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aTyr Pharma to Present at ChinaBio(R) Investor Forum in Hong Kong

Dr. James Cai, President of Hong Kong-based subsidiary Pangu BioPharma to Speak

SAN DIEGO, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- aTyr Pharma, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of an entirely new class of natural protein therapeutics (biologics) for multiple disease indications, announced today that it will participate at the ChinaBio(R) Investor Forum in Hong Kong on 19 March 2009. Dr. James Cai, Senior Vice President of Clinical Development a aTyr Pharma and President of the Hong Kong based subsidiary Pangu BioPharma, will give an overview of aTyr's Discovery and Development program in the afternoon on Thursday, March 19th. The event will take place at the Hong Kong Science Park (

"aTyr Pharma and its Hong Kong subsidiary, Pangu BioPharma, are exactly the types of companies we seek out to present at our events," said Greg Scott, president and founder of ChinaBio LLC, organizer of the ChinaBio(R) Investor Forums. "aTyr's platform is strongly rooted in novel science, and Pangu is leveraging the best of China and Hong Kong through its research efforts here. We expect that aTyr will be very attractive to the over 50 VCs attending the Investor Forum."

aTyr has successfully raised Series A and Series B funds from leading U.S. based venture capital firms, including Alta Partners, Cardinal Partners and Polaris Venture Partners. In addition to supporting the company's continued platform discovery efforts, aTyr's management team is also preparing for preclinical development and Phase I studies for their first biologics drug candidate.

aTyr Pharma and Pangu BioPharma have a novel platform of naturally occurring protein fragments that can be developed into biologic agents for treating a wide variety of diseases. Capitalizing on the years of experience and discoveries made by founder Prof. Paul Schimmel, aTyr Pharma and Pangu BioPharma are identifying a broad platform of protein fragments derived from human aminoacyl tRNA synthetases. In his decades of research at MIT and now The Scripps Research Institute, Prof. Schimmel, has been a leader in discovering the many activities, roles and functions for this ancient class of enzymes and reported the first evidence that fragments and splice variants of these proteins have latent extracellular activities distinct from their intracellular roles in protein synthesis. With a wide variety of cell signaling activities, this class of unexplored peptides provides a reservoir of proteins with the potential to become blockbuster biotherapeutics ("Biologics").

Dr. Cai noted that "The ChinaBio Investors Forum provides a uniquely valuable platform for the leading biotech companies that are moving the China/Asia biotech community onto the global stage. It is a very motivating opportunity for me, helping investment groups identify the opportunity to share in the cutting edge of truly novel science while ultimately working towards better medicines for global patient populations."

About aTyr Pharma, Inc.

aTyr Pharma is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing a novel class of naturally occurring protein biologics for therapeutic application. aTyr's research facility is headquartered in San Diego, California, with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

SOURCE aTyr Pharma
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