The next generation of Antiviral Therapies: Led by Stichting Participatie Atriva together with High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Atriva Therapeutics GmbH has received seed financing from Dutch and German private investors to advance Atriva’s antiviral MEK-Inhibitors (Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor) against Influenza into the clinical development stage.
Tübingen / 7.2.2018 – Atriva Therapeutics stands for the next generation of antiviral therapies. MEK Inhibitors have high potential as truly efficacious and safe antiviral drugs to address the urgent need e.g. for a novel, broadly active influenza therapy.
Atriva’s product platform draws from selected repurposed MEK kinase inhibitors and focuses on acute viral infections like influenza, RSV or MERS. Replication of many RNA-viruses in humans depends on a particular cellular signal pathway. Atriva scientists found in pre-clinical studies that the pathway can be effectively blocked by MEK-inhibitors, which impairs virus replication. More recently a strong activity of MEK inhibitors against co-infections of bacteria, including multi-resistant bacterial strains such as MRSA, were discovered as well.
The lead product candidate ATR-002 in the indication influenza in high-risk patients runs through a de-risked, fast-track development plan entering clinical development by the first half 2018 and reaching clinical PoC in early 2020.
Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, co-founder and CEO of Atriva, says: “We are excited to have attracted a group of private investors from the Netherlands and Germany for our seed round. This group is led by the Stichting Participatie Atriva which includes industry-experienced serial entrepreneurs, and is complemented by HTGF and the founders. The funds raised will enable us to select the lead clinical candidate in the 2nd half of 2017. This underlines the innovative approach of our platform to offer medications for better control of influenza infections in vulnerable 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 accessible global market potential of Atriva’s MEK inhibitors could exceed 2.8 billions Euros in 2020.
Paul Lelieveld, Director of Stichting Participatie Atriva (Foundation Participation Atriva) comments: “The excellent science combined with strong therapeutics development skills and serial entrepreneurship experience of the Atriva-team assures the Stichting Participatie Atriva and her shareholders that Atriva has high chance of being successful in the development of next generation anti-viral therapies. Investors interested in the Foundation Participation Atriva can always contact us, to be a part of it.”
Dr. Frank Hensel, Investment Manager with HTGF adds: “Atriva´s discovery team has identified a new mode-of-action that can improve therapy of seasonal influenza. However, the possibility of developing the field of indication to other viral infections like Zika, Hanta or RSV is particularly important in the case of the rapidly spread virus diseases. With the seed investment, Atriva now has the opportunity to advance the development of the active substance.”
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. Four broad patent families that repurpose MEK inhibitors for antiviral use were transferred since the foundation process into the company. These patents protect its core technology until 2035, thus shaping Atriva’s unique business approach. Atriva was a winner in the national 2016 Science4Live business plan concept contest.
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests in young, high-potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gründerfonds invests EUR 600,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Innogy, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gründerfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).