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The Atriva Approach

The Atriva Approach

Atriva Therapeutics pursues a new approach

By combining antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity in one tablet, Atriva Therapeutics pursues a new approach to develop treatments for viral infections. With its unique, broadly active and efficacious mode of action based on MEK inhibition, Atriva is spearheading current drug innovation in areas of high unmet medical need, such as COVID-19 and influenza.

Zapnometinib (INN)

The company’s lead drug candidate zapnometinib targets the intracellular Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway. This pathway is central for replication of many RNA viruses, such as the influenza virus, Hantavirus or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and also SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In influenza virus infected cells, the interaction of zapnometinib with MEK (MAPK/ERK kinase) prevents export of the viral genome protein complexes (ribonucleoprotein, RNP) from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, thus blocking the formation of functional new viral particles. This ultimately reduces the viral load in the body.

Figure: Antiviral activity of zapnometinib: intracellular MEK inhibition.

In addition, zapnometinib has the potential to modulate the pro-inflammatory cytokine response of the body, avoiding overshooting cytokine response that can be caused by such viral infections. MEK inhibition can inhibit the gene expression of some of the cytokines involved, like TNF-α, IL-1ß, IP-10, IL-8, MCP-1 and MIP-1a, and thus mitigate the overactive inflammatory response in the lungs of patients who are severely ill with influenza or COVID-19.

Figure: Viral replication and cytokine storm. Zapnometinib addresses these effects, which often lead to severe progression of respiratory viral infections.