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Atriva Therapeutics appoints Christian Pangratz as Chief Executive Officer, implementing planned management change

  • 5 min read
  • Christian Pangratz to become Chief Executive Officer of Atriva Therapeutics GmbH effective January 15, 2023
  • Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, co-founder and CEO, retires after a transition period as Co-CEO of at least six months
  • With positive POC data from RESPIRE study and strengthened management team, Atriva ready for next phase of growth

Tübingen, Frankfurt am Main, Martinsried, Germany, November 9, 2022 – Today, Atriva Therapeutics GmbH, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of host-targeting antiviral therapies, announced the appointment of Christian Pangratz as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 15, 2023. Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, co-founder and CEO of Atriva Therapeutics, will retire as planned during 2023. For a transition period of at least six months, Dr. Lichtenberger will serve as Co-CEO and hand over his responsibilities to Mr. Pangratz, who will then assume sole management of the company.

“It is a great pleasure to welcome Christian Pangratz as the new CEO of Atriva. He is a successful life science manager and experienced CEO. He has extensive expertise in companies focused on respiratory medicine and a strong track record in leading innovative biotech companies. Christian will spearhead Atriva’s next strategic steps and brings the skill set to effectively ready the company for successful commercial development of lead drug candidate, zapnometinib,” said Ulrich Dauer, Ph.D., Chairman of the Advisory Board of Atriva Therapeutics. “At the same time, I am pleased that Rainer Lichtenberger will continue to actively support us until the middle of next year before he moves into his well-deserved retirement. He will continue to serve as an advisor to the company. I would like to thank Rainer already now very much for his extraordinary commitment and contribution to the company and wish him and Christian a great collaboration in the months to come.”

Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, CEO of Atriva Therapeutics, commented: “I am honored to have Christian Pangratz succeed me at CEO. His strategic leadership skills, together with his deep knowledge of biopharmaceutical companies focused on respiratory and inflammatory diseases, make him the right choice to take Atriva through the next stage of corporate evolution. Christian will lead a strong, highly experienced team ready to move full speed ahead to further the development of zapnometinib. I wish Christian and the entire team every success and will continue to support them, this coming year and beyond, to the best of my ability. I sincerely hope that patients with severe viral infections will one day benefit from our innovative host cell-targeting therapies.”

Christian Pangratz, CEO designate of Atriva Therapeutics, commented: “I have been impressed by Atriva’s pioneering role as an innovator of antiviral medicines and am excited to lead the company as it advances its development programs. With a ‘twindemic’ of a severe flu wave combined with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic projected for this winter, the need for a broadly effective antiviral drug is greater than ever. But as a society, we need to think beyond the coming winter and firmly root pandemic preparedness into our healthcare systems. The positive clinical and preclinical results seen with zapnometinib in viruses with pandemic potential underpin this product candidate’s potential to become the first broadly active antiviral therapeutic, filling a major gap in the field of antiviral therapies. I look forward to working with the Atriva team, the advisory board and shareholders to advance and grow the company.”

Christian Pangratz has more than 25 years of experience in senior positions in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Prior to joining Atriva, he was CEO at Sterna Biologicals, where he was responsible for Phase 2a / proof-of-concept studies and secured funding in the double-digit millions to advance Sterna’s research and development work. Concurrently, he served as Managing Director at Secarna Pharmaceuticals, where he led business development activities in the EU, US and Asia, and negotiated commercially successful partnerships. Prior to Sterna and Secarna, Mr. Pangratz was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Vectura Group plc and served as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Skyepharma AG and Jagotec AG, both subsidiaries of Vectura in Switzerland, as well as on the Board of Chinese Tianjin Kinnovata Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. From 2014 to 2016, he was Executive Vice President of Business Development, Alliance Management & Project Management at Skyepharma until that company’s merger with Vectura, which he subsequently joined. Prior to that, Mr. Pangratz was Chief Business Officer at Activaero, a German-American company specializing in respiratory diseases, and played a crucial role in the sale of Activaero to Vectura in 2014. At Nektar Therapeutics, a publicly listed US biotech, he served as Executive Director Business Development, where he led the closing of one of the company’s largest and strategically most significant business transactions. Mr. Pangratz began his career at the global pharmaceutical companies, Bayer and Pfizer, where he held national and international positions of increasing responsibility in marketing and sales. Mr. Pangratz holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in international business from Webster University, Vienna.

About Atriva Therapeutics

Atriva Therapeutics’ mission is to develop an antiviral therapy platform against severe respiratory and systemic diseases with a high unmet medical need induced by RNA viruses, e.g., influenza and COVID-19. The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company is pioneering the development of host-targeting antiviral therapies, making development of viral resistance unlikely, and thereby significantly contributing to pandemic preparedness. The Atriva lead product zapnometinib (ATR-002) is a first-in-class, host-targeting agent that aims to inhibit viral replication and to favorably modulate the body’s immune response to RNA viruses. Atriva Therapeutics was founded in 2015 in Tübingen by a team of leading scientists in viral research and seasoned industry experts and is based in Tübingen, Frankfurt, and Martinsried (IZB, near Munich), Germany.

Atriva is a founding member of the BEAT-COV initiative. www.beat-cov.de

For further information, please visit www.atriva-therapeutics.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Contact:
Atriva Therapeutics GmbH

Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, CEO
+49 69 9999 162 10
+49 151 7443 3175
lichtenberger@atriva-therapeutics.com


Media and Investor Relations:
MC Services AG
Eva Bauer / Raimund Gabriel
+49 89 210 228 0
atriva-therapeutics@mc-services.eu