RENOWNED PHARMACEUTICAL STRATEGIST, MERV TURNER SEES GREAT PROMISE IN AGT’S EMERGING GENE THERAPY AND JOINS MANAGEMENT TO HELP GUIDE PRODUCTS TO COMMERCIALIZATION
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND (June 7, 2016) – American Gene Technologies International, Inc. (AGT) today announced the appointment of Dr. Mervyn Turner as chairman of the company’s scientific advisory board. Turner has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and is an acknowledged leader in drug discovery, research and development, licensing and business development, emerging markets analysis, strategy development and implementation.
“American Gene Technologies has assembled a gifted, passionate team and is poised to transform the healthcare industry,” said Turner, “The gene therapies AGT is developing hold the promise of delivering dramatic benefits to patients. I’m excited to work with AGT to help fulfill that promise.”
Prior to his retirement from Merck & Co. Inc., Turner served as the company’s first Chief Strategy Officer, driving strategy and resource planning discussions. He also worked with the research division, the commercial organization, and the manufacturing division to develop a coherent, overarching strategy for Merck & Co. Inc.’s investments in emerging markets.
“Merv Turner has a deep understanding of the pharmaceuticals industry,” said AGT CEO Jeff Galvin. “His scientific, strategic, and global connections within the pharmaceuticals, biotech, and venture capital sectors, are invaluable to AGT in our drive to create effective gene therapies for major human diseases.”
As head of Worldwide Licensing and External Research for Merck & Co., Inc., Turner led the company’s transformation from an inward-facing to an outward-looking organization, and was personally involved in more than 200 strategic transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. Before that, he was the site head for both Merck & Co., Inc.’s largest R&D facility (Rahway, NJ), and its most productive labs (Merck Frosst Canada, Inc.). Dr. Turner has published over 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
“During his many years at Merck & Co. Inc., Dr. Turner shepherded the introduction of multiple development candidates,” Galvin noted, “We are grateful to have the benefit of his leadership and expert counsel to help us quickly and efficiently bring our innovative solutions to market.”
AGT anticipates launching a clinical study in HIV/AIDS later this year in order to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of a new therapy expected to improve the lives of millions of patients suffering from HIV. AGT also has preclinical drug candidates for liver cancer, and phenylketonuria (PKU), and is doing investigational work on breast cancer, familial dysautonomia (FD), and Parkinson’s disease.