Atea Shares Plunge As Roche Culls Partnership To Develop COVID-19 Pill

  • Roche Holdings AG RHHBY has ended a partnership with Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc AVIR to jointly develop a COVID-19 antiviral pill, a month after the drug failed in a small study.
  • Roche and Atea teamed up last year to develop the oral treatment, AT-527, with Atea receiving an upfront payment of $350 million.
  • The treatment did not show an apparent reduction in viral load in the overall population of patients with mild or moderate COVID-19 in a mid-stage study in October.
  • The rights and licenses to AT-527 will return to Atea after the partnership ends in February.
  • Atea said it would continue to develop the treatment and expects data from a late-stage trial in 2H of 2022.
  • Atea said it had the financial resources to drive forward the late-stage trial independently. The company said it held cash and cash equivalents of $839.7 million with a cash runway through 2023.
  • Price Action: AVIR shares are down 14.50% at $9.71 during the premarket session on the last check Wednesday.
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