|April 18, 2007|
aTyr Pharma Completes $10.5M Series B Round
Proven Team Developing Naturally Occurring Protein Biologics for Human Therapeutics
San Diego, CA, April 18, 2007 - aTyr Pharma, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing a novel class of naturally occurring protein biologics for human therapeutics, today announced the closing of its $10.5 million Series B financing. Co-led by Alta Partners (San Francisco) and Polaris Venture Partners (Boston), the financing also included Imagene (Seoul) and Cardinal Partners (Princeton), aTyr's founding institutional investor. David Mack, Ph.D., Director at Alta Partners and Amir Nashat, Ph.D., Principal at Polaris Venture Partners joined aTyr's board of directors in connection with the financing. The capital is supporting internal research and development efforts, as well as expanding the company's management and operations.
Founded by Paul Schimmel Ph.D., Professor at The Scripps Research Institute, John Clarke of Cardinal Partners, and colleagues, aTyr is targeting a family of cellular proteins that have demonstrated therapeutic potential. "aTyr presents a rich opportunity to identify and develop new protein biologics with the potential to address numerous pathogenic processes," said Dr. Schimmel. "I am pleased to have such a strong and familiar investor syndicate in Alta Partners, Cardinal Health Partners and Polaris - three firms that have built successful companies with me in the past, and to be able to work with Joon Kim, CEO of Imagene and Sunghoon Kim, Professor at Seoul National University." A recognized scientist and entrepreneur, Dr. Schimmel is co-founder or founding director of six publicly traded biotechnology companies, including Alnylam, Alkermes, Avicena Group, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Momenta Pharmaceuticals, and Repligen Corporations.
Since the closing of the Series B financing the Company has established operations in San Diego, CA and has hired Christina A. Waters, Ph.D., as President and COO. "We have an exciting opportunity to make advances in a new area of biologics and translate our findings to best or first in class medicines that will improve patient lives," said Dr. Waters. "The inherent characteristics of these proteins enable us to build off of normal biologic processes, strengthening our ability to create effective, novel and natural therapeutics." Prior to joining aTyr, Dr. Waters was the Director of Scientific Development at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, where she designed and managed research and preclinical drug discovery development.