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Atriva reaches a development milestone and receives an additional tranche of running seed financing to develop its influenza therapeutic to clinical stage

The next generation of Antiviral Therapies: Co-Led by Stichting Participatie Atriva and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Atriva Therapeutics GmbH has received a second tranche of its running seed financing in total of € 3 Mn from Dutch, German and Canadian investors, after lead compound ATR-002 (Atriva’s antiviral MEK-Inhibitor against Influenza) has passed an important preclinical milestone paving the way to clinical development stage.

Atriva Therapeutics stands for the next generation of antiviral therapies. MEK Inhibitors have a high potential as truly efficacious and safe antiviral drugs to address the urgent need for a novel, broadly active Influenza therapy.Atriva’s product platform draws from re-purposed optimized MEK kinase inhibitors and focuses on acute viral infections like Influenza, Hanta or RSV. Replication of many RNA-viruses in humans depend on a particular cellular signaling pathway. Atriva scientists found in pre-clinical studies that the pathway can be effectively blocked by MEK-inhibitors, which impairs virus replication.

The lead product candidate ATR-002 targets the indication Influenza in high-risk patients and follows a fast-track development plan. Led by CSO Prof. Oliver Planz, the development has now passed an important preclinical milestone by identifying an optimized formulation approach and confirming the drug as candidate. The current financing will enable the company to enter clinical development by the first half of 2018 and reaching clinical PoC in late 2019.

Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, co-founder and CEO of Atriva, says: “We are very pleased by the continuing strong support of our investors led by the Stichting Participatie Atriva which includes industry-experienced serial entrepreneurs, so sharing our excitement with the antiviral performance of our lead compound ATR-002. Especially we are pleased that with InSynchrony Ventures (Montreal, Canada), we could attract a new competent life science investor from North America. The funds raised will enable us to advance the lead compound to the clinical stage. This underpins the innovative approach of our platform to offer medications for better control of influenza infections in high-risk patients, including the severe respiratory complications caused by bacterial co-infections."

The huge therapeutic market potential for acute Influenza in high-risk, co-morbid patients is estimated to exceed 12 million patients per year (US, EU, JP). The only available medications, neuraminidase inhibitors, are not approved for these patient groups due to their lack of efficacy, and no suitable therapy is currently available. Without taking the preventive pandemic stock-piling of Influenza therapeutics into account, the addressable global market potential of Atriva’s MEK inhibitors could exceed 2.8 billion Euros in 2020.

Paul Lelieveld, Director of Stichting Participatie Atriva (Foundation Participation Atriva) comments: “The excellent science combined with strong therapeutics development skills of the Atriva-team convinced the Stichting Participatie Atriva and her shareholders again that our investment in Atriva has a high chance for an outstanding return in the development of these next generation anti-viral therapies. Investors interested in the Foundation Participatie Atriva can always contact us, to be a part of it.”

Dr. Dean Wenham, CEO of InSynchrony Ventures adds: “Atriva’s breakthrough in establishing a new therapeutic role for a well-established target such as MEK demonstrates the strength of the Atriva team and offers potentially a new therapeutic paradigm for the treatment of diseases such as acute influenza in high-risk, co-morbid patients. InSynchrony Ventures is very proud to participate in this current investment round since our key mandate as investors is to help novel early staged assets in areas of unmet medical need reach clinical proof of concept”.

Dr. Frank Hensel, Senior Investment Manager with HTGF complements: “Atriva´s discovery team has identified a new universal mode-of-action with the possibility of broadening the application to a wide range of viral infections like Zika, Hanta or RSV. This is of particular importance in the case of the rapidly spreading viral diseases. With the second tranche of seed investment, Atriva continues to advance the development of the active substance to clinical development stage.”

Glossary

  • Competence in a biological relation means a stage of the life cycle in a bacterium allowing it to internalise DNA from the outside.
  • Replication is the biological term for the doubling of the DNA double helix.
  • Ribonucleic acid (abbr. RNA) is a normally single-stranded nucleic acid, which is very similar to DNA. It also consists of a sugar-phosphate backbone and a sequence of four bases. However, the sugar is a ribose and instead of thymine, RNA contains uracil. RNA has got various forms and functions; e.g. it serves as template during protein synthesis and it also constitutes the genome of RNA viruses.
  • A virus is an infectious particle (no cell!) consisting of a protein envelope and a genome (DNA or RNA). To be able to reproduce it depends entirely on the metabolism of living cells of host organisms (e.g., bacteria for phages, liver cells for Hepatitis A-virus).
  • Inhibitors are substances that decelerate or prevent chemical or biological reactions.
  • Symbiosis in a biological context is the cohabiting of two or more diffrent species, which is benefiting for all of them.
  • The transforming growth factor (TGF) belongs to the so-called cytokines, which serve as signal molecules in cell communication. TGFs play an important role in growth and differentiation of many cells and tissues.
  • Biomolecules which can bind active agents are called targets. They can be receptors, enzymes or ion channels. If agent and target interact with each other the term agent-target-specific effect is used. The identification of targets is very important in biomedical and pharmaceutical research because a specific interaction can help to understand basic biomolecular processes. This is essential to identify new points of application.

About Atriva Therapeutics GmbH

Atriva was founded in 2015 by a team of three internationally leading scientists in viral research, and five seasoned industrial experts. Atriva is located in Tübingen, Germany. Five broad patent families that repurpose MEK inhibitors for antiviral use were transferred or established since the foundation. These patents protect its core technology until 2035, thus shaping Atriva’s unique business approach. Atriva was a winner in the national 2016 Science4Life business plan concept contest.

About InSynchrony Ventures

InSynchrony Ventures Inc. is an early stage biotech investor based in Montreal, Canada. We believe in “smart money” that combines capital and drug development expertise into the investment package that is delivered at the right time, when needed by earlier staged biotechs. InSynchrony Ventures was founded in 2016 by Dr. Dean Wenham, founder of InSymbiosis, a highly successful drug development services business and InSynchrony has already built a portfolio of 5 investments since its inception.

Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/press-release/atriva-reaches-a-development-milestone-and-receives-an-additional-tranche-of-running-seed-financing-to-develop-its-influenza-the/