BOSTON, Oct. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing antiviral therapeutics to improve the lives of patients suffering from life-threatening viral infections, today announces that the company has entered into an agreement with Roche (RO ROG,RHHBY for the exclusive rights to research, develop and distribute AT-527 as an oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in territories outside of the United States. Under the terms of the agreement, Atea will receive an upfront payment of $350 million in cash from Roche with the potential for future milestone payments and royalties.
"Roche shares our passion for delivering innovative new medicines to address great unmet medical needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for a novel, oral antiviral to treat this highly infectious and often deadly virus," said Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Atea Pharmaceuticals. "This collaboration with Roche enhances Atea's efforts and underscores the potential for AT-527 to effectively address the COVID-19 crisis on a global scale. AT-527 is expected to be ideally suited to combat COVID-19 as it inhibits viral replication by interfering with viral RNA polymerase, a key component in the replication machinery of RNA viruses. Importantly, the manufacturing process for our small molecule direct-acting antiviral allows us to produce AT-527 quickly and at scale."
"The ongoing complexities of COVID-19 require multiple lines of defence. By joining forces with Atea, we hope to offer an additional treatment option for hospitalised and non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and provide important relief for hospital infrastructures during a global pandemic," said Bill Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. "In jointly developing and manufacturing AT-527 at scale, we seek to make this treatment option available to as many people around the world as we possibly can."
AT-527 is an orally administered, direct-acting antiviral agent derived from Atea's purine nucleotide prodrug platform. AT-527 is currently under evaluation as a treatment for patients with COVID-19. AT-527 is designed to inhibit viral replication by interfering with viral RNA polymerase, a key component in the replication machinery of RNA viruses, such as positive single-stranded human flaviviruses and human coronaviruses. AT-527 is currently in a global Phase 2 clinical study for hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19 and has plans to initiate a global, registrational Phase 3 clinical trial in outpatients in the first half of 2021. Additionally, Atea is planning to study in a Phase 3 clinical trial the use of AT-527 in the post-exposure prophylaxis setting.
Evercore served as exclusive financial advisor to Atea in connection with this transaction.
About Atea Pharmaceuticals
Atea Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in discovering and developing therapies to address the unmet medical needs of patients with severe viral diseases. Our lead programs are focused on the development of orally- administered direct acting antivirals for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in the hospital and community settings, the treatment of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection, the treatment of patients with dengue, and the treatment of high-risk patients with severe respiratory syncytial virus infection. Our medicinal chemistry, virology, and pharmacology expertise, bolstered by our collective experience in drug development, enables us to pioneer new advancements in antiviral science. Leveraging the power of our purine nucleotide prodrug platform, our goal is to rapidly advance novel drug candidates with optimal therapeutic profiles for RNA virus targets. Founded by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, PhD, Atea began operations in 2014 and is headquartered in Boston, MA. For more information about Atea and our pipeline of product candidates please visit our company website at www.ateapharma.com.
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