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aTyr (LIFE) Surges on Collaboration Deal With Kyorin Pharma

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Shares of aTyr Pharma, Inc. (LIFE - Free Report) surged more than 43% after it announced a collaboration and license agreement with Kyorin Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kyorin Holdings, Inc.

Both companies have entered into a collaboration for the development and commercialization of aTyr’s lead candidate, ATYR1923, for interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) in Japan.

Per the agreement, aTyr will receive an $8-million upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to an additional $167 million in milestone payments as well as tiered royalties on net sales in Japan. Kyorin, a leading respiratory focused pharmaceutical company in Japan, will receive the exclusive right to develop and commercialize ATYR1923 in Japan for ILDs and will be responsible for funding all research, development, regulatory, marketing and commercialization activities. Meanwhile, aTyr will supply all drug products for Japan and support development activities as the global development leader for ATYR1923.

ATYR1923 is a selective modulator of neuropilin-2 that downregulates the innate and adaptive immune response in inflammatory disease states. aTyr is currently enrolling in a proof-of-concept phase Ib/IIa study evaluating ATYR1923 in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis. This is a multi-ascending dose, placebo-controlled, first-in-patient study that has been designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, steroid-sparing effect, immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics profile of multiple doses of ATYR1923.

Investors are optimistic about this collaboration deal.

Shares of the company have rallied 28.3% in the past six months compared with the industry’s 6.7% growth.


Last month, aTyr announced the results of a pre-planned, blinded interim analysis of safety and tolerability, the primary endpoint of the ongoing phase Ib/IIa study in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis. ATYR1923 was observed to be generally safe and well tolerated, with no drug-related serious adverse events, consistent with the earlier phase I study results in healthy volunteers.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

aTyr currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked stocks in the biotech space are Amarin Corporation (AMRN - Free Report) , Epizyme, Inc. (EPZM - Free Report) and Celsion Corporation (CLSN - Free Report) .  All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Earnings estimates for Amarin have increased 3 cents for 2020 in the past 30 days.

Loss estimates for Epizyme have narrowed 2 cents for 2020 in the past 60 days.

Loss estimates for Celsion have narrowed 11 cents for 2020 in the past 60 days.

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