aTyr Pharma Completes $49 Million Oversubscribed Financing to Advance Rare Autoimmune Disease Therapeutic Pipeline from a Newly Discovered Class of Proteins, Physiocrines
SAN DIEGO – July 29, 2013 – aTyr Pharma, an innovative protein therapeutics enterprise focused on rare diseases, announced today the successful completion of a $49 million financing. A premier, global public investment fund joined existing investors Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates and Polaris Partners in the equity financing. The financing supports the clinical development of aTyr's first therapeutic program to treat rare autoimmune diseases and a rare disease pipeline in immune disorders.
"Our focus on new biology in immunology rapidly translated into development of protein therapeutics to treat essentially untreatable, grave immune disorders. Our existing and new investors recognized the promise in a new class of proteins, Physiocrines, to treat many different types of disease with proteins made by the human body to orchestrate our immune system," said John Mendlein, Ph.D., CEO and executive chairman of aTyr Pharma. "Our emerging pipeline in immunomodulation represents an industry unique opportunity to therapeutically intervene via the basic mechanisms of innate and adaptive immunity in a way never enabled before. The aTyr team believes these mechanisms will benefit patients with grave outcomes in ways that antibody and small molecule approaches can not because Physiocrines evolved to naturally balance the immune system to resolve inflammation rather than being a designed inhibitor of pro-inflammatory pathways."
Physiocrines act as extracellular signaling molecules to orchestrate cellular homeostasis in response to stress. Physiocrines are naturally occurring proteins derived from tRNA synthetases that play fundamental roles in the function of human physiology and the resolution of inflammation. As potent endogenous modulators of inflammation, Physiocrines offer the opportunity for modulating biological pathways through new naturally occurring mechanisms, many of which have multiple therapeutic advantages, including improved selectivity, efficacy and reduced side effect profiles compared to many existing anti-inflammatory therapeutics.
About aTyr Pharma
aTyr Therapeutics plans to build a pipeline of innovative therapeutic products based on Physiocrine biology. aTyr has established a dominant intellectual property estate to protect the core therapeutics as well as associated diagnostics. aTyr's key programs are currently focused on rare immunomodulation disorders in the areas of inflammation and auto-immunity. These diseases are serious potentially life threatening autoimmune conditions, for which there are currently no effective, safe, long-term treatments. The privately held biotech was founded by The Scripps Research Institute Professor Paul Schimmel, a leading aminoacyl tRNA synthetase scientist, and is backed by top life sciences investors Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners, Domain Associates and Polaris Partners. For more information, please visit http://www.atyrpharma.com.