teams. Previously, he served as Senior Director at Amicus Therapeutics (NASDAQ: FOLD), where he oversaw the product and process lifecycle of the company’s late stage clinical and commercial portfolio, including small molecule, biologics, and gene therapy assets. Prior to joining Amicus Therapeutics as a Director in Tech Transfer & Manufacturing Sciences, Mr. Simons was Deputy Director at Sanofi Pasteur where he led the technical transfer of an influenza vaccine drug substance production process into a greenfield 160,000 square foot manufacturing facility. Earlier in his career, he held various positions of increased responsibility at Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK). Mr. Simons holds a MS in Chemical Engineering, with a concentration in Biochemical Engineering, and a BS degree in Chemical Engineering both from Drexel University.
Recently, AavantiBio announced the appointments of Douglas J. Swirsky as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, Ty Howton as Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel, and Christopher Wright, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer.
About AavantiBio, Inc.
AavantiBio is a gene therapy company backed by a premier syndicate of life sciences investors including Perceptive Advisors, Bain Capital Life Sciences, and RA Capital Management, who led the company’s recent $107 million Series A financing. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, AavantiBio is advancing a diversified gene therapy pipeline in areas of high unmet medical need, including a lead program in Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), a rare inherited genetic disease that causes cardiac and central nervous system dysfunction. The company benefits from strategic partnerships with the University of Florida’s renowned Powell Gene Therapy Center and the MDA Care Center at UF Health where AavantiBio’s co-founders and renowned gene therapy researchers Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D. and Manuela Corti, P.T., Ph.D maintain their research and clinical practices. Learn more at www.aavantibio.com.