SAN DIEGO, August 14, 2017 — Synthorx Inc., a biotechnology company using synthetic biology to discover and develop novel protein therapeutics, announced today the appointment of Marcos Milla, Ph.D. as senior vice president of research.
“Marcos is an innovative drug hunter with a broad expertise across multiple disease and research areas, which has led to inspired breakthrough discoveries and unprecedented success in lead series drug discovery,” said Jay Lichter, Ph.D., chairman and interim president and CEO of Synthorx. “In addition to his drug discovery experience, Marcos is a collaborative leader that will help Synthorx identify the most impactful opportunities to discover and develop important new therapeutics with our expanded genetic alphabet technology.”
“When I first learned about the breakthrough research behind Synthorx’s expanded genetic alphabet platform, I thought the technology had tremendous potential in drug discovery. Using Synthorx’s technology to precisely add new functionalities to biologic therapeutics could greatly improve drug and pharmacological properties,” said Dr. Milla. “I am also thrilled to join the talented team at Synthorx as we focus on making significant advancements in protein design to deliver highly-targeted therapeutic modulation in many disease areas, such as immuno-oncology, autoimmune and metabolic diseases, and pain.”
Dr. Milla’s expertise in drug discovery spans across the areas of autoimmunity and inflammation, neurosciences and pain, and immuno-oncology. He has held industry and academic appointments at GlaxoSmithKline, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Roche Palo Alto, Janssen Research & Development, and, most recently, Adaptive Biotechnologies.
He has previously directed efforts focusing on multiple intracellular and extracellular target classes, including cell surface and nuclear receptors, ion channels, kinases and proteinases. His work led to the discovery of a break-through series of small molecule modulators of cytokine-receptor interactions. He also explored novel ways of holistically reading pharmacological responses employing high content imaging and gene expression readouts.
Dr. Milla graduated with a B.S. degree from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru and a Ph.D. degree in cell and molecular biology from Saint Louis University. He did his postdoctoral training at MIT as a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow, and at Duke University.
Synthorx Inc. is a biotechnology company using synthetic biology to discover and develop novel protein therapeutics. Synthorx’s expanded genetic alphabet platform has the unique ability to drive the site-specific incorporation of multiple synthetic amino acids into proteins of any size, from small peptides to large biologics, and to manufacture these improved proteins at scale. Synthorx’s unique platform expands the chemical and structural repertoire of protein therapeutics and uncovers new ways to modulate pharmacological properties of biologics, not possible with other technologies. Synthorx is working internally and in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies toward the design and discovery of first-in-class drugs for a variety of therapeutic areas. Synthorx’s investors include RA Capital Management, Avalon Ventures, and Correlation Ventures. The company was founded based on important discoveries in Dr. Floyd Romesberg’s lab at The Scripps Research Institute. The company is headquartered in La Jolla, Calif.