aTyr Pharma Gains E.U. Patent Covering Use of Efzofitimod with Pirfenidone for Lung Inflammation or Fibrosis

Patent highlights potential benefit of efzofitimod as a combination therapy for IPF standard of care.

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- aTyr Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: LIFE), a biotherapeutics company engaged in the discovery and development of first-in-class medicines from its proprietary tRNA synthetase platform, today announced that the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided a Notice of Allowance for a patent covering methods for the use of histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HARS) Fc fusion proteins for reducing inflammation or fibrosis in the lung. The patent application No. 18 787408.6, titled, “Compositions and methods for treating lung inflammation,” covers the use of the company’s lead therapeutic candidate, efzofitimod, in combination with the anti-fibrotic agent pirfenidone.

Efzofitimod is a Fc fusion protein based on the N terminal fragment of HARS that is currently in clinical development for the treatment of pulmonary sarcoidosis, the most prevalent interstitial lung disease (ILD), and has the potential to treat other forms of ILD.

“We are pleased with the EPO Notice of Allowance for this patent covering compositions and methods comprising the use of efzofitimod in combination with pirfenidone, an anti-fibrotic agent currently approved for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), the most fibrotic form of ILD, and being investigated in other forms of progressive fibrosing lung diseases,” said Sanjay S. Shukla, M.D., M.S., President and Chief Executive Officer of aTyr. “This patent builds on the preclinical data demonstrating efzofitimod’s potential ability to improve inflammation and fibrosis in models of IPF and other ILD.”

A Notice of Allowance is issued after the EPO makes the determination that a patent should be granted from an application. A patent from the recently allowed application is expected to be issued in the coming months.

aTyr’s global patent estate includes over 220 issued or allowed patents as of December 31, 2022, owned or exclusively licensed by aTyr and its Hong Kong subsidiary, Pangu BioPharma Limited, developed over a decade of research and development activities. This patent estate highlights aTyr’s leadership position in this emerging area of biology. These patents encompass important new therapeutic modalities which underpin the broad pipeline of novel therapeutics in active development at the company.

About aTyr

aTyr is a biotherapeutics company engaged in the discovery and development of first-in-class medicines from its proprietary tRNA synthetase platform. aTyr’s research and development efforts are concentrated on a newly discovered area of biology, the extracellular functionality and signaling pathways of tRNA synthetases. aTyr has built a global intellectual property estate directed to a potential pipeline of protein compositions derived from 20 tRNA synthetase genes and their extracellular targets. aTyr’s primary focus is efzofitimod, a clinical-stage product candidate which binds to the neuropilin-2 receptor and is designed to downregulate immune engagement in fibrotic lung disease. 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 “expects,” “potential,” 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 statements regarding potential therapeutic benefits and applications of efzofitimod, including its ability to improve inflammation and fibrosis in models of IPF and other ILD, and the timing of receiving the patent from the recently allowed application. 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 or strategies 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 conditions, including the COVID-19 pandemic, risks associated with the discovery, development and regulation of our product candidates, the risk that we or our partners may cease or delay preclinical or clinical development activities for any of our existing or future product candidates 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 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2022 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 10, 2022, 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 Corporate Communications