Dr. Watkins has 15 years biotechnology experience, focused predominantly on the development of biologics as therapeutics. Most recently, he was Chief Scientific Officer of Applied Molecular Evolution (AME), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Company following acquisition of the company in 2004. Leadership roles at AME included involvement on at least 15 biological candidates that reached clinical trials. Dr. Watkins received a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Northwestern University and holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University. He completed his post-doctoral research at Purdue University and The Scripps Research Institute, where he was a recipient of a National Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Physiocrines are derived from aminoacyl tRNA synthetases, which have been known for decades to function intracellularly in protein synthesis. Overlooked by genomic discovery efforts, Physiocrines are 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 http://www.atyrpharma.com.