San Francisco, Aug. 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Excision BioTherapeutics, a biotechnology company dedicated to curing viral infectious disease using CRISPR, today announced the appointment of TJ Cradick, PhD to the position of Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Cradick will be responsible for leading Excision’s development programs from research to clinical trials, which includes the potentially curative therapies EBT-101 for HIV, EBT-103 targeting JC Virus for PML, EBT-104 for Herpes Simplex Virus, and EBT-107 for Hepatitis B.

A recognized expert in genome editing technologies, Dr. Cradick has developed nucleases, as well as genome editing and gene therapy reagents and methods for CRISPR/Cas nuclease, TAL Effector Nucleases (TALENs) and Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs), both in his academic work at University of Iowa and the Georgia Institute of Technology, and in-industry at Sangamo Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SGMO). He has co-authored manuscripts on each of these nuclease technologies and on developing bioinformatics web tools including ZFN-Site, PROGNOS, SAPTA and COSMID. He also led the first work on the use of engineered nucleases as a therapeutic strategy for targeting Hepatitis B virus DNAs, and co-authored the first publication on the topic. 

He most recently served as the head of genome editing at CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CRSP), and was previously a member of the faculty and director of the protein engineering facility at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where his research included developing assays for CRISPR/Cas9 specificity, which have been applied across a range of gene therapy targets.

“Excision has already demonstrated therapeutic breakthroughs using CRISPR nucleases and I believe the company is on the precipice to significantly advance the field of gene editing and targeting viral infectious diseases,” Dr. Cradick said. “This is a pivotal time for the company, for the CRISPR field, and the patients in need of curative therapies, and together I believe we will achieve the critical milestones that lead to curing these patients.”

“TJ’s extensive experience with gene editing approaches, and specifically CRISPR editors, has already contributed to our development efforts at Excision,” said Daniel Dornbusch, CEO at Excision BioTherapeutics. “His insights and leadership will be a fundamental addition to Excision as the company advances into clinical trials next year and advances the pipeline programs to the INDs. We welcome TJ to the team and have no doubt that his contributions will facilitate Excision realizing its mission to bring curative therapies for viral infectious diseases to patients around the world.”

Dr. Cradick holds an undergraduate degree from MIT, an M.A. in Microbiology & Immunology from UCSF, and a Ph.D. in Molecular & Cell Biology from the University of Iowa. 

For more information on Excision BioTherapeutics visit www.excision.bio/

About Excision BioTherapeutics 
Excision BioTherapeutics develops CRISPR-based therapeutics to cure viral infectious diseases. Excision is the first company in history to remove viral genomes from animals and achieve functional cures in HIV with a therapeutic. The company’s pipeline includes potential cures for JC virus/PML, Hepatitis B, Herpes Simplex Virus, and SARS-CoV-2. The foundational technology was developed at Kamel Khalili's lab at Temple University and Jennifer Doudna’s lab at UC Berkeley. Excision is supported by Artis Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Abstract Ventures, SilverRidge Capital Partners, and Gaingels. The company is preparing to submit its first IND for EBT-101, its lead program in HIV in 2020.

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