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Roche licences antiviral nucleoside from Atea

Roche AG has paid US$350 in cash to co.develop and market Atea Pharmaceutical’s oral direct-acting antiviral, AT-527, to limit proliferation of SARS-CoV-2.

Under the agreement, Roche will pay US$350m in cash for ex US-distribution of Atea Pharmaceuticals antiviral Phase II candidate. Atea has the option to co-market the drug with help of the pharma giant’s US disttribution network.

AT-527 is an investigational, oral, purine nucleotide prodrug, which has demonstrated in vitro and in vivo antiviral activity against several enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses, including human flaviviruses and coronaviruses. The prodrug was designed to uniquely inhibit viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase, an enzyme that is essential for the replication of RNA viruses. Antiviral activity and safety of AT-527 has been demonstrated in Phase II clinical studies of hepatitis C patients, and in preclinical in-vitro assays with SARS-CoV2 virus. Currently the drug cancidate is being tested in a Phase II study in hospitalised patients with moderate COVID-19 course. The plan is to enter pivotal Phase III studies In Q1/2021. AT-527 is not yet licensed or approved for any indication in the United States or any other country.