London, UK – 8th September 2015: ReViral, an antiviral drug discovery and development company, focused on diseases caused by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), today announced the successful completion of a US $21 million Series A financing. The financing was jointly led by Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and OrbiMed with additional new investment from Brace Pharma Capital. As part of the transaction Wellcome Trust converted a Seeding Drug Discovery Award loan to the company into equity. Representatives of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, OrbiMed and the Wellcome Trust will be joining the ReViral Board.
The funding will enable ReViral to progress its lead drug candidate (RV521), which is a highly potent and orally bioavailable potential treatment of RSV infections, into proof of concept clinical trials and to continue the development of a novel series of antiviral inhibitors targeting RSV fusion. RV521 will enter IND enabling toxicology studies in Q4 2015, with the aim of moving into the clinic in 2016.
RSV is the most important respiratory pathogen with 64 million infections and an estimated 200,000 deaths worldwide annually in children under five years alone. There are currently no RSV vaccines available and there is an urgent need for improved drugs for this indication.
Raphaël Wisniewski Partner at Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners said: “The lack of treatment options available and the limited competition in RSV offer a significant market for innovative therapies. We believe ReViral has a truly novel product and its focus gives it the potential to build a franchise of RSV programmes and eventually expand into all the diseases associated with infection by this virus.”
Chau Q. Khuong Private Equity Partner at OrbiMed added: “We have been following the RSV field for some time and see ReViral as a leader in this space. We are delighted to bring our investment expertise into the development of the Company as it moves into the clinic next year.”
Dr Ken Powell, Executive Chairman of the Board of ReViral, commented: “We are excited to welcome our new investors to the Company. This investment by blue-chip funds is validation of ReViral’s scientific approach to discovering and developing novel antiviral therapies for RSV, a significant unmet medical need. This milestone also demonstrates the value of the Wellcome Seeding Drug Discovery programme.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
ReViral is an antiviral drug discovery and development company, focused on novel antiviral treatments for diseases caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Founded in 2011, ReViral has an experienced R&D leadership team with a successful track record in antiviral drug discovery and development. The company has developed a novel antiviral program targeting RSV fusion with highly potent, orally bioavailable inhibitors with strong drug like characteristics and good pharmacokinetic properties offering versatility in route of administration. In 2012 ReViral won a significant Seeding Drug Discovery Award from the Wellcome Trust to develop its RSV fusion inhibitors to completion of IND filing. The company also has an RSV replication program at an earlier stage of development and plans to expand its pipeline.
About Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners
Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners is a point of reference for minority investment in unlisted companies through development capital and in venture capital. Established in France, the company has deployed its investment teams in Paris, Lyon, Shanghai and Milan (through its exclusive partnership with Mast Capital). The management company consists of 41 individuals, including 29 investment professionals, and manages over €1.3 billion. Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners is an Edmond de Rothschild Group company.
Within Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, its Life Sciences Team of eight professionals brings together over 60 years of experience in the Life Science industry and more than 100 years of private equity and venture capital experience. The Team has raised EUR 450 million through its BioDiscovery franchise and is currently investing BioDiscovery 4. Since inception in 2001, BioDiscovery Funds have invested in 50 companies, of which 15 have been sold and 14 listed on public financial markets, while 18 are active in the portfolios. BioDiscovery Funds, including BioDiscovery 4, are venture capital funds dedicated to professional investors. These funds are not authorized by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers and may adopt special investment rules. For more information, please visit: www.edrip.fr.
OrbiMed is a leading investment firm dedicated exclusively to the healthcare sector, with over $15 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the spectrum of healthcare companies, from venture capital start-ups to large multinational companies. OrbiMed’s team of more than 90 employees manages a series of private equity funds, royalty/debt funds and other investment vehicles. OrbiMed maintains its headquarters in New York City with additional offices in San Francisco, Shanghai, Mumbai and Herzliya.
About Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is the most important respiratory pathogen, responsible for one-fifth of all lower respiratory tract infections worldwide. Historically it has been considered to be important solely an infection of children, however, with much improved diagnostic tools and the ever-increasing awareness of diseases of the elderly and immunocompromised patient populations this perception is changing.
RSV infection is responsible for more infant hospitalizations than other viral infections such as influenza. Susceptible populations are premature infants, children, transplant patients, the elderly and people of all ages with heart failure and lung disease. In addition, severe infection in infancy is linked to the later development of asthma. In the elderly in the US it was shown that RSV infection caused 177,500 hospital admissions and 14,000 deaths over a period of 4 years. Hospitalization costs alone were estimated at more than $1 billion.