Swiss pharma giant Roche has partnered with Atea Pharmaceuticals to develop an antiviral oral treatment for COVID-19.
The two companies will jointly develop, manufacture and distribute AT-527, Atea’s investigational oral antiviral for the potential treatment of COVID-19.
According to Roche, AT-527 blocks the viral RNA polymerase enzyme required for viral replication. It is currently being studied in a phase 2 study for the treatment of patients hospitalised with moderate COVID-19.
In the first quarter of 2021, a phase 3 clinical trial is expected to launch testing AT-527 as a potential therapy for COVID-19 patients outside a hospital setting. The drug could also be developed for the post-exposure prophylactic settings, added Roche.
“The ongoing complexities of COVID-19 require multiple lines of defence. By joining forces with Atea, we hope to offer an additional treatment option for hospitalised and non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and to ease the burden on hospitals during a global pandemic,” said Bill Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. “In jointly developing and manufacturing AT-527 at scale, we seek to make this treatment option available to as many people around the world as we possibly can.”
In August, Roche also partnered with Regeneron to bolster manufacturing and global development capabilities for the latter’s investigational antibody cocktail for COVID-19.
Under the terms of the deal, Roche and Regeneron will jointly fund and execute the ongoing phase 3 prevention trials of the drug, REGN-COV2, as well as further phase 1 studies in healthy volunteers.
Roche’s existing rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra (tocilizumab) is also being studied in combination with Gilead’s antiviral Remdesivir in hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia in the REMDACTA trial.
Read the Roche Full Press Release on the Development of AT-527 HERE