- Proven leader with extensive corporate strategy experience in the biotechnology sector
- Dr. Eddy Littler to remain as Chief Operating Officer
London, UK, June 11, 2019 – ReViral Ltd., a clinical-stage company focused on developing novel, antiviral compounds that target respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), today announced that Alex C. Sapir has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and elected to the Board of Directors, effective June 10, 2019. Mr. Sapir succeeds Dr. Eddy Littler, who will serve as Chief Operating Officer (COO).
"Today, ReViral has a rich pipeline of wholly-owned RSV antiviral product candidates and strong research," said Dr. Kenneth Powell, Chairman of the Board. "Alex's proven leadership skills combined with his deep experience building biotech businesses make him ideally suited to take ReViral to the next level. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d also like to thank Eddy for his successful time at ReViral as CEO, where we now see the Company’s lead product, sisunatovir (RV521), poised to enter international, pediatric Phase II clinical trials this year. His leadership has been instrumental to ReViral’s evolution, and we look forward to benefiting from his continued input and guidance as COO.”
Mr. Sapir brings to ReViral many years of combined strategic and commercial experience in the biotechnology industry. From 2016 through 2018, Alex was the President and CEO at Dova Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: DOVA). During Alex’s tenure, the company raised $160M through a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) and subsequent follow-on offering. With those proceeds Dova Pharmaceuticals grew from a small, private, pre-commercial company to a 150-person, fully-integrated, publicly-traded biotech company with an approved and marketed product and a rich pipeline of ongoing clinical programs.
From January 2006 to May 2016, he served as Executive Vice President for United Therapeutics Corporation, a biotechnology company focused on pulmonary arterial hypertension and pediatric oncology. During his 10-year tenure at United Therapeutics, Alex was responsible for all commercial-related activity, seeing the company grow from a one product company generating $80M in revenues to a five-product company generating $1.6B annually. Mr. Sapir began his pharmaceutical career at GlaxoSmithKline, where he served in a variety of strategic and commercial roles in both the United States and Europe. He received his B.A. in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College and his MBA from Harvard Business School. He, along with Seth Hetherington, ReViral’s recently appointed Chief Medical Officer, will be based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park in the United States.
"I am honored to assume this role at such an important time in the Company’s evolution, and I look forward to working with the Company's leadership, employees, and Board of Directors to develop novel RSV therapies that hold the potential to deliver life-changing outcomes for patients around the world," said Mr. Sapir. "The morbidity and mortality associated with RSV remains high given the lack of available treatment options. With sisunatovir poised to enter Phase II trials, coupled with a strong portfolio of earlier-stage RSV candidates led by a world-renowned team of scientists with a track record of developing antiviral drugs, ReViral is well positioned to become a leader in the RSV market."
"It has been a privilege to serve as the CEO of ReViral during its evolution into a clinical stage company, and I am delighted to welcome Alex on board," said Dr. Littler. "Alex's experience running public biotech companies will enable ReViral to realize its full potential as it continues to discover and develop transformative RSV therapies for patients in need.”
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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 the route of administration. The lead candidate sisunatovir 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 July 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 fundraising.
Sisunatovir is an orally available small molecule antiviral fusion inhibitor being evaluated for the treatment of RSV. Sisunatovir blocks RSV replication by inhibiting RSV F-mediated fusion of RSV to the host cell. In 2018, sisunatovir 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 sisunatovir showed excellent exposure with no serious adverse events. Pre-clinical toxicity tests in adult and juvenile species showed sisunatovir 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.