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ARM Innovation Hub
26 August, 2020 - 21:19 By Tony Quested

Reviral closes $44m Series C round to tackle respiratory syncytial virus

Stevenage-based ReViral Ltd., a clinical-stage biopharma focused on discovering, developing, and commercialising novel antiviral therapeutics that target respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), has closed a US $44 million Series C financing led by CR-CP Life Science Fund. 

Additional investors participating in the financing include Andera Partners, Brace Pharma Capital, Green Sands Equity, New Leaf Venture Partners, Novo Holdings, OrbiMed Advisors, and Perceptive Advisors. §, joins the ReViral Board of Directors.

ReViral’s lead product candidate, sisunatovir, is an orally administered fusion inhibitor currently being evaluated in two global Phase 2 clinical studies: one in a peadiatric patient population and the other in an adult stem-cell transplant patient population. The company also has an N-protein replication inhibitor program in late preclinical development. Both programs were discovered in-house and the company has retained worldwide development and commercialisation rights.

“We are delighted by the strong financial support from this leading syndicate of healthcare investors, and we welcome Jason to our Board”, said Alex Sapir, CEO, ReViral. “The proceeds from the financing will be used to support Phase 2 clinical development for sisunatovir, our wholly-owned fusion protein inhibitor, and to progress our N-protein replication inhibitor program into Phase 1.”

CR-CP Life Science Fund is a venture capital fund jointly sponsored by China Resources Group (“CR”) and Charoen Pokphand Group (“CP”) with initial AUM of $300 million contributed by CR, CP and other global life science investors. The Fund invests in leading life science companies that develop innovative drugs, cell therapies, medical devices and smart healthcare technologies. 

Dr Jason Zhou M.D., CEO and Managing Director of CR-CP Life Science Fund said: “We are pleased to invest in ReViral and support their work to develop and commercialise novel therapeutics to treat RSV, a major global health concern. We have confidence that ReViral’s world class management team, strong science, and deep clinical expertise will enable ReViral to become a leader in the RSV market.”

Sisunatovir is an orally administered fusion inhibitor designed to block RSV replication by inhibiting RSV F-mediated fusion of RSV with the host cell. Sisunatovir was recently granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Preclinical tests demonstrated sisunatovir to have an excellent toxicity profile with an attractive therapeutic index. In Phase 1 clinical studies, sisunatovir achieved target exposure levels with no serious adverse events being reported. 

In 2018, results from a Phase 2a challenge study in healthy adult volunteers were reported, in which sisunatovir produced statistically significant reductions in viral load and clinical symptoms. ReViral has recently initiated two international multicentre Phase 2 clinical studies of sisunatovir in pediatric and adult high-risk patient populations.

RSV is a respiratory pathogen that can lead to severe and life-threatening lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in high-risk populations, such as infants, immunocompromised patients, and the elderly. RSV constitutes a substantial disease burden.

The US-Based National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that, globally, RSV affects approximately 64 million people and causes approximately 160,000 deaths each year. Globally, there are an estimated 33 million cases of RSV LRTI each year in children younger than five years of age, with about 3 million of them being hospitalised and approximately 60,000 dying each year from complications associated with the infection. Currently, there are no effective therapeutic treatment options for patients who develop RSV infection.

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