Roche, Atea COVID-19 antiviral pill fails midstage trial

Atea Pharmaceuticals said Oct. 19 that the COVID-19 antiviral drug it is developing with Roche failed to benefit nonhospitalized patients in a midstage trial. 

The drug, called AT-527, didn't reduce the viral load in nonhospitalized patients with mild to moderate symptoms, which was the goal. But the drugmaker said that data from the trial suggests the drug may be effective for high-risk patients with underlying health conditions. 

Antiviral drugs tend to be most effective early in the course of a disease and benefit patients whose immune system's aren't fighting the virus well, according to The Wall Street Journal

Boston-based Atea said it and Roche are considering modifying their phase 3 trial and may change the patient population or the study's primary goal. It now expects final results in the second half of 2022. 

Atea's stock fell 61 percent after the trial's results were announced, the Journal reported. 

Read the drugmaker's full news release here


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