AveXis, a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing treatments for patients suffering from rare and life-threatening neurological genetic diseases, has appointed Michael Johannesen to the executive management team as general counsel and chief compliance officer. He will report to President and CEO Sean Nolan.

At AveXis, Johannesen is responsible for all aspects of the company’s legal and compliance functions, as well as human resources. With nearly 20 years of legal experience within the global pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare products industries, he most recently served as associate general counsel at Hospira, where he was responsible for the commercial and compliance functions of Hospira’s legal department.

Prior to joining Hospira, Johannesen worked as an attorney in the legal departments of Abbott Laboratories and Whirlpool Corporation. He began his legal career at law firm Winston & Strawn in Chicago.