The next generation of antiviral therapies: After successfully passing an important preclinical development milestone for the lead compound ATR-002 in summer 2017, Atriva Therapeutics GmbH adds a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive, Dr. Christian Wallasch as Chief Operating Officer (COO) to its executive management team.
Tübingen / 07.11.2018 – 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 and resistance-avoiding Influenza therapy.
Atriva’s product platform draws from re-purposed and optimized MEK kinase inhibitors and focuses on acute viral infections like Influenza, Hanta or RSV. Replication of many RNA-viruses in humans depends on a particular cellular signaling pathway. During preclinical studies, Atriva scientists demonstrated that this cellular replication pathway can be effectively blocked by MEK-inhibitors, thereby inhibiting viral spread and avoiding resistance formation. The lead product candidate ATR-002 targets the indication Influenza in high-risk patients and follows a fast-track development plan anticipating entry into clinical development in Summer 2018.
To fully capitalize on these achievements and to maximize the success chances for the remaining preclinical and clinical project activities Atriva announces today the addition of Dr. Christian Wallasch as COO to its executive management team. In previous tenures Dr. Wallasch acted as senior management member in SMEs, like Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG and large public biopharmaceutical companies like Intercell/Valneva. He is an accomplished expert for kinase inhibitors, vaccine development including project management and project execution. Dr. Wallasch already took his new position by late October 2017 and will immediately take over the entire project management responsibility for the lead compound ATR-002.
Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, co-founder and CEO of Atriva, says: “We are extremely proud that we could attract Christian Wallasch to join our management team as COO. With his broad and in-depth expertise and experience in developing kinase inhibitors and antiviral therapies, we expect an invaluable strengthening of our leadership capabilities to deliver the corporate objective advancing our lead project and the entire company into clinical stage within one year. 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: “After the recent closing of the financing round the excellent science combined with strong therapeutics development skills of the Atriva-team is now convincing excellent leadership from biopharmaceutical industry to embrace this outstanding opportunity in the development of our next generation anti-viral therapies to market.”
Dr. Frank Hensel, Senior Investment Manager with HTGF complements: “Atriva´s management team capabilities will be strongly enhanced by this senior addition, so continuing to advance the development of the lead substance to clinical development stage with maximal thrust.”
Über die 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 anti-viral 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 Science4Live business plan concept contest and closed its seed round in late 2016.
High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) is Germany’s most active seed stage investor. With about EUR 820 million under management in three funds, it provides financing for technology-driven companies active in a wide range of fields, including robotics, IoT and energy, Medtech and Biotech, chemicals and software. Investors in this public-private partnership include the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW, and strategic corporate investors.
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.