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Avalo Therapeutics Appoints Stephen Smolinski as Chief Commercial Officer

·5 min read

Announces inducement grant under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)

WAYNE, Pa. and ROCKVILLE, Md., Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Avalo Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVTX) (“Avalo” or the “Company”), a leading clinical-stage precision medicine company that discovers, develops, and commercializes targeted therapeutics for patients with significant unmet clinical need in immunology, immuno-oncology, and rare genetic diseases today announced the appointment of Stephen Smolinski as Chief Commercial Officer, effective January 3, 2022.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stephen to our leadership team,” said Mike Cola, Chief Executive Officer of Avalo Therapeutics. “Stephen brings over 25 years of experience in defining and implementing commercial and business development strategies. He is well suited to both spearhead the development of Avalo’s commercial capabilities and help guide business development activities to identify opportunities to partner assets, as appropriate, and support activities to complement the company’s portfolio with strategically aligned new opportunities for Avalo. On behalf of the Avalo team, I want to thank Jamie Harrell, who previously served as our Chief Commercial Officer, for his contributions to Avalo and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

As Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Smolinski will lead Avalo’s commercial team including launch readiness initiatives and play a key role in the development and execution of the Company’s “go to market” strategy. Prior to joining Avalo, Mr. Smolinski was the Global Head, Immunology Therapeutic Area at Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi™). Prior to that Mr. Smolinski was Chief Commercial Officer for Selecta Biosciences where he led the commercial efforts related to SEL-212 for Chronic Refractory Gout. He was involved in multiple gene therapy business development deals leading to collaborations and licensing deals with AskBio and Sarepta. Mr. Smolinski served as the Vice President and Head of Sanofi/Genzyme’s North American Rheumatology Business Unit, where he led the development of the company's commercialization plans for the rheumatoid arthritis medicine KEVZARA®. Prior to this, he served as Global Vice President of Immunology & Inflammation, Global Strategic Unit at Sanofi. Mr. Smolinski also previously held senior commercial roles at Roche-Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, and Savient Pharmaceuticals. He earned a B.S. in Health Care Administration from Oregon State University.

“Avalo is building an exciting company developing targeted therapeutics in areas of significant unmet need,” commented Stephen Smolinski, Avalo’s Chief Commercial Officer. “With validation established in AVTX-002, it is now time to begin building a comprehensive commercial and business development strategy to advance these therapies. I am excited to be joining the Avalo team and look forward to doing my part to build on the full promise of the Company’s diverse portfolio.”

In connection with the appointment of Mr. Smolinski and in accordance with the terms of his employment agreement with Avalo, Avalo’s Board of Directors approved the grant to Mr. Smolinski of a non-qualified stock option awarded to purchase 400,000 shares of its common stock, vesting over four (4) years, with a twelve-month cliff, such that the first 25% will vest on the first anniversary following Mr. Smolinski’s start date with Avalo, and the remainder will vest in equal monthly installments over the following three (3) years, in each case, subject to continued employment with Avalo through the applicable vesting date. The stock option was granted on January 4, 2022 as an inducement material to Mr. Smolinski becoming an employee of Avalo in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The option has an exercise price equal to the closing price of Avalo’s common stock on The Nasdaq Capital Market on January 4, 2022. The option is subject to the terms and conditions of the stock option agreement covering the grant.

About Avalo Therapeutics
Avalo Therapeutics is a leading clinical-stage precision medicine company that discovers, develops, and commercializes targeted therapeutics for patients with significant unmet clinical need in immunology, immuno-oncology, and rare genetic diseases. The Company has built a diverse portfolio of innovative therapies to deliver meaningful medical impact for patients in urgent need. The Company’s clinical candidates commonly have a proven mechanistic rationale, biomarkers and/or an established proof-of-concept to expedite and increase the probability of success.

For more information about Avalo, please visit www.avalotx.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may include forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that are subject to change based on various factors (many of which are beyond Avalo’s control), which could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements. Such statements may include, without limitation, statements with respect to Avalo’s plans, objectives, projections, expectations and intentions and other statements identified by words such as “projects,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “continue,” “seeks,” “aims,” “predicts,” “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “intends,” “plans,” “potential,” or similar expressions (including their use in the negative), or by discussions of future matters such as: the future financial and operational outlook; the development of product candidates or products; timing and success of trial results and regulatory review; potential attributes and benefits of product candidates; and other statements that are not historical. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of Avalo’s management but are subject to significant risks and uncertainties, including: drug development costs, timing and other risks, including reliance on investigators and enrollment of patients in clinical trials, which might be slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic; regulatory risks; Avalo's cash position and the potential need for it to raise additional capital; general economic and market risks and uncertainties, including those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and those other risks detailed in Avalo’s filings with the SEC. Actual results may differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, Avalo expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in Avalo’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.

For media and investor inquiries

Chris Brinzey
Westwicke, an ICR Company
Chris.brinzey@westwicke.com
339-970-2843

or

Schond L. Greenway
Investor Relations
Chief Financial Officer
Avalo Therapeutics
sgreenway@avalotx.com
610-522-6200

For media inquiries

Robert Stanislaro or Helen O’Gorman
FTI Consulting
robert.stanislaro@fticonsulting.com
helen.o’gorman@fticonsulting.com