aTyr Pharma, an innovative rare disease therapeutics enterprise, has announced that John C. McKew, Ph.D., has joined the company as vice president, research. McKew brings more than two decades of experience in translational research, including key leadership positions at the NIH, Wyeth Research and Genetics Institute (prior to its acquisition by Wyeth). McKew will lead aTyr's efforts to expand and translate its novel Physiocrine biology into meaningful therapeutics to treat rare, grave immune-driven disorders.
"John's team at NIH worked collaboratively with biotech and academic scientists on more than thirty rare disease programs, forging new paths to bring promising preclinical therapeutic ideas into the clinical research setting. His experience across diverse therapeutic areas fits perfectly with our mission to tap Physiocrine biology as a new source of meaningful medicines with the potential to treat a broad spectrum of rare diseases," said John Mendlein, Ph.D., CEO and executive chairman of aTyr Pharma.
McKew most recently was the acting scientific director of the division of preclinical innovation at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) within the NIH. His responsibilities included developing both the therapeutics for rare and neglected disease and the bridging interventional development Gaps programs. Both programs focus on novel public/private partnerships to advance drug discovery projects through preclinical development into early clinical development.
Previously, McKew held a director level position at Wyeth Research in Cambridge, Mass. At Wyeth Research he led a variety of research initiatives, including a hit-to-lead chemistry group which supported cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and metabolic disease therapeutic areas. Prior to Wyeth Research, he was employed by Genetics Institute, where he worked on translating novel inflammation targets into clinical candidates.