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More change up top for Unilife

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York County-based Unilife Corp. today announced its second leadership shakeup in as many months with the appointment of attorney John Ryan as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary.

According to a news release, attorney Christopher Naftzger had served as Unilife's vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer since 2010 and will remain with the company as vice president of legal affairs.

In mid-March, Unilife announced that Richard Wieland was leaving Unilife Corp. after four years as executive vice president and CFO, and Dennis Pyers was named interim CFO in his place. That change took place shortly after Unilife wrapped up a $60 million debt financing deal.

This has been a tumultuous year for the medical manufacturing company, which has yet to turn a profit and is heavily invested in the future. Its stock was below $2 at one point in May 2013 but rallied strongly on announcement of several significant deals and passed $5.50 on March 19 of this year.

"Chris has done an excellent job building Unilife's legal, corporate secretarial and compliance functions since our listing on NASDAQ in 2010," Alan Shortall, Unilife chairman and CEO, said in a news release. "His corporate finance and commercial expertise has been important in achieving our financing objectives and securing customer agreements. I appreciate the contribution that Chris has made, and I am pleased that he will continue to be part of the Unilife management team."

Of Ryan, Shortall said, "John is a dynamic legal professional with nearly two decades of experience in contract negotiation, litigation and corporate compliance. I expect his deep legal expertise, negotiation skills, corporate disclosure and strategic insights will be put to great use at Unilife as we continue to negotiate and sign long-term supply contracts with a multitude of large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies."

Prior to joining Unilife, Ryan was a partner at Duane Morris, one of the 100 largest law firms in the U.S., where he represented health care, financial and managed service companies across areas including contract negotiation, dispute resolution, consumer class action litigation and antitrust cases. He also spent eight years at Aramark Corp. in roles that included senior vice president and deputy general counsel.

Unilife trades its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol UNIS.

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