REDWOOD CITY, Calif., October 9, 2023 – Ashvattha Therapeutics (“Ashvattha”), a clinical-stage company advancing a new class of nanomedicine therapeutics that traverse tissue barriers to selectively target activated cells in regions of inflammation, today announced the appointment of Sakura Minami, Ph.D., as Vice President of Translational Medicine and Nonclinical Development and Sarah Thayer as Head of Clinical Operations.
Dr. Minami will be responsible for driving the preclinical evaluation of our product candidates targeting activated macrophages and microglia for the treatment of a broad set of systemic and neuro-inflammatory disorders, and for translating these findings into the clinical setting. Ms. Thayer will be responsible for the management of our ongoing clinical studies including a Phase 2 trial evaluating D-4517.2, a systemically administered anti-angiogenic therapeutic, in patients with wet AMD and DME, and a Phase 1/2 trial evaluating our OP-801 imaging agent in neuro-inflammatory disorders beginning with ALS patients.
“We are pleased to welcome Sakura and Sarah to our team as we advance our nanomedicine candidates in ongoing clinical trials targeting important unmet medical needs and expand our pipeline based on preclinical evaluations across a range of inflammatory conditions,” said Jeff Cleland, Ph.D., CEO, co-founder, and Chairman of Ashvattha Therapeutics. “The first half of 2024 will be an exciting period for Ashvattha with readouts expected from both clinical trials, and additional nanomedicines advancing into IND-enabling studies. We look forward to Sakura and Sarah making important contributions to these efforts.”
Dr. Minami has more than 16 years of experience driving cutting-edge research in the field of neuroscience including eight years of industry experience leading translational research teams targeting neurological, ophthalmological, and inflammatory disease areas. She previously served as Senior Director – Research, Nonclinical Development, and Translational Medicine at Alkahest Inc. (Grifols), a biopharmaceutical company that had preclinical and clinical programs in neurology, ophthalmology, and dermatology/immunological diseases. Dr. Minami received her B.S. in biological sciences from The University of California Irvine, Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgetown University, and was a post-doctoral fellow and research scientist at the J. David Gladstone Institutes.
Ms. Thayer has more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience in clinical development operations across various therapeutic areas from Phase 1 through Phase 3. She previously served as Vice President, Head of Clinical Operations at Recode Therapeutics where she established the clinical operations function at the company. Prior to Recode, she led clinical operations at Global Blood Therapeutics (Pfizer), StemCells Inc, FivePrime Therapeutics (Amgen), CV Therapeutics (Gilead), Titan Pharmaceuticals and Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems. Ms. Thayer earned her B.S. in molecular, cellular, development biology from The University of Colorado Boulder and completed an undergraduate research fellowship at the Laboratory of Host Defenses, NIAD.
About Ashvattha Therapeutics
Ashvattha Therapeutics is advancing a new class of clinical-stage nanomedicine therapeutics that traverse tissue barriers to selectively target activated cells only in regions of inflammation. Our targeted nanomedicine approach seeks to redefine precision medicine, empowering a new standard of care across ophthalmology, neurology, and inflammation. For more information, visit: www.avttx.com