Pfizer nabs RSV therapeutic biotech ReViral in quick $525M bolt-on

Pfizer has had plenty of success in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lately, with multiple FDA designations and clinical advancements for its vaccine candidate. But that’s not enough for the pharma giant. Today, the New York-based behemoth is acquiring ReViral and its collection of therapeutics for the pesky respiratory virus for $525 million.

Pfizer is hoping the candidates could eventually bring in $1.5 billion in annual revenue. The payment includes an upfront fee and milestones for ReViral.

ReViral is working on antiviral therapeutics for RSV, mainly the oral inhibitor sisunatovir that blocks fusion of RSV to host cells. The therapy was found to significantly reduce viral load during a phase 2 challenge study in healthy adults. The med is also in midstage testing in infants. A second program is aimed at inhibiting RSV replication by targeting the viral N protein, with a lead candidate already in early-stage testing.

Sisunatovir has fast-track designation in the U.S.,while Pfizer’s RSV vaccine also received a few designations recently. PF-06482077, or RSVpreF, snagged breakthrough tags for preventing RSV in adults and infants earlier this year.

“The proposed acquisition of ReViral’s pipeline of therapeutic candidates is complementary to our efforts to advance the first vaccine candidate to help protect against this harmful disease,” said Annaliesa Anderson, Ph.D., senior vice president and chief scientific officer, bacterial vaccines and hospital, at Pfizer. “Combining the capabilities and expertise of our organizations will enable us to further the clinical development of a potential therapy for those with RSV disease.”

Pfizer has plenty of firepower for M&A thanks to the successful COVID-19 franchise, so the ReViral deal is a nice bolt-on that falls in line with executives’ pledge to be “thoughtful and disciplined about resource allocation.” In December 2021, the company said it was looking for later-stage assets that can bring revenue in the back half of the decade and potential medical breakthroughs in earlier-stage development.

ReViral seems to bring both to the table with sisunatovir and the viral N protein program. CEO Albert Bourla, Ph.D., said ReViral fits into a strategy to provide “end-to-end capabilities” for patients.