The word "Astra" is derived from the Sanskrit root "ast" which means "to throw" or "to cast." According to Hindu mythology, an "Astra" is a weapon that is invoked to accomplish a specific purpose. Immense knowledge and power are necessary to invoke Astra. The Astras were considered to be tremendously powerful and their properties and effects being tuned by the mantras (knowledge) associated with them.
At ASTRA Therapeutics, we are using our knowledge and power to bring anti-pathogen cures wherever they are needed.
Natacha Gaillard, PhD
Natacha is a Molecular Biologist and Biochemist with over 15 years of experience exploring the properties and characteristics of the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Prior to founding ASTRA Therapeutics, she was scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute and collected more than 10 years of track record in successfully leading, coordinating and working with multi-disciplinary teams, industrial partners and technology developers.
Ashwani Sharma, PhD
Ashwani is an experienced structural biologist with broad experience in the fields of microtubule cytoskeleton and parasitology. Prior to founding ASTRA Therapeutics he was a scientist at Paul Scherrer Institute where he pioneered anti-parasite drug discovery using cancer treatment's anti-mitotic compounds.
Business Development Leader
As a global Senior Marketing Executive Arthur has expertise in strategic marketing, driving top & bottom line growth and the execution of business plans for multi-national B2B corporations. Working in two Fortune 500 companies in Animal Health and Health-sciences he has developed understanding and skills in all aspects of "end to end marketing", the use of finance, strong communication and people leadership skills. In addition as global and regional business leader he has developed a broad understanding of working across cultures and geographies to be able to get the best for the businesses in which he is involved.
Business Development Leader
Dino Sozzi, PhD
Dino Sozzi is a Swiss Agronomist, with a PhD in Phytopathology from the ETH, the Swiss Federal University of Technology in Zurich. He started his career working for the ETH Zurich as a Research Assistant in 1976. He then joined the Agribusiness industry in 1979, covering different R&D and Commercial roles in crop protection, first in Ciba and then in Novartis and Syngenta. Having lived and worked in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, he has a broad understanding of agriculture in different economic and climatic environments.
Chief Financial Officer
Marshall Ungar serves as ASTRA Therapeutics’ CFO. He brings 20+ years of experience in finance, drug development and commercialization at large pharma (Genentech, Roche, Novartis), and has co-founded multiple venture-funded therapeutics startups as COO/CFO. He is a Director at Qnami AG, and holds degrees in Economics and Business from Stanford and Yale.
Our Journey So Far
Novartis FreeNovation Grant
Natacha and Ashwani were awarded the prestigious Novartis FreeNovation grant. The grant was specifically awarded to support their research in generating high-resolution structural data on tubulin and microtubules derived from Protozoan Pathogens.
Natacha and Ashwani were awarded the SNF Spark grant to probe their ideas on the role on host microtubule cytoskeleton in the process of pathogen invasion.