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AVI BioPhama, Inc. (AVII) Appoints Dr. Ryszard Kole as Senior Vice President of Discovery Research

AVI announced the appointment of Dr. Ryszard Kole, PhD, a pioneer in the use of oligonucleotides for the modulation of splicing, as Senior Vice President of Discovery Research.

Dr. Kole has a successful history in the research and discovery of directed alternative splicing. He received his PhD from the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences. After joining the Department of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a faculty member, Dr. Kole’s efforts led to a breakthrough demonstrating that splicing provides a novel target for gene-based therapies for numerous disorders including cancer, genetic diseases, and metabolic disorders such as obesity.

Patrick L Iversen, Ph.D, who was the previous Senior Vice President of Discovery Research, will take on a new role as Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances. Dr. Iversen will manage AVI’s continuing programs in government contracting and focus the Company’s R&D strategy and revenue-generating partnerships.

Hans Wigzell, M.D., Ph.D., an internationally-known scientist and pioneer in Scandinavia, has agreed to assume the role of Chairman of AVI’s Corporate Strategy Board which, when fully constituted, will provide external review and facilitation of the Company’s R&D strategy and revenue-generating partnerships.

Dr. Wigzell has also served as General Director of the National Bacteriological Laboratory and the National Institute for Infectious Disease Control, and has published over 700 scientific articles in international, peer-reviewed journals. In addition, he is a member of the Royal Academy of Science, Sweden; Royal Academy of Engineering, Sweden; Danish Academy of Arts and Letters; American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the Finnish Science Society.

Leslie Hudson, Ph.D., Chief Executive Office of AVI said, “These announcements signal the actions behind AVI’s commitment to focus its discovery and development pipeline to achieve a coherent flow of future products. Dr. Kole and Dr. Iversen are passionately committed to drug discovery and have complementary skills; they will provide an excellent synergy in their new roles. AVI’s technology and infrastructure have the capacity to drive not only its own in-house R&D programs but also those of external partners. I am delighted that Dr Hans Wigzell has agreed to chair AVI’s Corporate Strategy Board. He is an exceptionally gifted scientist with a special regard for commercialization.”

“The legacy of his time as President of the Karolinska Institute and Chairman of the Nobel Committee transcends a scientific contribution alone. Hans has a rare talent that is able to facilitate the move of compelling discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic through to the international biotechnology sector. We look forward to working with him in this regard at AVI,” he concluded.

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