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Atea Pharmaceuticals Announces Publication of Preclinical Data Highlighting Potent Activity of AT-527 Against SARS-CoV-2

Excerpt from the Press Release:

BOSTON, Feb. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVIR) (“Atea”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the publication of new data highlighting the highly potent in vitro antiviral activity of AT-527 against SARS-CoV-2. AT-527 is an orally administered, direct-acting antiviral developmental agent derived from Atea’s purine nucleotide prodrug platform. The new findings are available in a manuscript published online in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

“To be effective, a direct-acting antiviral needs to be administered orally, and early, in the course of viral infection in order to inhibit viral replication and thereby reduce disease progression. These new data underscore AT-527’s potential to treat COVID-19 and to have an impact on global health,” said Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Atea Pharmaceuticals. “The results demonstrated in several in vitro assays that AT-527 has highly potent antiviral activity against several human coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. AT-527 was activated in cultured normal human nasal and bronchial epithelial cells, which are the primary targets of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Since the respiratory tract is the initial site of the SARS-CoV-2 infection, activation of AT-527 with its substantial half-life suggests sustained inhibition of viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 in these tissues.”

Antiviral therapeutics are expected to have the greatest effect if given in early stages of the COVID-19 infection when SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly replicating in the respiratory epithelium and viral load levels are high. The goal of a direct-acting antiviral is to prevent disease progression by minimizing, or eliminating, viral replication and thereby reducing the severity of the disease, preventing or shortening hospitalization, and also potentially preventing transmission of the virus to others. This makes it ideal for potential use in both pre- and post-exposure prophylactic settings and complementary to vaccines.

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