Professor Osamu Nureki Joins Atyr Pharma's Scientific Advisory Board

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30th September 2009, 05:48pm - Views: 1424

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Professor Osamu Nureki Joins aTyr Pharma's Scientific Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

         Protein Expert Adds Structural Biology Insight on aTyr Pharma's

                     Proprietary Protein Drug Candidates

    aTyr Pharma announced today that Professor Osamu Nureki, Department of

Basic Medical Sciences of the Institute of Medical Science at the University

of Tokyo, has joined their scientific advisory board. A globally-recognized

expert in protein crystallography, Professor Nureki is well known for his

contributions in elucidating the structures of aminoacyl tRNA synthetases.

The tRNA synthetases are key enzymes in protein synthesis, but have recently

been shown to have additional functions that can be exploited for development

as biotherapeutics. aTyr Pharma is the exclusive developer of this naturally

occurring family of resected proteins, or "resectins," of the tRNA


    According to Leslie Nangle, Ph. D. and head of aTyr Pharma's discovery

group, "aTyr Pharma's resectins have diverse biological activities with

applications in a number of therapeutic areas such as inflammation,

cardiovascular, hematology, neurology and metabolism. Professor Nureki's

extensive knowledge and expertise in structural biology, particularly with

the structures of tRNA synthetases, will add keen insights to our

understanding of resectin biology."

    Professor Nureki has had a long history of collaborations with Professor

Paul Schimmel, co-founder of aTyr Pharma and Professor at the Scripps

Research Institute. Professor Schimmel points out, "Professor Nureki has been

a leader in the tRNA synthetases field with significant publications in

highly respected journals, including Science and Nature. Utilizing

Professor's Nureki's experience and knowledge will not only accelerate our

understanding and development of aTyr Pharma's novel class of therapeutic

proteins, it will help expand our resectin identification to other protein


    Professor Nureki obtained his Ph. D. in Biophysics and Biochemistry from

the University of Tokyo. After postdoctoral research studies at the Protein

Engineering Research Institute and the Crystallography Laboratory in RIKEN in

Tokyo, Professor Nureki went on to a series of increasingly senior positions

at the University of Tokyo. He has been the recipient of numerous awards

recognizing his contributions to the understanding of protein structure, such

as the Promoting Award of the Crystallographic Society of Japan, and two

Teshima Memorial Research Awards from the Teshima Commemorative Foundation.

In addition, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and

Technology has awarded Professor Nureki Prizes for Science and Technology, as

well as the Commendation for Science and Technology. In 2008, Professor

Nureki was awarded the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Prize.

Professor Nureki has published over 100 peer reviewed articles in highly

respected journals such as Science, Nature, EMBO, and Cell.

    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

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developed as novel therapeutics to treat cancer, neurodegenerative diseases,

inflammation, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disorders.

    SOURCE:  Alta Partners

    CONTACT: Cheryl Quinn, Director of Business Development of aTyr Pharma,



    or Media Jennifer James of Alta Partners, 



             for aTyr Pharma

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