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AveXis Announces Appointments of Daniel G. Welch, Terrence C. Kearney and Frank Verwiel, M.D. to Board of Directors

CHICAGO, March 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AveXis, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVXS), a leading clinical-stage gene therapy company developing treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases, today announced three appointments to its Board of Directors: Daniel G. Welch, Terrence C. Kearney and Frank Verwiel, M.D., who joined the Board of Directors prior to the company’s initial public offering.

Mr. Welch is serving as Non-executive Chairman of the Board.

“The addition of these three industry leaders to our board of directors brings extensive corporate operating expertise to our Board,” said Sean P. Nolan, President and Chief Executive Officer of AveXis. "These highly accomplished individuals will bring a wealth of operational, financial and strategic acumen to our board, as well as extensive experience in building companies from clinical-stage drug development to larger scale global commercialization. I know their impact will be immediate as we work to achieve our goal of fulfilling unmet treatment needs for patients suffering from rare, life-threatening neurological genetic diseases.”

Daniel G. Welch

Mr. Welch has more than 35 years of healthcare experience at multi-national pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Mr. Welch is an executive partner at Sofinnova Ventures, a position he has held since January 2015. He previously served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of InterMune, Inc. from September 2003 to September 2014, and from May 2007 to September 2014 also served as the company’s Chairman of the board of directors. From August 2002 to January 2003, Mr. Welch served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

In addition to AveXis, Mr. Welch currently serves on the boards of directors of Seattle Genetics, Inc., Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., where he also serves as Chairman, and Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He previously served on the board of directors of Hyperion Therapeutics, Inc. from 2012 to 2015.

Mr. Welch received a B.S. from the University of Miami and an M.B.A from the University of North Carolina.

Terrence C. Kearney

Terrence C. Kearney has more than 30 years of global healthcare experience at major pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, most recently as the Chief Operating Officer for Hospira, Inc. where he previously held the position of Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Hospira, Mr. Kearney worked for 25 years in a variety of financial management roles at Abbott Laboratories.

In addition to AveXis, Mr. Kearney currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Innoviva (formerly known as Theravance Inc.) and Acceleron Pharma.

Mr. Kearney earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Illinois and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver.

Frank Verwiel, M.D.

Dr. Verwiel has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Aptalis Pharma Inc. (formerly known as Axcan Pharma). He has also held a variety of international management positions at Merck & Co. Inc. and Servier Laboratories.

Dr. Verwiel previously served on the Board of Directors of InterMune, Inc. Dr. Verwiel was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Achillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Obseva SA, and is also an observer of the Board of Directors of Bavarian Nordic A/S.

Dr. Verwiel received his MBA from INSEAD, Fontainebleau in France and his medical degree from the Erasmus University, Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

About AveXis, Inc.

AveXis is a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases. The company’s initial proprietary gene therapy candidate, AVXS-101, is in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of SMA Type 1. For more information about AveXis, please visit www.avexis.com.

Media Inquiries: Lauren Barbiero W2O Group 646-564-2156 lbarbiero@w2ogroup.com

Source:AveXis