Atriva Therapeutics GmbH, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of host-targeting antiviral therapies, today announced that they have received the Biomarker Validation Award as part of the European Interreg Project Codex4SME. A total of four award winners will receive a grant of approximately 100,000 Euros each, in the form of laboratory services by the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg.
Currently, Atriva Therapeutics is testing its MEK inhibitor ATR-002 for the treatment of influenza in phase I clinical studies. In preclinical studies, the Company has developed an explorative biomarker to detect and quantify the inhibition of MEK kinase by ATR-002. The Company is now going to validate this biomarker, i.e. test its reliability.
“All currently available antiviral medications directly target the virus. We anticipate that host-targeting therapies will significantly reduce the development of drug resistance. Therefore, we have chosen MEK inhibition as a therapeutic approach since the influenza virus depends on the host’s Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway for replication. Winning this grant is a significant recognition of our approach”, commented Dr. Rainer Lichtenberger, CEO and co-founder of Atriva. “We are happy that, as one of the four winning companies, we now have the opportunity to have our biomarker validated by the renowned Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg. A successful validation will provide a considerable value creation for Atriva.”
“The biomarker has already proven useful during the design of our clinical study and the trial application. Using this biomarker, we were able to show that MEK inhibition persists significantly longer than the plasma level of ATR-002”, added Prof. Dr. Oliver Planz, co-founder and CSO of Atriva. “Moreover, these data contributed to the approval of a once-daily dosing scheme clinical trial design by the regulatory authorities. If the validation is successful, we expect that we will be able to monitor treatment responses to any MEK inhibitor and also define MEK inhibition as an endpoint in future clinical trials.”
The Codex4SMEs project is aimed at small- and medium-size companies of the Interreg-North-West Europe-Programme (INTERREG NWE) and has a total budget of 3.13 million euros. BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is the German participant of Codex4SME. Atriva Therapeutics is part of this biotech cluster. In addition to Atriva Therapeutics, one other German, one French, and one Dutch company are recipients of the award.
About ATR-002’s mode of action
Atriva’s lead product ATR-002 is a clinical stage MEK inhibitor drug candidate targeting the intracellular Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway. In influenza virus infected cells, the interaction of ATR-002 with MEK (MAPK/ERK kinase) prevents export of the viral genome protein complexes (ribonucleoprotein, RNP) from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, thus hindering the formation of functional new viral particles. This ultimately reduces the viral load in the body. Clinical development will be supported by an exploratory biomarker indicating MEK inhibition, via measurement of ERK phosphorylation, in the cell.
About Atriva Therapeutics GmbH
Atriva Therapeutics, founded in 2015, is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of host-targeting antiviral therapies setup by a team of leading scientists in viral research and seasoned industry experts. The company aims to develop new antiviral therapies against different respiratory viral infections. The lead product ATR-002 is a first-in-class host-targeting agent, inhibiting viral replication in influenza and other respiratory infections, an area of high unmet medical need. ATR-002 is under clinical development in a Phase I trial to evaluate safety and tolerability in healthy subjects. The Company owns seven broad patent families with broad coverage related to the use of MEK inhibitors and other kinase inhibitors for anti-viral therapies. The patent life runs through 2039. Atriva Therapeutics is located in Tübingen and Frankfurt, Germany.
For further information, please visit www.atriva-therapeutics.com
About BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH promotes economic development in the life sciences industry, helping to strengthen the region as a business location by supporting innovations and start-up companies in the public interest. It is the main point of contact for company founders and entrepreneurs in the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regions, including the cities of Tübingen and Reutlingen. The STERN BioRegion is one of the largest and most successful bioregions in Germany. Its unique selling points include a mix of biotech and medtech companies that is outstanding in Germany and regional clusters in the fields of automation technology and mechanical engineering.