By Anna Lynch and Valeria Iansante
In early 2020, before the coronavirus crisis hit, we were talking with Atriva about a new treatment for seasonal flu. Atriva is a small, German life sciences company that develops medicine for viral infections. No one had any idea at the time that this company might help fight the pandemic.
When COVID-19 exploded a few months later, the European Investment Bank reached out to a broad group of life sciences companies to see how they might help tackle the growing pandemic. Everyone at the Bank agreed that we should cast a wide net for this crisis.
We were already in an appraisal process with Atriva in early 2020, and the company had said at the time that it preferred to keep focusing on influenza treatments. But then, a few weeks later, Atriva got back in touch to say they were seeing promising laboratory results for their lead product that might treat coronavirus illnesses.
We ended up approving a €24 million loan to help Atriva do research into COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The company’s clinical trials are now showing early successes for people who get very sick with the coronavirus.