Developing Medicines to Treat Respiratory Viruses

Our goal is to prevent and treat viral infections in people at risk for serious health consequences.

Altesa is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing new treatments for age-old threats to human health: high-consequence viral infections. These infections are particularly severe in vulnerable people, including those with chronic health conditions, like lung diseases, as well as the elderly and many people in underserved communities. Altesa builds upon a proven, highly successful drug development approach that has already prevented countless deaths from the two most impactful pandemics of the past 100 years—HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.

Our objective is to develop safe and effective antiviral medicines in simple oral dosage forms that, when prescribed for the right people at the right time, will halt the progression of infection before it becomes serious—or even prevent the infection altogether. This strategy extends the proven benefits of testing for viruses such as the flu or COVID-19, which have both caused suffering and death among vulnerable people but can be treated if properly diagnosed. Viral pathogens like these and others have plagued mankind for many thousands of years, but testing for and treating them is an effective strategy to blunt their impact and, ideally, to defeat them.

Making the Future Safe from Common Viral Threats

We are dedicated to developing antiviral treatments safely and efficiently, ushering them from discovery through clinical trials, and ultimately FDA approval. Enabled by advances in viral testing at home, pharmacies, and physician offices, our objective is to provide medicines that can be taken orally, at home, by the right people at the right time—namely, those who are at the most significant risk of becoming seriously ill from respiratory viruses. We are inspired by the significant impact our work could have on millions of vulnerable or underserved adults and children whose lives literally depend on the development of new treatments.

My number one priority is to make a difference in patients’ lives. I am confident that we can develop safe and highly effective treatments against a broad variety of pathogenic viruses, just as  we have already done for HIV/AIDS and COVID-19.

George Painter, PhD
Co-Founder, Altesa BioSciences


Vapendavir is our most advanced medicine (Phase 2 Clinical Trials). We are currently investigating the treatment of the most common viral infection experienced by people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Within two decades, COPD is expected to become the leading cause of death globally.

Over 16 million Americans suffer with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), along hundreds of millions more people around the world. When people living with COPD experience a viral respiratory infection, including the “common cold” which is caused by the the rhinovirus, they often progress from the “sniffles” to serious lung symptoms like shortness of breath and bronchitis/pneumonia, which may lead to hospitalization and even death. Vapendavir targets the “rhinovirus,” the most common cause of these respiratory “exacerbations” in people with COPD. Our clinical trials will determine if this medication can reduce or even prevent the serious outcomes of these infections.

While Altesa initially is investigating the impact of Vapendavir on those with COPD, we believe this medication hold strong promise to help other vulnerable people who can experience fatal consequences from common viral infections, including chronically ill children, adults with cancer, or those with diseases that impair the immune system, such as transplant recipients or people with HIV.