Atriva Therapeutics GmbH announces that the USPTO issued the Notice of allowance meaning that grant of one of its core patents: “MEK Inhibitors in the treatment of virus diseases” (US Application 14/434,328) is intended. This patent will cover, a method of treating a subject having a viral infection caused by an influenza virus with neuraminidase inhibitors (e.g. Oseltamivir, Tamiflu®) in combination with MEK inhibitors. The invention is based on the observation that even in the situation of growing resistance of influenza viruses against Neuraminidase inhibitors the combination with MEK inhibitors can restore the lost efficacy of such Neuraminidase inhibitors. This finding is of crucial importance due to the increasing incidence of resistance of several influenza strains against neuraminidase inhibitors as they had been (and still are) the most widely used therapeutic tool in the market until today. The relevance is obvious, as the mortality rate in elderly and high-risk patients with additional co-morbidities like respiratory (COPD/asthma) and/or cardiovascular diseases in a given year can be high, ranging in the US alone (depending on seasonal effects) anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths annually according to CDC. Moreover, vaccination is not popular even in high-risk patients, and the efficacy of vaccination in a given season can be as low as 25% (2014), meaning that the larger majority of those vaccinated patients still get infected when exposed to influenza and require effective treatment. The patent will not expire before 2033, not taking any additional SPCs into account.
Atriva was founded in 2015 by a leading team of three international key scientists in viral research and seasoned industrial experts. Four patent families that repurpose MEK inhibitors for antiviral use were transferred since the foundation process, potentially protecting its core technology until 2035, thus shaping Atriva’s unique business approach.
Atriva’s product platform is based on a variety of different MEK kinase inhibitors that focus on severe viral infections and is applicable for use with high-risk influenza patients.
The market potential is considerable. The therapeutic market potential for acute influenza in high-risk, co-morbid patients is estimated to exceed 12 million patients per year (US, EU, JP) and may exceed 2.8 billion Euros in 2020. Neuraminidase inhibitors are not officially approved for these patient groups due to their lack of efficacy, and no suitable or economically labeled therapy is currently available. Without taking into account the preventive pandemic stock-keeping of influenza therapeutics, the sales revenues of Atriva’s MEK inhibitors could reach 600 million Euros.
Professor Oliver Planz, one of the co-founders of Atriva and co-inventor of the MEK – Neuraminidase inhibitor combination patent, states: “Co-administration with Atriva’s MEK-Inhibitor platform acting directly on the host cells of the virus can boost the antiviral effect of Neuraminidase inhibitors tremendously.”
Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, co-founder and CEO of Atriva, says: “We are excited to add this highly relevant application to our substantial portfolio of granted patents that use kinase inhibitors as medicines to fight severe viral respiratory diseases like influenza. The grant of this patent in the US underlines the unique and innovative approach of our platform to offer medications for better control of influenza infections in vulnerable high-risk patients. ”