Navigation Links
Translational Science Expert, Dr. Melissa Ashlock, Joins aTyr Pharma to Advance Physiocrine-based Therapeutics

SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- aTyr Pharma, an innovative protein therapeutics company, announced today that Melissa Ashlock, M.D., has joined as vice president, external scientific alliances and human genetics. Dr. Ashlock's experience in translating novel biology into drug discovery opportunities and collaborations will support the aTyr team in the development of innovative therapeutic approaches for Physiocrine-based medicines. Physiocrines are naturally occurring human proteins that possess novel in vivo biological activity as extracellular signaling molecules in known pathways relevant to developing protein therapeutics for a range of diseases.

Dr. John Mendlein, executive chairman of aTyr Pharma, said, "Dr. Ashlock's ability to advance new therapeutic applications from novel mechanisms will provide important insights as aTyr develops life-changing medicines for patients with grave conditions. Our opportunity at aTyr is to uncover the role of Physiocrines in modulating human physiology and intervening in disease, and we are excited to have Dr. Ashlock help us lead this effort."

"Through her previous leadership efforts in diseases like cystic fibrosis, Dr. Ashlock has demonstrated her ability to develop pivotal alliances and advance drug discovery processes to create potential high-value therapeutic candidates," said Dr. Jeff Watkins, CEO of aTyr Pharma. "The development of Physiocrine-based protein therapeutics is distinct from current protein therapeutic programs, and Dr. Ashlock's experience will be of great help as we create much-needed new medicines for breakthroughs in patient care."

Dr. Ashlock added, "Physiocrine protein pathways represent important new therapeutic intervention points for drug discovery. Genomics efforts have missed aminoacyl tRNA synthetases as a source of extracellular signaling molecules and the relevance of these proteins in therapeutics development has been overlooked. aTyr possesses a unique opportunity to treat grave diseases with innovative, high impact biologics. It is an honor to join such an outstanding scientific team to execute on their important mission."

Dr. Ashlock has recently served pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations to advance new drug discovery and development opportunities for unmet medical needs.  Since 1999, she has been involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), holding positions including vice president of drug discovery for its therapeutics affiliate, CFFT, and was part of the leadership team that helped transform cystic fibrosis (CF) venture philanthropy, a concept stemming from the visionary President and CEO Robert Beall, Ph.D. Dr. Ashlock also led the CFF's collaborative efforts to discover and develop drugs that addressed the basic defect in CF, including working with Vertex Pharmaceuticals on VX-770 and other approaches under investigation. Prior to CFF, she worked as a scientific investigator at the National Institutes of Health with Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., co-discoverer of the cystic fibrosis gene and Ron Crystal, M.D., a pioneer in gene therapy. She has been co-inventor or author of more than 50 issued patents and publications. She received her B.S. in biochemistry from Purdue University and her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. She completed her medical residency at Dartmouth Medical School and is a licensed physician, board certified in adult internal medicine.

About Physiocrines

Physiocrines are derived from aminoacyl tRNA synthetases, which have been known for decades to function intracellularly in protein synthesis. Overlooked by genomic discovery efforts, Physiocrinesare extracellular proteins that modulate signaling pathways in a variety of physiological processes. These endogenous human proteins act through a variety of receptor classes via mechanisms distinct from current pharmaceuticals, and have potential applications in a number of therapeutic areas ranging from hematology and immunology, to metabolism disorders.

About aTyr Pharma

aTyr Pharma develops biologic therapeutics based on Physiocrines and is currently focusing on developing products for hematologic, immune, and metabolic indications. aTyr has established a dominant intellectual property estate surrounding Physiocrine-based compositions and potential therapeutic applications. The company's lead program, Tmax, is in preclinical development. The privately held biotech was founded by Scripps Research Institute Professor Paul Schimmel, a leading aminoacyl tRNA synthetase scientist, and is backed by leading life sciences investors Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates and Polaris Ventures. For more information, please visit

SOURCE aTyr Pharma
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Janet Hammond Joins Roche as Vice President, Translational Medicine - Virology
2. AndroScience Corporation Awarded a $3.8 Million, 3-Year Milestone-Driven, Cooperative Translational Research Grant from the NIH to Develop an Oral Treatment for Spinal Bulbar Muscular Atrophy (Kennedys Disease)
3. Research Published in Science Translational Medicine Underscores Value of Depression Gene Therapy License Held by Neurologix
4. Childrens Hospital Boston and Particle Sciences Cooperate on Translational Medicine Efforts
5. Mike Burgess Named Head of Oncology Discovery Translational Area for Roches Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) Organization
6. The Epilepsy Research Foundation and Milken Family Foundation Announce Prestigious Translational Research Grants for Two Pioneering Epilepsy Therapies
7. CTMM Becomes One of the Worlds Largest Public-Private Partnerships in Translational Medical Research
8. Adlyfe Strikes Translational Medicine Partnership With Wyeth Pharmaceuticals for Alzheimers Biomarker Assay
9. Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Announces Start of Patient Enrolment in Translational Clinical Trial Investigating REOLYSIN(R) in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
10. Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces $11 Million in 2009 Funding for Translational, Pre-Clinical and Clinical Parkinsons Disease Research
11. Queens University Chooses Xceeds Ziplex(R) System for Translational Research
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... and PITTSBURGH , Dec. ... announced that it expects to be the first to ... funded by international donors, TLE400 (Tenofovir Disoproxyl Fumarate 300 ... for $99 per patient, per year. Mylan partnered with ... The significantly reduced price could generate savings of tens ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015  Six months of adjunctive metformin therapy ... 1 diabetes, according to new research from T1D Exchange ... may have a beneficial effect on measures of obesity, including ... of the Journal of the American Medical Association , ... effect of metformin on overweight and obese adolescents with type ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 ... of the "2016 Europe Enteric ... Coli, Enterovirus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus, Salmonella, Shigella, ... offering. --> ) ... "2016 Europe Enteric Disease Testing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Califia Farms , one of the ... bottle has won top honors in Beverage World Magazine’s Global Packaging Design Awards, taking ... it has been selected as a 2015 U.S.A. Taste Champion in the American Masters ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December ... the expansion of the company’s growing product line of food safety and seafood ... and Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) – allow InstantLabs to offer fast, reliable species identification ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ -- the world’s first ... Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. , MED-TAB is ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... is everything. That is why Hollister Incorporated has launched the VaPro Plus Pocket™ ... next product in the VaPro touch free catheter portfolio,” said Michael Gresavage, Vice ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... McLean, VA., December 1, 2015 - ... per sprint agile development contract to support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) IT ... software engineering, infrastructure, as well as operations and sustainment support to the NGA’s ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):