Six months after ReViral outlined the efficacy of their respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, treatment in healthy adults with an intranasal infection, the London-based biotech has raised a $55 million B round to take the next big step in the clinic.
ReViral got started with seed money for their discovery work from the Wellcome Trust in 2012 and then moved toward the clinic with a $21 million launch round in 2015. Now they’re blueprinting a Phase IIb trial to test an RSV fusion inhibitor dubbed RV521 that is designed to block viral replication as a way to protect an at-risk population.
There’s nothing unusual about the virus. It’s quite common. But particularly among infants and adults with a compromised immune system, RSV can be a killer. And it’s that exposed group the biotech is working for.
The next step will be additional Phase IIa studies in children as well as adult RSV cases involving a stem cell transplant.
This isn’t an easy field, and there are no guarantees that early proof-of-concept data will lead to pivotal data. A year ago Regeneron dropped its Phase III RSV antibody after a rare flop for the company. That effort was scrapped after Regeneron held it up as a top late-stage program.
Just a few months before that Sanofi stepped in and signed a $645 million pact to partner with AstraZeneca on MEDI8897, an RSV antibody which had been developed by MedImmune. David Loew, the head of Sanofi Pasteur, called RSV “the most important missing indication in the vaccination schedule of newborns.”
New Leaf Venture Partners and Novo Ventures stepped in to co-lead this new round for ReViral, with additional help from another new investor, Perceptive Advisors, along with existing backers at Andera Partners, OrbiMed and Brace Pharma Capital.
Nanna Lüneborg, a partner at Novo Ventures, noted:
We have been following the RSV field for some time and see ReViral as a leader in this space. We are delighted to offer our investment expertise, furthering the development of the company as it moves into pediatric trials.
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