British biotech ReViral hits goals in early RSV test

Lungs
RSV is most dangerous in the very young and the elderly and can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia. (Image: Pixabay)

ReViral has hit its primary and secondary endpoints in a small midstage trial testing its experimental med against the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The phase 2a placebo-controlled test of its oral RSV fusion inhibitor RV521, given to healthy adults infected with the virus, significantly reduced viral load, reduced total mucus weight and reduced clinical symptoms, compared to a dummy treatment. The biotech said there were no safety concerns from its med.

RSV is most dangerous in the very young and the elderly, and can lead to bronchiolitis and pneumonia, with around 30 million infections a year.

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The plan now is for the biotech to target younger children already infected with the disease, to get a better handle on how well it can work in the targeted population, using this as a jumping point.

Eddy Littler, ReViral’s CEO, said: “RV521 has shown best in class properties as an RSV therapeutic including efficacy, dose and safety. The company will now move forward to a clinical study in infants”. Full data from this study is slated to be shared this May.

RELATED: Sanofi pays €120M to buy into AstraZeneca RSV program

Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and OrbiMed co-led the $21 million (€18.8 million) series A round in London-based ReViral back in 2015, and was founded by a series of cancer and anti-viral Big Pharma vets.

A number of companies have targeted RSV as a treatment and/or vaccine, but with mixed successes: Novavax saw its shares plummet in the fall of 2016 when it announced a late-stage test of its RSV F-protein recombinant nanoparticle vaccine missed all of its marks across a 12,000-strong study for the virus.

But Ablynx has had more luck, posting positive safety data from a phase 1/2a trial of its inhaled treatment for RSV infections in the same year; and last year, Ablynx’s new owner Sanofi signed a €120M to buy into AstraZeneca’s RSV mAb program.