Atossa Therapeutics Launches COVID-19 HOPE Drug Development Program – ATOS Shares Charge Forward

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

“The rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 patients needing mechanical ventilation is deeply worrisome, as more than one-third of these patients will never recover lung function and will die on the ventilator. The problem is confounded by the fact that hospitals may soon be facing a ventilator shortage and a vaccine could take more than a year to develop. The two drugs we intend to combine, which we call AT-H201, have been approved by the FDA for other diseases and are supported by a dozen clinical studies in close to 800 patients. We plan to quickly initiate and complete clinical studies so that we can obtain FDA approval to bring this treatment to market as soon as possible,” stated Dr. Steven Quay, President, and CEO of Atossa Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ATOS).

This morning, Seattle-based Atossa Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ATOS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company seeking to discover and develop innovative medicines in areas of significant unmet medical need, announced a new drug development program called COVID-19 HOPE, which is an acronym for AT-H201in COVID-19 patients for Pulmonary Evaluation.

The program uses a novel combination of two drugs that have been previously approved by the FDA for other diseases. The intended primary function of the drug combination AT-H201 is to essentially mimic the function of the antibodies formed from a vaccine by blocking the ability of the virus to enter the target cells; a vaccine that may not be available for more than a year. 

There are five known key steps the coronavirus must take to signal the cell to open up and let the virus in. AT-H201 is being designed to function like a “chemical vaccine” by blocking all five of those steps, similar to what antibodies would be expected to do when a vaccine is administered. With AT-H201, the virus should be unable to enter the cell because its “keys” that would otherwise open the door into the cell surface, are disabled.

Atossa expects that its AT-H201 drug combination can be developed more quickly than a traditional vaccine. Atossa has filed comprehensive provisional patent applications related to AT-H201 and intends to apply to the FDA under its Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program for approval to commence a clinical study.

ABOUT THE INVENTOR, DR. STEVEN QUAY. M.D, Ph.D.

AT-H201 was invented by Dr. Steven Quay. Dr. Quay received his M.D., M.A. and Ph.D. from The University of Michigan, was a postdoctoral fellow at MIT with Nobel Laureate H. Gobind Khorana, a resident at the Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital, and was on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine for almost a decade. He has over 300 published contributions to medicine which have been cited over 9,700 times. Dr. Quay has founded six pharmaceutical companies, invented seven FDA-approved medicines, and holds 87 U.S. patents.

A RECENT INTERVIEW ON FOX NEWS

Recently, Steven Quay M.D., Ph.D., the founder, Chairman & CEO of Seattle-based Atossa was interviewed by Fox News regarding the COVID-19 Hope Trial Here’s the link to the interview in case you missed it: https://video.foxnews.com/v/6147410883001#sp=show-clips

SHARES OF ATOSSA THERAPEUTICS

Atossa’s shares have been on an upward trend lately after touching a low of $.76/share during the recent market selloff. Today shares spiked to an intraday high of $3.11/ share and are currently trading at $2.19/share up +43.14% with 13.82 million shares of the trading volume. I would expect the company to release more clarity and further updates on the progress of the trial in the near term as a trial like this should be conducted via an expedited during the COVID-19 crisis. 

ANALYST BUY RATING

Maxim Group’s Sell-side Biotech Analyst Jason McCarthy issued an update report today on Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATOS) titled “Expanding into the COVID-19 Therapeutics Race with a Differentiated Approach – Reiterate Buy.” He maintains a Buy Rating with a $4/share 12-month price target. View Maxim’s report here.

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