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San Diego’s aTyr Pharma Raises Total Proceeds of $75M in IPO

Xconomy San Diego — 

Shares of San Diego-based aTyr Pharma are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq market tomorrow morning, after the company priced its IPO late today, selling nearly 5.4 million shares at $14 a share.

The offering raised gross proceeds of $75 million, and gives aTyr a fully diluted market value of $333 million, according to Renaissance Capital, a manager of IPO-based exchange traded funds. In a statement, aTyr said it also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase as many as 804,000 additional shares.

The company’s stock will trade under the ticker symbol “LIFE,” which was left unused by Carlsbad, CA-based Life Technologies after Waltham, MA-based Thermo Fisher Scientific completed its $13.6 billion buyout in early 2014.

The San Diego biotherapeutics company specializes in drugs derived from a new class of natural proteins called physiocrines that offer potential therapeutic advantages to existing anti-inflammatory drugs. Paul Schimmel, a biochemist at The Scripps Research Institute, helped show that physiocrines are naturally occurring proteins that modulate the body’s immune response. He is a scientific founder of aTyr and serves on the company’s board.

At the end of April, aTyr said the FDA granted its orphan drug designation for the company’s lead drug candidate, Resolaris, for the threatment of patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a genetically based degeneration of muscles of the face, shoulder blades, and upper arms.

The company says Resolaris is being developed as a first-in-class intravenous protein therapeutic for the treatment of rare myopathies with an immune component. The compound is in an early stage clinical trial in adult patients with FSHD at multiple sites in the European Union.