Our name comes from the Greek word for star, and at Astria, patients are the stars that guide our journey.
Their stories inspire us, their successes energize us, and their challenges give us purpose.
Our stars illuminate our work, creating an environment of transparency and openness that allows us to build trust with each other, our patient communities, shareholders, and all of our partners and collaborators.
We at Astria listen to the voices of HAE patient communities to better understand their unmet needs, which guide all that we do.
We are charting a new path for HAE patients – one that envisions an opportunity for a better quality of life with a long-acting preventative therapy that has meaningful efficacy with infrequent dosing. We are not stopping there. Our goal is to develop therapeutics that bring meaningful changes to patients’ lives by pushing the boundaries of what is currently perceived as the standard of care for rare and niche diseases in allergy and immunology.
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Our lead program, STAR-0215, is in preclinical development to treat Hereditary Angioedema (HAE), a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe, recurrent, unpredictable, painful, and sometimes life-threatening swelling in the face, limbs, abdomen, and airway.
We are developing STAR-0215 to be a long-acting monoclonal antibody inhibitor of plasma kallikrein.
can prevent HAE attacks by suppressing the pathway that generates bradykinin and causes excessive swelling.
We expect to file an Investigational New Drug application for STAR-0215 in mid-2022 and plan to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial with initial results anticipated by year end 2022.
We are working to reduce the treatment burden for people living with HAE, whose current options for preventative therapy require frequent administration (daily, or up to every 4 weeks). We believe we can do better with STAR-0215.
Our goal is to provide the most patient-friendly preventative treatment option for people living with HAE. We are driven to change the way patients and their families live with HAE by allowing them to focus their time and energy on what matters most to them.
Preclinical data support the potential for STAR-0215 to transform the way people live with HAE by providing long-acting, effective protection from attacks. STAR-0215 has demonstrated high potency for plasma kallikrein in an in vitro functional assay and exhibits a long plasma half-life in non-human primates.
These data support our plans to develop STAR-0215 as an innovative HAE treatment to protect people with HAE from attacks with dosing once every 3 months or longer.
Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by severe, recurrent, unpredictable, painful, and sometimes life-threatening swelling in the face, limbs, abdomen, and airway.
Approximately one in every 10,000 – 50,000 people are diagnosed with HAE; an estimated 8,000 people are diagnosed in the U.S. Most cases of HAE are caused by insufficient levels of functional C1-inhibitor, a protein that regulates plasma kallikrein, a critical mediator of bradykinin and edema.
On-demand treatments for HAE can help decrease the severity of an attack as it is occurring, and preventative treatments, taken chronically, can reduce the chance that an attack will occur. However, substantial need remains for effective treatment options with less burdensome administration.
With STAR-0215, our goal is to provide an effective preventative treatment, dosed once every 3 months or longer, to decrease the burden of disease and the burden of treatment for people with HAE.
Our passion for scientific discovery and innovation is driven by the compassion that we feel for the patient communities that we serve. At Astria, our guiding star is to benefit our patients, address their pain points, and improve their quality of life. Our compassion for patients also brings with it a natural sense of urgency, agility, and operational efficiency in all that we do.
Jill C. Milne, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Noah Clauser, CPA
Chief Financial OfficerRead Bio >
Andrew A. Komjathy
Chief Commercial OfficerRead Bio >
Andrew Nichols, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific OfficerRead Bio >
Ben Harshbarger, J.D.
Chief Legal OfficerRead Bio >
Senior Vice President,
Senior Vice President,
Jill C. Milne, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Jill C. Milne, Ph.D., is co-founder of our company and has served as a member of our board of directors and as our President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2008. Prior to co-founding our company, Dr. Milne worked as head of discovery biology at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company, from 2004 to 2008, when it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Milne worked at Pfizer Global Research and Development, where she served as the worldwide head of the Drug Pfinder Program and head of the Enzyme Target Group at the Pfizer Discovery Technology Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Pfizer, she was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in the department of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School from 1995 to 1998. Dr. Milne holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a B.A. in biological chemistry from Wellesley College.
Noah Clauser, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Noah Clauser has served as our Chief Financial Officer since September 2020. Previously, he served as our Vice President, Finance leading our finance and operations functions since August 2017. Mr. Clauser served as our Senior Director, Finance and Controller from January 2016 to July 2017, and as Controller from April 2011 to December 2015. Prior to joining Astria (formerly Catabasis), Mr. Clauser was at Impress Software, an enterprise software company, where he served as Accounting Manager from 2005 to 2009. Mr. Clauser is a licensed CPA in Massachusetts and holds an M.S. in Accounting and a B.S. in Management from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Andrew A. Komjathy
Chief Commercial Officer
Andrew A. Komjathy has served as our Chief Commercial Officer since September 2019. Previously, Mr. Komjathy was the Vice President, Commercial Sales at Alkermes, Inc., a publicly held pharmaceutical company, from May 2014 to November 2018. From 2012 to 2014, he was the Vice President, Sales for the U.S. Multiple Sclerosis Business Unit at Genzyme, a publicly held pharmaceutical company. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Komjathy held three Vice President positions at Shire Human Genetic Therapies, initially as Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Operations in the North American and Asia-Pacific regions, followed by Vice President, Global Franchise Leader for Fabry/Gaucher in Switzerland, and ultimately as Vice President, Commercial Operations. From 1996 to 2005, Mr. Komjathy held positions of increasing responsibility at Biogen. Mr. Komjathy holds an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business and his B.S. in Business Administration from Bucknell University.
Andrew Nichols, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Andrew Nichols, Ph.D., has served as our Chief Scientific Officer since October 2016. Previously, he served as our Senior Vice President, Research and Development from February 2014 to October 2016. From October 2013 to February 2014, Dr. Nichols was Associate Vice President, Cardiometabolic Diseases at Merck Research Labs, a pharmaceutical research company, leading drug discovery and early clinical development programs. Dr. Nichols was also Associate Vice President/Executive Director, In Vivo Pharmacology at Merck Research Labs from August 2010 to October 2013, and Executive Director, In Vivo Sciences at Merck Research Labs from August 2009 to August 2010. Prior to Merck, Dr. Nichols was Vice President of Preclinical Research at Zafgen, Vice President of Research at Alinea, Vice President of Drug Discovery Project Leadership at Millennium and Director of the Alliance Management Group at SmithKline Beecham. He holds an M. Phil. and Ph.D. in Cardiovascular Pharmacology from the University of Cambridge, England and a B.Sc. in Pharmacology from the University of Leeds, England.
Ben Harshbarger, J.D.
Chief Legal Officer
Ben Harshbarger has served as Chief Legal Officer since June 2021. Previously he served as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel since June 2020. Prior to joining Astria (formerly Catabasis), Mr. Harshbarger served as Interim Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel at Novelion Therapeutics Inc. from November 2018 to December 2019. Mr. Harshbarger was General Counsel of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and subsequently Novelion Therapeutics (following the merger of Aegerion and Novelion) from August 2016 to November 2018, and Acting General Counsel of Aegerion Pharmaceuticals from September 2015 to July 2016. Prior to these roles, he served as the Vice President, EMEA Legal Counsel and the Vice President, Deputy General Counsel at Aegerion from 2012 to 2015, and also served in senior legal roles at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Biogen, Inc.. Mr. Harshbarger received his J.D. from Boston College Law School, and his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Richmond.
Senior Vice President,
Andrea Matthews has served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs since October 2020, leading the investor relations, corporate communications, patient advocacy, corporate strategy, and business development functions. Previously, she served as Vice President, Corporate Affairs since August 2017, as Executive Director, Corporate Affairs since November 2015, and as Senior Director, Operations and Corporate Development from July 2014 to October 2015. Prior to joining Astria (formerly Catabasis), Ms. Matthews served as Vice President, Operations and Alliance Management/Commercial Operations at Selventa (formerly Genstruct), a biomarker discovery company that collaborated with pharmaceutical and consumer product companies, from February 2010 to July 2014 and as Director, Alliance Management from February 2009 to February 2010. From 2003 to 2009, Ms. Matthews held a series of roles with increasing responsibilities at Genstruct, leading to several managerial positions. Ms. Matthews holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management and a B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University.
Senior Vice President,
Keri McGrail has served as Senior Vice President, Human Resources at Astria (formerly Catabasis) since March 2021. Previously, she worked as an HR Consultant for biotechnology companies, including Catabasis, from September 2014 to March 2021. From December 2009 to August 2014, Ms. McGrail served as Director, Human Resources at Takeda Pharmaceuticals (formerly Millennium Pharmaceuticals). Prior to Takeda, she spent more than 11 years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals in a series of roles with increasing responsibilities from 1998 to 2009. Ms. McGrail holds a B.A. in Communications from UC Santa Barbara.
Kenneth Bate has served as a member of our Board of Directors since January 2014, as Co-Chair from February 2016 to February 2019, and as Chair since February 2019. Mr. Bate has served as an independent consultant in the biotechnology field since 2012. From April 2009 until December 2011, Mr. Bate was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix, a privately held biotechnology company. From March 2006 to April 2009, Mr. Bate served in various positions at NitroMed, a public pharmaceutical company, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer. From 2002 to January 2005, Mr. Bate was head of commercial operations and Chief Financial Officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Millennium, Mr. Bate co-founded JSB-Partners, LLC., a banking and advisory services firm for biopharmaceutical and life sciences companies. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Bate was employed with Biogen, Inc., a public biotechnology company, first as Chief Financial Officer and then as head of the commercial organization. Mr. Bate is a director of four other public biopharmaceutical companies, AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Genocea Biosciences, Epizyme Pharmaceuticals, and Madrigal Pharmaceuticals. He holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in chemistry from Williams College.
Joanne T. Beck, Ph.D.
Chief Operating Officer, Boston Pharmaceuticals
Joanne T. Beck, Ph.D. has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2019. Dr. Beck is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Boston Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company, a position in which she has served since December 2019. From April 2016 to December 2019, Dr. Beck was the Executive Vice President of Global Pharmaceutical Development and Operations at Celgene Corporation, a publicly held biopharmaceutical company. From 2012 to March 2016, Dr. Beck was Senior Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development at Shire Plc, a former publicly held biopharmaceutical company. Prior to Shire, she held positions of increasing responsibility in Global Pharmaceutical Operations at Abbott Laboratories, a publicly held pharmaceuticals and healthcare products company, and was the site head of Abbott Vascular Instruments GmbH. Prior to Abbott, Dr. Beck held positions in Process Development at both Genentech and Amgen. Dr. Beck currently serves as a member of the board of directors of public biopharmaceutical company Orchard Therapeutics. Dr. Beck holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Oregon Health and Science University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Beck also holds a BA in Chemistry from Lewis and Clark College.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Xontogeny; Perceptive Advisors
Fred Callori has served as a member of our Board of Directors since January 2021. Since September 2017, Mr. Callori has served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Xontogeny, LLC, life sciences accelerator. Mr. Callori has also served as a partner in the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund since December 2019. Prior to Xontogeny and Perceptive, from 1998 to August 2017, Mr. Callori was a Partner in the Life Science and Emerging Companies practices of Choate, Hall & Stewart, LLP. Mr. Callori holds a J.D. from Boston University School of Law and a B.A. in Economics from Binghamton University.
Hugh M. Cole
Chief Business Officer and Head Of Corporate Development, Jounce Therapeutics
Chief Business Officer and Head of Corporate Development at Jounce Therapeutics, a publicly held biotechnology company, a position in which he has served since August 2017. From 2014 to 2017, Mr. Cole was the Chief Business Officer at ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, a publicly held pharmaceutical company. Prior to ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Shire Pharmaceuticals, most recently as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Program Management from 2012 to 2014, Global Franchise Leader from 2009 to 2012, and head of Business Development for Shire’s rare disease business from 2007 to 2009. Prior to Shire, Mr. Cole held various positions in Business Development at Oscient Pharmaceuticals and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Cole holds an A.B. in Chemistry from Harvard University and an M.B.A. in Health Care Management and Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Michael D. Kishbauch
Michael D. Kishbauch has served as a member of our Board of Directors since April 2016. Mr. Kishbauch previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals from July 2004 until his retirement in September 2013. Prior to that, he founded and, from 1996 to 2004, served as President and Chief Executive Officer of OraPharma, a commercial-stage pharmaceutical company focused on oral health care that was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2003. Mr. Kishbauch also held senior management positions with MedImmune, Inc., a biotechnology company, from 1992 to 1995. Mr. Kishbauch formerly served as a director of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company, from July 2004 to January 2020, Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2013 to 2019, and TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation from 2014 to 2016. Mr. Kishbauch holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in biology from Wesleyan University.
Chief Executive Officer, Cerium Pharmaceuticals
Gregg Lapointe has served as a member of our Board of Directors since January 2019. Since 2012, Mr. Lapointe has served as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cerium Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biopharmaceutical company. He previously held varying roles at Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, from 2001 through 2012, including Chief Operating Officer from 2003 to 2008 and Chief Executive Officer from 2008 to 2012. From 1996 to 2001, Mr. Lapointe served as Vice President of Operations and Vice President, Controller of AstenJohnson, Inc. (formerly JWI Inc.). Mr. Lapointe began his career at Price Waterhouse and is a Certified Public Accountant. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of two other public biopharmaceutical companies: Soligenix, Inc. and Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. During the last five years, Mr. Lapointe served as a member of the Board of Directors of public biotechnology companies Plus Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly known as Cytori Therapeutics, Inc.), SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Inc. He holds an MBA from Duke University, is a Certified Public Accountant, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University.
Jill C. Milne, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Jill Milne, Ph.D. is a co-founder of our company and has served as a member of our board of directors and as our President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2008. Prior to co-founding our company, Dr. Milne worked as head of discovery biology at Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company, from 2004 to 2008, when it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline. From 1998 to 2004, Dr. Milne worked at Pfizer Global Research and Development, where she served as the worldwide head of the Drug Pfinder Program and head of the Enzyme Target Group at the Pfizer Discovery Technology Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Pfizer, she was an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow in the department of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School from 1995 to 1998. Dr. Milne holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and a B.A. in biological chemistry from Wellesley College.
Jonathan Violin, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Viridian Therapeutics
Jonathan Violin has served as a member of our Board of Directors since January 2021. Dr. Violin is a co-founder of Quellis Biosciences, Inc. (“Quellis”), and was its Treasurer and Secretary since December 2018 until our acquisition of Quellis in January 2021, and served as President of Quellis from December 2018 to December 2020. Dr. Violin has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Viridian Therapeutics, Inc. (formerly Miragen Therapeutics, Inc.), a publicly traded biotechnology company, since January 2021, and was previously President and Chief Operating Officer of Viridian, from October 2020 until January 2021. Dr. Violin also co-founded Dianthus Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company, in May 2019, and co-founded and helped lead Trevana Inc., a biotechnology company, in various roles from 2008 until November 2018, most recently as Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Investor Relations Officer. Dr. Violin holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Sector Management from the Fuqua School of Business, and a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemical Pharmacology from Duke University.
We are seeking talented team members who are committed to our mission of bringing hope with life-changing therapies to patients and their families.
The values we hold true to us are:
We understand that the best work is performed by those who are engaged in their job, and we foster an environment that is supportive, hard-working, and fun.
If you are interested in exploring employment opportunities at Astria, please send your cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer.
100 High Street, 28th Floor | Boston, MA 02110 | P: 617-349-1971 | F: 617-273-2637