CRO hVIVO inks $8.2M deal to test RSV drug in human challenge trial

CRO hVIVO inked a 6.8 million pounds sterling ($8.2 million) deal with an unnamed pharmaceutical company to run a human challenge test for a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) antiviral drug candidate.

The study will be conducted at hVIVO’s Whitechapel facility in London and is expected to begin in the first half of 2024, the company said in a Feb. 6 press release. HVIVO, which was formerly Open Orphan, will recruit healthy volunteers through its recruitment arm, FluCamp.

In a challenge trial, healthy patients are deliberately infected with a virus to assess the efficacy of an experimental vaccine.

The identity of the client was not disclosed, however, was described as “a leading pharmaceutical company based in Asia Pacific.”

HVIVO has inoculated more than 1,600 healthy volunteers across 28 RSV challenge trials to date. RSV affects roughly 50 million people a year, leading to four million hospitalizations and approximately 60,000 in-hospital deaths in children younger than five years, the company said.

The deal is the second human challenge trial contract hVIVO has signed with an Asia-Pacific region client this year. Last August, the company signed a $12.3 million deal with another large, unnamed pharmaceutical company to produce a novel batch of H1N1 influenza challenge virus.