William Blair & Company initiated research coverage of Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AVIR $33.17), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing antiviral therapeutics.
Analyst Tim Lugo said, “We believe that Atea will become an important player in the treatment of COVID-19 and viral diseases more broadly. Atea has developed a proprietary platform of purine nucleotide prodrugs incorporating the extensive experience of its management team. We estimate peak sales for lead product AT-527 for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 of about $600 million in the U.S. commercial setting, with revenue from U.S. government stockpiling of over $4 billion, albeit with lower gross margins than commercial sales, assuming the same level of population coverage as with Tamiflu stockpiling. AT-527 has demonstrated potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Before the pandemic, AT-527 was evaluated in a Phase II study in patients with hepatitis C, where it demonstrated potent antiviral activity and good safety and tolerability. We expect treatment with AT-527 in the ongoing Phase II study will result in improvements in clinical symptoms and viral clearance when top-line results are released in first half 2021, with rapid enrollment and completion of a Phase III trial to enable approval by mid-2022.”
Lugo continued, “Beyond AT-527, we believe Atea’s platform offers a deep pipeline of promising candidates targeting viral infections that are major causes of disease burden globally, including AT-787 for hepatitis C and AT-752 for dengue fever. Ultimately, while we believe AT-527 could be a game-changer in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which could represent a significant commercial opportunity, we view it as the first of several therapies that could emerge from the company’s platform and library of compounds over the coming years.”
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Current Ratings Distribution (as of 11/23/20)
Outperform (Buy): 73%
Market Perform (Hold): 27%
Underperform (Sell): 1%
Inv. Banking Relationships*
Outperform (Buy): 22%
Market Perform (Hold): 8%
Underperform (Sell): 0%
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