George Painter, Emory Professor and CEO of DRIVE, awarded $52 million to co-lead Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center

ATLANTA, May 25, 2022 – Altesa BioSciences, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing novel antiviral drugs against common respiratory viruses and global viral threats, today recognized George Painter, PhD, a co-founder of Altesa and chairman of the Altesa Scientific Advisory Board for earning a major research grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The $52 million award will establish a new antiviral drug discovery center led by Painter at Emory University and fellow prinicipal investigator Richard Plemper, PhD, at Georgia State University. The Antiviral Countermeasures Development Center (AC/DC) is one of nine Antiviral Drug Discovery (AViDD) Centers around the country sharing in total funding of $577 million to develop new antivirals.

“This award clearly affirms the global pre-eminence of Emory University’s drug development capabilities under Dr. Painter’s stewardship,” said Brett P. Giroir, MD, Altesa BioSciences Chief Executive Officer and former United States Assistant Secretary for Health. Dr. Giroir will serve on an AC/DC oversight board. “On behalf of Altesa, I not only congratulate the NIH for recognizing the quality and impact of Dr. Painter’s contributions to public health, but extend personal and professional congratulations to Dr. Painter as well.”

Altesa maintains an innovative preferrred relationship with Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), which was formed by Emory to develop drug candidates for viral diseases of global concern.  Under this agreement, Altesa has the option to license compounds from DRIVE in the field of RNA viruses within the scope of Altesa’s Option Agreement.  With the newly announced AViDD award, Altesa options include relevant compounds advanced by DRIVE stemming from Emory’s Antiviral Countermeasure Development Center.

About Altesa
Altesa BioSciences, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company based in Atlanta, GA focused on developing antivirals to addresses diseases of global importance. Altesa has a preferred partnership with DRIVE, a wholly-owned, not-for-profit drug discovery entity within Emory University.  That collaboration includes a license to ALT-2023, a broadly active nucleoside analogue that is in late-stage preclinical development, as well as options to additional compounds targeting RNA viruses.  In July 2021, Altesa in-licensed Vapendavir, a Phase 2 antiviral broadly active against enteroviruses, including rhinovirus, from Vaxart.  Altesa intends to progress Vapendavir into Phase 2b trial in the coming months for treatment of rhinovirus in people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).


Contact:  Laura Smart, Altesa BioSciences 703 618 2108 or