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AuraSense Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team


Gordon Beck Named Vice President of Business Development and Helen Kim Joins Board of Directors

SKOKIE, Ill., Oct 01, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE via COMTEX) -- AuraSense Therapeutics, the pioneer in developing Spherical Nucleic Acid (SNA™) constructs as gene regulatory and immunotherapeutic agents, today announced that Gordon Beck, Ph.D. has joined AuraSense Therapeutics' executive leadership team as vice president of business development. The Company also added Helen S. Kim, MBA to its Board of Directors.

"These are important additions to the AuraSense Therapeutics leadership team, as both Gordon and Helen are accomplished in the biotech industry. Their insights will prove important as we continue our development," said David Giljohann, Ph.D., CEO of AuraSense Therapeutics. "Their relevant expertise will help to shape our direction, and we look forward to continuing our successful trajectory under Gordon and Helen's guidance."

Dr. Beck brings 19 years of experience working for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in business development and R&D. Prior to joining AuraSense Therapeutics, Gordon spent 16 years at Hoffmann-La Roche, most recently as executive director Global Business Development. During his tenure at Roche, he participated in more than 50 transactions including licensing deals with Pharmasset, InterMune, the $125MM acquisition of Mirus Bio, and led the divestment of Roche's $700MM investment in RNA therapeutics. Gordon serves on the New York University Venture Fund Biotech Review Board, is a pharmacist by training and has a Ph.D. in cell biology, both from Aston University, UK.

Ms. Kim has more than 25 years of experience in leadership roles in biotechnology. Currently, she serves as a special advisor to NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. – where she had served as chief business officer since 2009 – and provides advisory work to several biotech companies. Prior to NGM, she was the chief executive officer and president of Kosan Biosciences Incorporated, where she restructured and repositioned the company prior to successfully selling the company to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2008. Ms. Kim's additional industry experience includes executive positions at Affymax, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Protein Design Labs and Chiron Corporation. In addition to her industry experience, Ms. Kim also served as chief program officer for the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and currently serves as a director of Sunesis Pharmaceuticals and Forsight VISION 4. Ms. Kim received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

About AuraSense Therapeutics, LLC

AuraSense Therapeutics (AST) is a biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class therapies based upon its proprietary Spherical Nucleic Acid (SNA™) gene regulation and immune modulation strategies. AST is leading the translation of SNA constructs as innovative medicines with a core focus on debilitating diseases with limited or no treatment options. AuraSense Therapeutics' uniquely engineered SNA™ constructs possess attractive biocompatibility and versatility as therapeutics and hold great promise for combating the most life-threatening diseases, including many forms of cancer, infectious disease, and skin conditions.

About Spherical Nucleic Acids

SNA™ technology originated in the lab of Professor Chad A. Mirkin at the Northwestern University International Institute for Nanotechnology. SNAs are nanoscale particles that consist of a spherical arrangement of densely packed and radially oriented nucleic acids. This architecture overcomes one of the most difficult obstacles to gene regulation: safe and effective delivery into cells and tissues of therapeutic importance without the need for additional physical or chemical methods or components. The SNAs can be designed to be extremely potent and highly targeted gene regulation and immune-modulatory agents.

 CONTACT: AuraSense Therapeutics, LLC. www.aurasensetherapeutics

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