Legal Adviser Jarosław Rudy, Managing Partner of the Law Firm Żyglicka i Wspólnicy, advised Kvarko ASI sp. z o.o. fund on its investment in Aсatavir sp. z o.o. which implements the R&D project.
The total value of funds raised by Aсatavir sp. z o.o. is PLN 640,000.
Having conducted a number of the relevant tests, Acatavir will intend to develop and launch on the market an innovative product for the treatment and/or prevention of the head cold in cats, an infection caused by feline herpesvirus, in particular, feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV‑1) and cat calicivirus (FCV). Upper respiratory tract inflammation in cats (called the head cold in cats) is a common disease and a broad term covering infectious diseases of airways and mucous membranes in cats. The symptoms include not only mild, watery nasal discharge, but also severe systemic diseases leading to death.
The antiviral treatment currently in use causes serious side effects and is relatively expensive. Therefore, new inhibitors for the replication of feline herpesviruses, particularly FHV-1, are needed. Efforts are made to find the remedies with a mechanism of action different than currently available for treatment and/or prevention, also suitable for combination therapy. The finished product, developed under the Acatavir tests, is intended to respond to several needs for the treatment of the head cold in cats, including the following:
- shorter time of convalescence,
- lower cats’ treatment costs,
- fewer side effects,
- increased precision by application directly to the affected areas,
- multidimensional action thanks to additional epithelial regeneration,
- new mechanisms of action for the treatment of the head cold in cats.
The other four originators and shareholders of Acatavir (with shares of 20% each) are as follows:
- Prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Pyrć (President of the Management Board of Acatavir) – full professor, microbiologist, biotechnologist, virologist, recognised expert on coronaviruses, head of the Virus Laboratory and originator of the Virogenetics BSL3 Laboratory of Virology in the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology and the infectious laboratory in the Faculty of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Biotechnology of the Jagiellonian University;
- Prof. dr hab. Maria Nowakowska – full professor, outstanding and award-winning expert in chemistry, three-time member of the Nobel Committee nominating Nobel Prize candidates;
- Prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Szczubiałka – full professor, outstanding and award-winning expert in chemistry, specialist in the use of polymers in biomedicine, including virus control;
- mgr Aleksandra Synowiec – biotechnologist, molecular virologist, team member and PhD student at the Virogenetics BSL3 Laboratory of Virology in the Małopolska Centre of Biotechnology, winner of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award L'Oréal-UNE.
In 2019, 25% of European households had at least one cat, which gives, in total, more than 106 million of cats (annual report for 2020 by the European Pet Food Industry Federation). According to estimates of the Market Data Forecast, the value of the companion animal health market was USD 15.3 billion in 2019 and will increase to USD 20.7 billion by 2024 with CAGR at 6.26%.