SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sutro Biopharma, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel and biosuperior protein therapeutics with improved pharmaceutical properties, today announced that it has appointed James A. Wells, Ph.D., and James R. Swartz, Sc.D., to its newly formed scientific advisory board (SAB). Prof. Wells will serve as Chairman of the SAB.
"We have brought together two leading scientific experts in the field of protein engineering to provide valuable insight and perspective as we advance Sutro's therapeutic pipeline and expand Sutro's collaborative work," said William Newell, chief executive officer of Sutro Biopharma. "Prof. Wells brings a depth of expertise in protein engineering that will be indispensable for our continued innovation and growth. Prof. Swartz is a leading expert in the field of cell-free protein synthesis, and Sutro's biochemical protein synthesis technology platform is based on his research."
Prof. Wells is Harry Wm. and Diana V. Hind Professor in pharmaceutical sciences and director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). His research focuses on the design of proteins and small molecules that trigger cellular processes in order to better understand and treat cancer and inflammation. Prof. Wells has over 20 years of industry experience, having founded Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, where he served as president and chief scientific officer. He was previously a founding scientist in Genentech's Department of Protein Engineering. He received his undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from Washington State University. Prof. Wells authored and co-authored numerous scientific publications.
"Sutro's technology has the ability to incorporate non-natural amino acids in every possible position and rapidly test these proteins," said Prof. Wells. "This is a novel protein engineering technology with unlimited potential which may ultimately define how drugs are developed in the future, and I am looking forward to working closely with Sutro's management as a scientific advisor."
Prof. Swartz, a leading expert in the field of cell-free protein synthesis, is a director and founder of Sutro Biopharma. He holds the James H. Clark Professorship in the School of Engineering at Stanford University and is a professor in the departments of bioengineering and chemical engineering. Prof. Swartz is a member of the National Academy of Engineering with over twenty years of industrial experience at Eli Lilly and Genentech prior to joining Stanford in 1998. He received his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and his graduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Swartz is an author and a co-author on numerous scientific publications dealing with protein expression and advancement of cell-free protein production technology.
"I am delighted to expand my involvement with Sutro through the appointment as scientific advisor," said Prof. Swartz. "Sutro has made tremendous progress within the past year, and the scientific advisory board will be tasked with helping to guide Sutro's management as they work to expand the company's proprietary pipeline as well as the projects with current and new partners."
About Sutro Biopharma
Sutro Biopharma, located in South San Francisco, is developing a new generation of multi-functional antibody drug conjugate combination therapeutics and bifunctional antibody-based therapeutics for targeted cancer therapies. These therapeutics will significantly extend the clinical impact of current oncology therapeutic approaches, and are beyond what can be envisioned with current (cell-based) expression technologies. Sutro's biochemical synthesis technology, which underpins these therapeutics, allows the rapid and systematic exploration of many protein drug variants to identify drug candidates. Our make-test cycle for hundreds of protein variants, including those incorporating non-natural amino acids, takes approximately two weeks. Once identified, production of these protein drug candidates can be rapidly and predictably scaled up to commercial levels. In addition to developing its own drug pipeline, Sutro Biopharma is collaborating with select pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the discovery and development of novel protein therapeutics.
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SOURCE Sutro Biopharma