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AveXis Announces Management Succession Plan

April 30, 2015, Dallas, Texas: AveXis, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on using gene therapy to transform the lives of patients with severe genetic and orphan diseases, today announced that John Carbona has resigned from his position as CEO. Mr. Carbona will remain a Director of AveXis. This announcement is the result of a succession plan that has been in process as AveXis advances the clinical development of its lead program for the treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

John D. Harkey, Jr., Chairman of the Board, commented, “We are fortunate to have had John lead our firm through a very dynamic growth period. John has provided tremendous efforts in establishing AveXis as a premier gene therapy company both in the US and abroad. We would like to thank John for his tireless commitment to AveXis which has advanced the goal of helping families with children with SMA.”

AveXis’ Board of Directors has implemented a plan to build the company’s management team to support its growth and the advancement of its lead development program for the treatment of SMA. The company has engaged a leading executive recruiting firm and initiated a search for a Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Harkey will serve as Executive Chairman of AveXis in the interim.

“We are pleased to be in a position to recruit a world-class leadership team to build the company to the next level,” said Mr. Harkey. “We are very encouraged by the progress to date in developing our ChariSMA gene therapy program for SMA in collaboration with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University, and remain completely dedicated to advancing this new treatment as rapidly as possible.”
“I am proud of the team we built here in Dallas and the accomplishments to date at AveXis. I will forever be indebted to the SMA researchers around the world who helped AveXis and most importantly the families and children with SMA who supported AveXis and me in our infancy. I look forward to the continued growth and success of the company as I watch from a new vantage point,” stated Carbona.

About Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal-recessive genetic disorder characterized by lower motor neuron loss and progressive muscle weakness. SMA is caused by a genetic defect in the SMN1 gene that codes SMN, a protein necessary for survival of motor neurons. SMA kills more infants than any other genetic disease in today’s world.

About AveXis, Inc.
AveXis is a clinical-stage gene therapy company establishing key industry alliances to create innovative treatments for people with unmet medical needs. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the company’s first focus.  For more information regarding AveXis, please visit

AveXis Contact:
Sean Stalfort
phone: 434.531.6928