Targeting exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The world has many more viruses that cause suffering and death in vulnerable people than we have antiviral treatments to fight them. New antiviral medicines present an enormous opportunity for progress, particularly to improve health outcomes for people who are disproportionately impacted by common viruses due to health conditions, age, or weakened immune systems.

COPD is generally among the top 5 causes of death in the United States,and is projected to be the world’s #1 cause of death within 15 years. More than 16.4 million Americans, or 6.6% of U.S. adults, and over 44 million Europeans are living with COPD. Estimates suggest over 100 million people in China suffer with COPD. Globally, there are an estimated 400 million people living with COPD.

For people living with this condition, “catching a cold” can become a serious illness resulting in diminished lung function, reduced quality of life, financial hardship, hospitalization, and even death. Significantly, the incidence of COPD in women in the United States, especially in the sunbelt, is accelerating at a rate higher than ever previously observed.

Those with fewer financial resources or other social barriers to health careare often diagnosed with COPD later in the course of the disease, when symptoms are more severe. As a result, especially for African Americans, the outcomes of COPD are generally poorer. (Mamary 2018, Eisner 2011, Woo 2021). Altesa’s clinical program will address these disparities in vulnerable populations by ensuring diversity and inclusion in our clinical enrollment and development plans while supporting programs and national initiatives that aim to reduce disparities in diagnoses.

Altesa’s value lies in its unique strengths:

  • Vapendavir, a Phase 2 clinical drug, has a demonstrated safety profile and confirmed antiviral activity in humans. It is a broad-spectrum capsid inhibitor with potent activity across all rhinovirus families and other respiratory enteroviruses.
  • Pre-negotiated licensing options and a Sponsored Research Agreement with Emory/DRIVE provide unique access to a robust, fully-funded R&D pipeline, in addition to world-class, industry-trained scientists.
  • Altesa has licensed the antiviral drug ALT-2023, a broad-spectrum nucleoside analog active against most enteroviruses and flaviviruses, including rhinovirus, hepatitis C, yellow fever, and dengue. ALT-2023 is in the late preclinical stage, with an extremely favorable safety profile in non-human studies.
  • Altesa has a proven platform for mechanism-based development of novel, broad-spectrum antivirals and combinations, including some of the world’s most successful antiviral drugs.
Common viral respiratory infections may have serious consequences, including death, especially for those who are vulnerable due to underlying health conditions, age (both young and elderly), or weakened immune systems. Medicines that specifically target these viruses could provide the critical support needed for vulnerable patients to overcome these infections more quickly and with fewer consequences. Altesa’s objective is to develop such medicines and make them accessible and available to the right patients at the right time.

Our first goal: preventing exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) caused by viral infections.

More than 16.4 million Americans, or 6.6% of U.S. adults, have been diagnosed with COPD. COPD is the third leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, and it is expected to become the #1 cause of death worldwide within 15 years. Those with limited financial resources, especially those in urban areas, are often diagnosed later in the disease, which is associated with more severe outcomes.

Viral infections are the primary cause of acute deteriorations in lung function and overall health (known as “exacerbations”) for people living with COPD. Among viral causes, rhinovirus—the predominant cause of the common cold—is the most frequent culprit causing these infections.

Studies indicate that, by 2038, people with COPD in the United States will suffer:

Altesa’s hypothesis is straightforward:   by identifying high-risk patients with early rhinovirus infections and providing safe and effective oral treatment, we can prevent respiratory deterioration and preserve the health status of people with COPD.   Altesa is now sponsoring clinical trials in COPD patients to prove this hypothesis.



Altesa has a clinical and preclinical pipeline of candidate medicines targeting common  respiratory viruses that often have serious, long-lasting health consequences in vulnerable people.  Our commitment is to develop these potential medicines as quickly and safely as possible, remaining patient-focused, with the highest standards of research practice.





Altesa is extraordinarily well-positioned to change healthcare and positively impact the health of millions due to our core foundational strengths:

    • The expertise and talent of our team [link to team/bio page],
    • Our access to promising candidate medicines [link to details], and
    • Our proven platform [link back] for mechanism-based development of novel broad-spectrum antiviral treatments are critical foundational strengths.

With our team, the opportunity to change healthcare, and our access to promising candidate medicines, Altesa is extraordinarily well-positioned to positively impact the health of millions.  An important final component of our foundational strengths is our proven platform for mechanism-based development of novel broad-spectrum antiviral treatments.

Our process follows the proven development strategy behind two of the world’s most successful antiviral drugs: emtricitabine to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, and molnupiravir to treat people with COVID-19.

We understand traditional barriers for developing new medicines.  In the best of circumstances, the journey from early research to drug launch requires 13.5 years and greater than $1.7 billion investment.  That’s too long for patients in need of new medicines today.

Emory’s proven process for drug discovery and early development has produced multiple life-saving drugs much more rapidly and cost-effectively.   To expedite this process even more, a seamless relationship between Altesa and Emory DRIVE assures that promising candidate medicines can immediately enter clinical development.