Second tranche of Seeding Drug Discovery award from Wellcome Trust Innovations
London, UK – 1st December 2014: ReViral, an antiviral drug discovery and development company, focused on diseases caused by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), today announced it has achieved a milestone for its RSV fusion, anti-viral drug discovery project funded by the Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery funding scheme. The attainment of the milestone releases the second tranche of funding from the Seeding Drug Discovery Award. In conjunction with this drawdown, reViral has also raised additional funding from current and new investors, adding in total to over $1M in additional funding.
The award highlights ReViral’s innovative approach to develop novel treatments for RSV and the release of the next tranche of funding by the Wellcome Trust is recognition of success in achieving a significant scientific milestone by the company. The second tranche will fund the development of reVirals’ lead drug candidate (RV521), which is a highly potent and orally bioavailable potential treatment of RSV infections.
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.
Stuart Cockerill, Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of reViral said: “We have made excellent progress over the last year and we are very pleased to have achieved this scientific milestone as part of our Wellcome Trust Seeding Drug Discovery Award. The collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, attainment of this milestone and the further funding this has brought are validation of reViral’s scientific approach to discovering and developing novel antiviral therapies for RSV which represents a significant unmet medical need.”
Khatereh Ahmadi, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of reViral added: “Achieving this milestone has triggered further investment from our group of Angel investors, recognising our progress. The lack of treatment options available and the limited competition in RSV offer a significant market for innovative therapies like ours.”
ReViral has developed a novel series of antiviral inhibitors targeting RSV fusion - including its lead compound (RV521) - which is highly potent and orally bioavailable with strong drug like characteristics.
The news follows the recent appointment of Professor Raymond Schinazi to the Board as a Non-Executive Director.
ReViral: Khatereh Ahmadi, CEO
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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 Initiative 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 in other antivirals for diseases with a high unmet need.
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 solely an infection of children, however, with 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.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. We provide more than £700 million a year to support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.
For more information on the Seeding Drug Discovery Award, please visit the Wellcome Trust website: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Innovations/Awards/Seeding-Drug-Discovery/index.htm