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Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc. Hires Vaccine Executive Sammy J. Farah as President

LA JOLLA, Calif., Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc. (SGVI), a privately held company focused on developing next generation vaccines using genomic sequencing and synthetic genomic technologies, announced today that Sammy J. Farah, Ph.D. has been appointed as president.  Dr. Farah brings extensive vaccine expertise and over 15 years of scientific, business and executive management experience in the biotechnology industry to SGVI.

"We are excited to have Sammy join SGVI as he brings not only strong business development and leadership qualities but also a vigorous background in the science behind vaccine development," said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO, SGVI.

Dr. Farah comes to SGVI most recently from Immune Design Corp. where he was chief business officer since 2009. While there he was a leader on the management team responsible for corporate strategy and business development.  He also helped the company complete a Series B funding round and execute a strategic partnership with MedImmune.

Prior to Immune Design Corp., Dr. Farah was at Versant Ventures where he specialized in biotechnology investing and new company formation; and at Merck & Co, Inc. where he led technology support for multiple commercial vaccine franchises before joining the business development and licensing group to evaluate new external technology and research opportunities.  

Dr. Farah received his Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

"SGVI has access to the most advanced sequencing and synthetic genomic technologies in the world, making it uniquely positioned among the landscape of vaccine companies.  I am delighted to be involved with such an exciting company and committed group of people," said Dr. Farah. "I look forward to applying our resources to develop the next generation of vaccines that will have the greatest positive impact on human health."  

In October 2010, SGVI announced formation along with a three-year collaboration agreement with Novartis to apply synthetic genomics tools and technologies to accelerate the production of the influenza seed strains required for vaccine manufacturing. The agreement, supported by an award from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), could ultimately lead to a more timely and effective response to seasonal and pandemic influenza outbreaks.  SGVI also recently completed a funding round that will enable the company to establish operations and support its vaccine programs through initial stages of development.

About Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. (SGVI)

SGVI, a privately held company founded in 2010 by Synthetic Genomics, Inc. and the J. Craig Venter Institute, is dedicated to the development of new vaccines using the advanced tools and technologies of synthetic genomics. The company is headquartered in La Jolla, CA.

SGVI Media Contact:
Heather Kowalski,

SOURCE Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc.
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