Vice President, Chemistry, Protagonist Therapeutics
PTG-100, a potential first-in-class oral peptide antagonist of α4β7 integrin, is being developed for the treatment of patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Protagonist’s oral peptide technology platform was utilized to discover PTG-100 as a potent, selective, and orally stable peptide that alters trafficking of gut homing T cells in animal models of colitis. Target engagement was assessed in the peripheral blood of colitis and healthy mice, and translated to the demonstration of pharmacodynamic proof-of-concept in a Phase 1 trial with normal healthy volunteers. We initiated a Phase 2b clinical trial in patients with active ulcerative colitis. The discovery process and Phase 1 clinical results of PTG-100 will be discussed.
Dr. Ashok Bhandari is Vice President and Head of Chemistry at Protagonist. He has over 20 years of experience in the biotech industry and brings a unique blend of expertise in Peptide, Medicinal and Combinatorial Chemistry. His current research interests are discovery and clinical development of orally stable peptides and CMC. Prior to joining Protagonist, Dr. Bhandari worked at Affymax for 14 years and past several years, he worked on variety of peptide drug discovery, preclinical and early clinical development programs on targets of protein-protein interactions. Dr. Bhandari has broader knowledge and expertise in peptide drug lead optimizations leading to new chemical entities especially with orally stable peptides. He did his Postdoctoral research at University of Santa Barbara, California and he received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India. He has over 40 publications and several patents to his credi