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aTyr Pharma Announces Howard University President Emeritus Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick as Advisor

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- aTyr Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: LIFE) (aTyr or “the Company”), a clinical stage biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of first-in-class medicines from its proprietary tRNA synthetase platform, today announced the appointment of Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., as an advisor to the company. Dr. Frederick is President Emeritus of Howard University, having served as President from 2014 to 2023.

“We are honored to welcome a distinguished physician executive such as Dr. Frederick as an advisor to aTyr,” said Sanjay S. Shukla, M.D., M.S., President and Chief Executive Officer of aTyr. “Dr. Frederick’s clinical background combined with his extensive knowledge on disparities in healthcare lends a unique and valuable insight regarding the disease areas and high unmet medical need for which we are developing efzofitimod, which include major forms of interstitial lung disease (ILD), such as pulmonary sarcoidosis.”

“I am very pleased to join aTyr as an advisor as they work to develop a potential new treatment for conditions that disproportionately affect underserved communities,” said Dr. Frederick. “Notably, sarcoidosis is three times more common in African Americans—and even more so in African American women—who are also more likely to have severe disease and increased mortality. It is imperative that we utilize the knowledge and resources we have to narrow these disparities by developing safe and effective treatments that contribute to improved outcomes for these patients.”

Dr. Frederick is the President Emeritus of Howard University, having previously served as the 17th President from July 2014 through September 2023. He is also the distinguished Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery at the Howard University College of Medicine and a practicing cancer surgeon at Howard University Hospital. Dr. Frederick earned a B.S., M.D., and completed his surgical residency training at Howard University Hospital. Following his postdoctoral research and surgical oncology fellowships at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Frederick was Associate Director of the Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut. Upon his return to Howard University, his academic positions included Associate Dean in the College of Medicine, Division Chief in the Department of Surgery, Director of the Cancer Center and Deputy Provost for Health Sciences. He also earned an M.B.A. degree from Howard University’s School of Business. Dr. Frederick is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts, and editorials and is a widely recognized expert on disparities in healthcare and medical education. His medical research focuses on narrowing racial, ethnic and gender disparities in cancer-care outcomes. Dr. Frederick is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and belongs to numerous surgical and medical organizations, including the ACS’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators, the American Surgical Association and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Frederick also serves on the Board of Directors of Humana, Inc., Agostini Limited, Insulet Corporation, Workday, Inc., Mutual of America Life Insurance Co., and the American Cancer Society, in addition to a few other privately held companies and charitable organizations.

About Efzofitimod

Efzofitimod is a first-in-class biologic immunomodulator in clinical development for the treatment of interstitial lung disease (ILD), a group of immune-mediated disorders that can cause inflammation and fibrosis, or scarring, of the lungs. Efzofitimod is a tRNA synthetase derived therapy that selectively modulates activated myeloid cells through neuropilin-2 to resolve inflammation without immune suppression and potentially prevent the progression of fibrosis. aTyr is currently investigating efzofitimod in the global Phase 3 EFZO-FIT™ study in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis, a major form of ILD, and in the Phase 2 EFZO-CONNECT™ study in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc, or scleroderma)-related ILD. These forms of ILD have limited therapeutic options and there is a need for safer and more effective, disease-modifying treatments that improve outcomes.

About aTyr

aTyr is a clinical stage biotechnology company leveraging evolutionary intelligence to translate tRNA synthetase biology into new therapies for fibrosis and inflammation. tRNA synthetases are ancient, essential proteins that have evolved novel domains that regulate diverse pathways extracellularly in humans. aTyr’s discovery platform is focused on unlocking hidden therapeutic intervention points by uncovering signaling pathways driven by its proprietary library of domains derived from all 20 tRNA synthetases. aTyr’s lead therapeutic candidate is efzofitimod, a first-in-class biologic immunomodulator in clinical development for the treatment of interstitial lung disease, a group of immune-mediated disorders that can cause inflammation and progressive fibrosis, or scarring, of the lungs. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are usually identified by the use of words such as “believes,” “can,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential,” “will,” and variations of such words or similar expressions. We intend these forward-looking statements to be covered by such safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements and are making this statement for purposes of complying with those safe harbor provisions. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements regarding the potential of efzofitimod to be a new treatment for forms of ILD, including pulmonary sarcoidosis. These forward-looking statements also reflect our current views about our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, which are based on the information currently available to us and on assumptions we have made. Although we believe that our plans, intentions, expectations, strategies and prospects, as reflected in or suggested by these forward-looking statements, are reasonable, we can give no assurance that the plans, intentions, expectations, strategies or prospects will be attained or achieved. All forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by our management that, although we believe to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. Furthermore, actual results may differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements and will be affected by a variety of risks and factors that are beyond our control including, without limitation, uncertainty regarding geopolitical and macroeconomic events, risks associated with the discovery, development and regulation of efzofitimod, the risk that we or our partners may cease or delay preclinical or clinical development activities for efzofitimod for a variety of reasons (including difficulties or delays in patient enrollment in planned clinical trials), the possibility that existing collaborations could be terminated early, and the risk that we may not be able to raise the additional funding required for our business and product development plans, as well as those risks set forth in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and in our other SEC filings. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Ashlee Dunston
Director, Investor Relations and Public Affairs

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