London, UK, 26th February 2019: ReViral Ltd., a clinical-stage company focused on developing novel, anti-viral compounds that target respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), today announced the appointment of Seth Hetherington, MD as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Hetherington, who will be based in the U.S., brings to ReViral more than three decades of clinical, regulatory and industry experience in developing treatments for clinically important viral infections.
“We are pleased to welcome Seth to the team, as we prepare for our lead RSV candidate, RV521, to enter into international, pediatric Phase IIa clinical trials,” said Eddy Littler, MD, Chief Executive Officer of ReViral. “His strong track record in the clinical development of antivirals and deep understanding of the regulatory environment, will be invaluable as we progress RV521 and the rest of our pipeline.”
Dr. Hetherington joins ReViral from Genocea Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GNCA), where he was Chief Medical Officer for seven years, leading the clinical development of therapeutic vaccines, including for certain viral targets. Prior to Genocea, he served as Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Icagen, Inc. and Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at Inhibitex, Inc. His previous industry experience includes clinical drug development at GlaxoSmithKline, where he made significant contributions to several clinical development programs, including the currently marketed anti-viral pharmaceuticals, Ziagen®, Trizivir® and Agenerase®.
“I am excited to be joining ReViral at this critical time in the Company’s evolution,” said Dr. Hetherington. “I look forward to working with the team to continue progressing both RV521 and the rest of the Company’s pipeline of novel direct antiviral drug candidates. RSV remains a significant cause of severe disease and death, especially in premature infants, the elderly and those who are immune suppressed.”
Dr. Hetherington is an adjunct clinical faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and previously held academic appointments at the University of Tennessee, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis and Albany Medical College. Dr. Hetherington earned his B.S. at Yale University and his M.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He completed his postgraduate training in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases at the University of North Carolina and the University of Minnesota, respectively. Dr. Hetherington has served as the industry representative on advisory committees to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information, please contact:
Eddy Littler, CEO
T: +44 (0) 1438 906761
FTI Consulting (PR Advisors to ReViral)
Irma Gomez-Dib (US) +1 212 850 5761
Simon Conway (UK) +44 20 3727 1000
Notes to Editors
ReViral is a clinical-stage company focused on developing novel, anti-viral compounds that target 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 programme targeting RSV fusion with highly potent, orally bioavailable inhibitors, strong drug-like characteristics and good pharmacokinetic properties offering versatility in route of administration. The lead candidate RV521 completed a Phase IIa study in adult volunteers showing high potency and excellent safety. The company also has an RSV replication programme at an earlier stage of development and plans to expand its pipeline. In August 2018, ReViral completed a $55 million Series B funding round from a group of leading venture capital investors jointly led by New Leaf Venture Partners and Novo Ventures, part of Novo Holdings A/S, with additional new investment from Perceptive Advisors. Existing investors Andera Partners, OrbiMed and Brace Pharma Capital also participated in the fundraise.
RV521 is an orally available small molecule antiviral fusion inhibitor being evaluated for the treatment of RSV. RV521 blocks RSV replication by inhibiting RSV F-mediated fusion of RSV to the host cell. In 2018, RV521 generated positive results in a Phase IIa RSV challenge study in healthy adult volunteers, producing statistically significant reductions in viral load and clinical symptoms. In Phase I clinical studies RV521 showed excellent exposure with no serious adverse events. Pre-clinical toxicity tests in adult and juvenile species showed RV521 to have an excellent safety profile with an attractive margin over therapeutic doses.
About Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
RSV is a pathogen that infects the human respiratory tract, potentially leading to bronchiolitis and pneumonia. While most (but not all) otherwise healthy people recover from the virus, there is an increased risk of severe disease and death in premature infants, individuals with certain pulmonary conditions, the elderly and those who are immune suppressed. Globally RSV is responsible for more than 30 million infections every year and as many as 200,000 infant deaths. An estimated 2-3% of all infants under 2 years of age are hospitalised with RSV.