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Roche and Atea Pharmaceuticals Link Up To Co-Develop Remdesivir Rival Drug For COVID-19

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


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