Press Release

Attenua Announces Release of Data Demonstrating that ATA-101 is Antitussive in Guinea Pigs

NEW YORK, Sept. 11, 2017  — Attenua, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel, non-narcotic medicines for cough – a significant and unmet medical problem, today announced the release of novel data that demonstrate the antitussive effectiveness of its lead compound – ATA-101. Results will be presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Milan, Italy.1  ATA-101 is a highly selective and potent agonist at the alpha 7 sub-type of nicotinic receptors. ATA-101 was acquired by Attenua from Targacept in 2016 (was TC-5619) and is being re-purposed as a novel therapy for cough – initially chronic refractory cough. The newly reported data demonstrates that ATA-101 (and other alpha 7 agonists) provides a dose related suppression of cough.

Peter Dicpinigaitis, MD, Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY commented, “It is extremely encouraging to see confirmation of the antitussive effect of nicotine, previously demonstrated in man, by these data with ATA-101, a selective and potent alpha 7 nicotinic receptor agonist. This holds the potential to create a new class of antitussives without the addictive potential of nicotine, which would address an important unmet medical need.”

Attenua Chief Executive Officer, Jing Liang, Ph.D., commented, “We are very excited by these data that support the initiation of a clinical program designed to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of ATA-101 in patients with chronic refractory cough. A Proof of Concept study is targeted to start in mid 2018.”

About Attenua

Attenua is a clinical-stage biotech company focused primarily on developing novel, non-narcotic medicines to treat cough. Cough is a neglected medical problem for which no new drugs (NMEs/NCEs) have been approved since 1958. In the United States, 30 to 35 million prescriptions of cough medication are dispensed each year for relief of cough and symptoms associated with upper respiratory allergies or the common cold. This includes approximately 18 million prescriptions for narcotics. In particular, there is no approved medication for treating chronic cough. The Attenua team consists of research and development leaders from academia and industry, with significant combined drug discovery and development experience involving more than 60 development programs, over 20 successful New Drug Applications (NDAs), and hundreds of peer-reviewed publications. For more information, please contact

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statement of historical facts, included in this press release regarding the potential uses of the Company’s product candidates and the Company’s product development plans, are forward-looking statements.


Jing Liang, CEO
Attenua, Inc.

1 Canning BJ, DeVita R, Perelman M, Hay D, Liu Q, Liang J, Dicpinigaitis PV. The antitussive effects of alpha7 (α7) nicotinic receptor agonists. Eur Respir J 2017;50:Suppl., OA4409