GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based systems to deliver human therapeutics, today announced that two of the company’s scientific founders, William W. Hauswirth, Ph.D., University of Florida College of Medicine, and R. Jude Samulski, Ph.D., Gene Therapy Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have been named Pioneer Award winners for their seminal work in gene and cell therapy by the peer-reviewed journal Human Gene Therapy. Dr. Hauswirth, nominated for his work in gene therapy for eye disorders, and Dr. Samulski, nominated for contributions to basic AAV vector technology, were selected by a blue ribbon panel commissioned by Human Gene Therapy to identify 12 scientists who have made influential contributions to cell and gene therapy research over an extended period of time.
“On behalf of AGTC I’d like to congratulate Dr. Hauswirth and Dr. Samulski on receiving this prestigious and well-deserved recognition,” said Sue Washer, President and CEO of AGTC. “With their groundbreaking research over the years, both men have been instrumental in the advancement of not only AGTC, but the field of gene therapy as a whole.”
Dr. Hauswirth, a member of AGTC’s Ophthalmology Scientific Advisory Board, and Dr. Samulski founded AGTC in 1999 along with three other scientific leaders: Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D., Director, UF Powell Gene Therapy Center, Professor, Pediatrics and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Associate Chair, Pediatrics University of Florida; Dr. Terence Flotte, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine and provost & executive deputy chancellor of The University of Massachusetts Medical School; and Nicholas Muzyczka, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida.
Gene therapy replaces broken genes with normal functional genes, allowing a patient’s own body to produce proteins to treat their illness. AGTC is focused on the clinical development of novel therapeutics for patients with unmet medical needs utilizing its safe and effective delivery system, the adeno-associated virus (AAV). AAV delivers healthy copies of the gene, replacing defective copies. The technology offers possible solutions to problems associated with a wide spectrum of illnesses including Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Pompe’s Disease, and Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).
AGTC is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company creating first-in-class treatments for rare eye and lung diseases caused by mutated genes. The company currently has five programs in development from pre-clinical through Phase 2. A leader in gene therapy treatments, AGTC uses a safe and effective delivery system, the adeno-associated virus (AAV). A single injection provides long-lasting treatment, leading to a better quality of life for patients worldwide. AGTC is headquartered in Alachua, FL. For more information, please visit www.agtc.com.