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Spark Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team to Support Development and Commercialization of its Late-Stage Gene Therapy Pipeline

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spark Therapeutics, a late-stage, fully integrated company developing gene-based medicines for a wide range of debilitating diseases, announced today that it has expanded its leadership team through the addition of two industry veterans, Joseph La Barge and Carol Greve-Philips, who have extensive track records successfully growing biotech businesses.

Joseph La Barge has joined Spark as senior vice president of business administration and general counsel.  Joe is a seasoned legal executive and advisor, having provided counsel to healthcare institutions and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for more than 15 years.  Joe served as the vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Tengion, Inc., a clinical-stage regenerative medicine company, where he had responsibility for legal affairs, compliance and quality assurance.  While at Tengion, he played a critical role in developing the company's intellectual property strategies for their novel, first-in-class, cell-based therapies.  Over his career, Joe has advised life science companies at all stages of development, structuring over $800 million in private and public financings, developing intellectual property strategies and building out biologic manufacturing space.

Carol Greve-Philips is joining the company as senior vice president of business development and strategy.  Carol comes to Spark with extensive experience building, developing and restructuring businesses focused on genetics, genomics and genetic testing.  She worked for more than 15 years at Genzyme Corporation in roles of increasing responsibility, serving most recently as the vice president of corporate development.  During her tenure at Genzyme she contributed significantly to growing the Personal Genetic Health Unit.  Most recently she served as the chief business officer at Pronota NV, a diagnostics company focused on early detection of heart failure, pre-eclampsia and sepsis.  

"These appointments add tremendous depth to our already-stellar team of leaders and advisors," said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, co- founder, president and chief executive officer of Spark Therapeutics.  "Joe is uniquely qualified to lead the rapid expansion of our operations as we work to complete the development of our existing clinical programs and prepare to deliver our groundbreaking treatments to patients, and Carol is an ideal counselor as we consider opportunities for partnership and to expand our platform into other diseases where single-dose therapies could transform patients' lives."  

About Spark Therapeutics
Spark Therapeutics is developing potentially curative, one-time gene therapy products to transform the lives of patients and re-imagine the treatment of debilitating diseases. Spark's lead gene therapy candidate, for RPE65-related blindness, is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials with the potential to be the first approved gene therapy in the U.S., and the first treatment to address the significant unmet needs of patients living with blindness due to inherited retinal dystrophies.

Spark's founding team includes scientists who led the movement to develop gene therapy as a new treatment paradigm, establishing clinical proof of concept in the eye and liver and contributing key insights to the field that have resulted in a resurgence of industry interest in gene-based medicines. In addition to the Phase 3 program in RPE65-related blindness, the company has a Phase 1/2 program in hemophilia B, and preclinical programs to address neurodegenerative diseases and other inherited retinal dystrophies and hematologic disorders. Spark has rights to a proprietary manufacturing platform that has an unparalleled track record of success in supporting clinical studies across diverse therapeutic areas and routes of administration. The company's expertise across research, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing builds on a legacy of innovation and excellence in gene therapy established by Spark's team while at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics. To learn more visit

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Jessica Rowlands

SOURCE Spark Therapeutics
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