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Press Release

aTyr Pharma Appoints Industry Veteran in Novel Biology Biologics, David J. King, PhD, as Senior Vice President, Research

aTyr Pharma
Posted on: 23 Sep 16

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- aTyr Pharma, Inc. (LIFE), today announced that David J. King, PhD, has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Research. Dr. King will lead aTyr's research and preclinical efforts to advance its Physiocrine biology and support the clinical development of meaningful medicines that target immune and tissue homeostatic pathways for patients with various severe and rare diseases.

"Dr. King is uniquely qualified to help us execute on our mission to bring Physiocrine-based therapeutic candidates to patients with severe and rare diseases," said John Mendlein, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of aTyr Pharma. "Few scientists in the industry possess David's experience in the successful development of biologic based drugs. He is a seasoned executive-scientist and a veteran of several successful biotech companies, where he has played a key role in developing multiple innovative and clinically meaningful commercial products in immunology and oncology, including Opdivo® (PD-1 pathway), Cimzia® (TNF pathway) and Mylotarg®. We believe David will play a critical role in further elucidating the therapeutic applications of Physiocrine biology as we continue to advance our broader pipeline."

"aTyr's identification of novel immune and fibrotic pathways represents an entirely new set of therapeutic intervention points, including agonists, such as our lead candidate Resolaris™, or potentially novel antagonists to other Physiocrine pathways," said Dr. King. "This promising organization is led by a highly talented and passionate team dedicated to a common mission of developing innovative medicines for severely afflicted patients. I am excited to support the development of the rapidly-progressing Resolaris program in rare myopathies with an immune component and the iMod.Fc program in pulmonary diseases with an immune and/or fibrotic component. aTyr represents a unique opportunity to bring forward the potential of Physiocrine pathways to new therapies in a broad range of severe diseases for patients that currently have limited treatment options."

Dr. King's industry experience is highlighted by his tenures at Medarex, Inc. (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2009) and Celltech Therapeutics Ltd. (acquired by UCB in 2004). At Medarex, he led programs to identify therapeutic antibodies and played a key role in programs targeting novel biologics (including PD-1), and at Celltech, he directed the protein biochemistry and antibody engineering activities that led to the discovery and development of Cimzia. After Medarex, Dr. King served as Chief Scientific Officer at AnaptysBio, Inc. where he led research that developed a novel technology for generating antibody therapeutics, which was successfully used to generate innovative clinical candidates for a number of pharmaceutical partnerships and for internal development. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Research at Tunitas Therapeutics, where he led the company's research and preclinical activities. Dr. King received his B.S. from the University of Warwick and his Ph.D. from the University of Surrey, both in the United Kingdom, and was a Glaxo Group Research postdoctoral fellow.

In connection with Dr. King's appointment, the Company granted Dr. King an option to purchase 145,000 shares of the Company's Common Stock with an exercise price of $3.29 per share, the closing price per share of the Company's common stock as reported by NASDAQ on September 21, 2016, the effective date of the grant and the start date of Dr. King's employment. The option is a non-qualified stock option and vests over a period of four years, with 25% vesting on the one year anniversary of the grant date and the remaining 75% vesting on a monthly basis over three years, subject to Dr. King's continuous employment through each vesting date. This award was granted as an inducement material to Dr. King's entering into employment with the Company in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).

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Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 23/09/2016

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