Atea Pharmaceuticals announced the closing on a $215 million Series D financing round. The financing was led by Bain Capital Life Sciences and also included new investors RA Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors, Rock Springs Capital, Adage Capital Management, Redmile Group, Omega Funds, and funds and accounts managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Existing Atea investors, including Morningside Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Ally Bridge Group, and Sectoral Asset Management, as well as other investors also participated in this financing.
Atea simultaneously announced that the U.S. FDA has cleared its investigational new drug application (IND) for AT-527 for the treatment of adult patients hospitalized with moderate COVID-19 disease, with one or more risk factors for poor outcomes. The proceeds will be used in part to fund a phase 2 clinical trial, scheduled to begin shortly, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of AT-527 in this patient population.
AT-527 is an oral, purine nucleotide prodrug, which has demonstrated in vitro and in vivo antiviral activity against several enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses, including human flaviviruses and coronaviruses. This highly selective purine nucleotide prodrug was designed to uniquely inhibit viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase, an enzyme that is essential for the replication of RNA viruses. Antiviral activity and safety of AT-527 has been demonstrated in Phase 2 clinical studies of hepatitis C patients. AT-527 is not yet licensed or approved for any indication in the U.S. or any other country.
In addition to supporting its work to find a treatment for COVID-19, Atea expects to use the financing to advance its diverse pipeline of highly selective DAAs that target other severe RNA viral infections. Atea’s pipeline currently includes investigative treatments for hepatitis C virus, dengue virus, and respiratory syncytial virus, in addition to its COVID-19 program.
“We are delighted to have the strong support of this group of blue-chip healthcare investors,” said Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, PhD, Atea’s Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer. “Atea’s portfolio is focused on developing novel, best-in-class, potent DAA’s and we have shifted all of our immediate resources and our team’s deep expertise in virology and pharmacology to help address the unmet needs in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. An oral treatment for COVID-19 patients should prevent progression of the disease and may help lessen the burden on critical inpatient resources. Atea is moving rapidly, in concert with regulatory authorities, to determine if our oral DAA is a safe and effective therapeutic against COVID-19.”