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Professor Bruce Beutler Joins aTyr Pharma's Scientific Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- aTyr Pharma announced today that Bruce Beutler, M.D., Professor and Chairman of the Department of Genetics at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), has joined their scientific advisory board. An elected member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Beutler was awarded the 2009 Albany Medical Center Prize, one of the largest and most prestigious awards for medicine in the US, in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of the immune system and the translation of that research into therapies that have reduced suffering for millions of patients with inflammatory disease. Dr. Beutler is the inventor of Enbrel(R), the prototype for the most successful class of biotherapeutics ever developed: recombinant inhibitors of TNF that are used to treat inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

aTyr Pharma's discovery candidates for anti-inflammatory and other indications are based on a novel class of naturally occurring proteins, resectins of tRNA synthetases. Jeff Watkins, CEO of aTyr Pharma, explains the significance of Dr. Beutler's involvement with aTyr Pharma: "The tRNA synthetases play a fundamental role in protein synthesis, but tRNA synthetases in humans have resected forms ("resectins") which provide additional essential activities, such as cell signaling. aTyr Pharma has discovered proprietary resectins with anti-inflammatory activities. Dr. Beutler is the pre-eminent figure in inflammation research, and we hope to capitalize on his experience to develop these proteins as biotherapeutics for treatment of inflammatory diseases as quickly as possible."

Professor Paul Schimmel of TSRI and co-founder of aTyr Pharma adds, "I greatly admire the scientific advances Dr. Beutler has made with inflammation in humans and his ability to turn his discoveries into therapeutics that have had a significant impact on the improvement of human health. We are honored to have him on our scientific advisory board as we think he will make valuable contributions to the understanding and development of aTyr Pharma's novel class of therapeutic proteins."

Dr. Beutler received his undergraduate degree from University of California San Diego, his MD from the University of Chicago, and did his residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSMC), before going on to build his research career at the Rockefeller University, at UTSMC as a Howard Hughes investigator, and at TSRI. He has co-authored more than 300 papers that have been cited over 38,000 times by other scientists. Best known for his revolutionary studies on the genetics and molecular basis of inflammation and innate immunity, Dr. Beutler discovered the key role TNF plays in the inflammatory response.

About aTyr Pharma

aTyr Pharma, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery of an entirely new class of biologics. aTyr Pharma's discovery engine for new biotherapeutics consists of novel proteins in the family of tRNA synthetases with cell signaling activities distinct from the protein synthesis activities commonly associated with the tRNA synthetases. These proteins are being developed as novel therapeutics to treat cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.

SOURCE aTyr Pharma
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