SOURCE: RheoGene Inc.

August 02, 2005 09:06 ET

RheoGene Adds Internationally Renowned Gene Therapy Experts to Its Scientific Advisory Board

NORRISTOWN, PA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 2, 2005 -- RheoGene Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its Scientific Advisory Board. Joining Alan Russell, Ph.D., and Arthur Levine, M.D., are Fred H. Gage, Ph.D., Richard Gregory, Ph.D. and Inder Verma Ph.D. The Board brings exceptional breadth of knowledge and experience in the fields of gene expression, gene and cell therapy, regenerative medicine, cancer, CNS disorders and immunology, all critical to RheoGene's success and direction as the company builds upon its core technology platforms and advances the RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System for cell and gene therapy into the clinic.

"We are extremely pleased to have been able to recruit such a distinguished team of world-class researchers and scientists to provide RheoGene with valuable guidance for our core technologies and research programs," said Tom Tillett, President and CEO of RheoGene. "Their counsel and insight will be especially important in helping us to define the critical issues for our clinical development programs. The Board will also help to insure that the RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System will become an enabling tool that will provide the safety and efficacy critical to the success of the emerging cell and gene therapy markets."

Alan Russell, Ph.D., Chairman of the SAB and Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, also holds professorial positions in the Departments of Surgery, Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Russell is also the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative, Inc. Dr. Russell's interest and experience in the interface between chemistry, biology and materials brings world-class expertise to RheoGene's stem cell and tissue engineering programs.

Fred H. Gage, Ph.D., Professor in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute and member of the National Academy of Sciences, concentrates his studies on the adult central nervous system and the cellular, molecular and environmental influences that regulate neurogenesis in the adult brain and spinal cord. Dr. Gage's experience with the physiology and molecular biology of the nervous system will be highly valuable in the planning and execution of RheoGene's cell and gene therapy programs for CNS indications, including Parkinson's Disease and ALS.

Richard Gregory, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Head of Research at Genzyme Corporation, and brings extensive insight and experience in the commercial aspects of gene therapy research and development. During his career, Dr. Gregory has directed numerous gene therapy programs for cancer, genetic and cardiovascular diseases. He is currently responsible for oversight of pre-clinical research conducted at Genzyme.

Arthur S. Levine M.D., Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, and Dean, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, is a physician and researcher whose laboratory focuses on the molecular mechanisms that maintain the fidelity of the genome. Dr. Levine brings a medical perspective to the SAB that will help the company successfully advance its novel therapeutics through the preclinical stage and into the clinic; he is also an accomplished molecular biologist. Dr. Levine was the Scientific Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, from 1982 to 1998.

Inder Verma, Ph.D., Director of the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology at UC San Diego, is a world-renowned expert in the development of viral vectors for gene therapy, a critical area for RheoGene's technical program development. Dr. Verma's expertise extends to cancer, where he is internationally recognized for his work with tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Dr. Verma is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and past president of the American Society for Gene Therapy.

About RheoGene

RheoGene Inc. is the source for targeted, regulated products and technologies for the development of safe and effective therapeutics. RheoGene delivers customized inducible gene expression products for pharmaceutical discovery and development, human therapeutics and biotherapeutics production. RheoGene' proprietary RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) offers safe, regulated cell and gene therapies that deliver the right dose -- to the right place -- at the right time -- to improve the lives of patients with serious medical conditions for which there are no effective treatments or cures today. RheoGene Inc. is a wholly owned affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with operations in Norristown, PA, and Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit

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