Pharma Stock Under Pressure: Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: AVIR)

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Atea Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: AVIR) stock fell 4.13% on 30th March, 2021 (Source: Google finance). The company reported net loss for the year ended December 31, 2020 in the amount of $10.9 million, which decreased by $3.1 million from $14.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.

The company reported collaboration revenue of $48.6 million for the twelve months ended Dec. 31, derived from the Roche license agreement executed in October. That is compared to zero revenue in full-year 2019. Atea ended full-year 2020 with $850.1 million of cash and cash equivalents, compared to $21.7 million a year earlier.

Further, the company incurred research and development expenses for the year ended December 31, 2020 of $38.0 million, which increased by $27.8 million from $10.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. The increase in research and development expenses was mainly driven by an increase in external expenses incurred related to contract research organization and contract manufacturing organization services in connection with the advancement of product candidates for the treatment of COVID-19 and dengue and an increase in personnel-related expenses, including salaries and bonuses, benefits and stock-based compensation expense. The company also incurred general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2020 of $21.6 million, which has increased by $17.2 million from $4.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 mainly due to the expansion of the organization resulting in an increase in payroll and personnel-related expenses, including salaries, benefits, and stock-based compensation expense. The general and administrative expenses for the fiscal year also include consulting fees of $7.0 million, which was paid to a financial advisor in connection with the Roche License Agreement.

Meanwhile, the company recently announced that Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in-licensed from Roche the rights to develop and market AT-527 for the treatment of COVID-19 in Japan. The company had signed an agreement with Roche pursuant to which Atea licensed to Roche the exclusive rights to research, develop, and distribute AT-527 as an antiviral treatment for COVID-19 in territories outside of the United States. As per the terms of the agreement, Atea received an upfront payment of $350 million in cash from Roche with the potential for future milestone payments and royalties.

On the other hand, effective from December 21, 2020, Atea got added to the Russell 2000 Index as part of the index’s quarterly initial public offering (IPO) additions. In November 2020, the company had raised $317.6 million from an IPO after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and other offering expenses.

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