João Siffert has been appointed head of research and development and chief medical officer of Abeona Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ABEO). As a result of Siffert’s hire, former chief medical officer Juan Ruiz will become head of European medical affairs. Siffert’s experience includes executive roles at Nestle Health Science, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Avera Pharmaceuticals. New York-based Abeona is developing cell and gene therapies to treat life-threatening rare genetic diseases. The company’s lead programs include treatments for the inherited skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa, and Sanfilippo syndrome type A, which is an inherited metabolic disorder.