Debra L. Ellies

OsteoGeneX Inc, USA

Debra L. Ellies founded in 2006 OsteoGeneX (OGX), which has successfully identified small molecules capable to build bone by disrupting sclerostin-LRP binding and is commercializing them for the treatment of osteoporosis and fracture repair. Dr. Ellies has spent over fifteen years on the Wnt pathway and eighteen years in craniofacial bone development (zebrafish, xenopus, and mouse). Debra’s M.S. research, under Dr. Marc Ekker (Ottawa, Canada), focused on developmental molecular neurobiology where she was involved in cloning dlx1, dlx5, dlx6, and msx-e homeobox genes from zebrafish and determining their role during craniofacial neural crest bone patterning. Ellies's Ph.D. studies, under Professor Andrew Lumsden at Guy’s Hospital, Kings College London, resulted in understanding the role of Wnt modulator sFRP during cranial neural crest patterning and found that apoptosis was necessary for a specific muscle attachment site on the avian jaw, lost in higher mammalian evolution. During Ellies's postdoctoral research in the Krumlauf lab, Stower’s Institute, USA, she discovered the role of wise (SOSTDC1) in bone and that sclerostin is bound to LRP5 & 6 to modulate the Wnt pathway. After identifying the mechanism of action for sclerostin and wise during bone formation, assays were developed to screen and identify blocking antibodies for sclerostin and wise. Currently, sclerostin blocking antibodies are in Human Phase II trials for osteoporosis and fracture repair. Dr. Ellies is the author of several international key scientific manuscripts in the area of signal transduction and has over a couple dozen patents. Ellies is a reviewer for the Center for Scientific Review (CSR/NIH) for her expertise in the orthopedic/bone diseases space.

Biography Updated on 30 December 2012

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