FARMINGTON, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Azitra, Inc., a clinical-stage medical dermatology company addressing adverse skin conditions by harnessing the microbiome, today announced the appointment of two distinguished scientists to expand the technical team and lead the expansion of its development programs. Travis Whitfill, co-founder, will continue to serve as Chief Scientific Officer.
- Trudy H. Grossman, Ph.D., will serve as Vice President of Research;
- Roger Léger, Ph.D., will become Vice President of Chemistry, Formulation and Development.
“Dr. Grossman has extensive research experience in bacterial genetics, microbiology and molecular biology, and has led several drug discovery and preclinical programs, supporting the clinical development of novel drug candidates. Dr. Léger is a medicinal chemist with 25 years of biopharmaceutical experience in companies at a variety of stages of growth. Together they bring a broad spectrum of skills and expertise that span the drug development process,” said Richard Andrews, MS, President and CEO of Azitra.
“Their expertise in microbiology, formulation and the biological products will, in particular, help grow the Azitra pipeline as we harness the body’s safe, commensal skin bacteria to promote skin immunity, repair and antimicrobial defense,” Mr. Andrews added.
Dr. Grossman joins Azitra from Melinta Therapeutics, where she was Senior Director of Biology and Pharmacology. Previously, she held leadership positions at TetraPhase Pharmaceuticals and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Grossman began her career at Procept, Inc., where she managed a fermentation laboratory and developed new recombinant protein production strategies in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Biology and Molecular Genetics from Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
“Azitra is pioneering the innovative use of microbiome products to treat skin disease. I look forward playing a major role in building a world-class team and helping demonstrate the extraordinary promise of microbiome technology in medical dermatology,” said Dr. Grossman.
Prior to joining Azitra, Dr. Léger was Senior Director Chemistry and CMC at Thrasos Therapeutics, where he oversaw discovery research operations as well as manufacturing and clinical supply. He also previously served as VP Research at Indel Therapeutics Inc. and as VP R&D Chemistry and Co-founder at Ulysses Pharmaceuticals, as well as Director of Medicinal Chemistry at ConjuChem Inc., where he led discovery chemistry in protein therapeutics to treat multiple ailments including diabetes, obesity, cancer and infectious diseases. Dr. Léger earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Montreal and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Geneva Switzerland and at Columbia University.
Dr. Léger commented, “It will be a great pleasure working with the Azitra team to progress its microbiome products through the clinic. Our core technology based on extraordinary understanding of skin disease and its relation to the microbiome combined with specialty formulations and world-class manufacturing offers truly exciting potential.”
As part of his role, Dr. Léger will oversee the establishment of a new research laboratory in Laval, Canada. The lab will be located at the Centre Québécois d'Innovation en Biotechnologie (CQIB).
Azitra, Inc. is a clinical-stage medical dermatology company that combines the power of the microbiome with cutting-edge genetic engineering to treat skin disease. The company was founded in 2014 by scientists from Yale University and works with world-leading scientists in dermatology, microbiology, and genetic engineering to advance its pharmaceutical programs to treat cancer therapy associated skin rashes, targeted orphan indications and atopic dermatitis. For more information visit http://www.azitrainc.com.