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Novo Holdings Portfolio Company ReViral to be Acquired by Pfizer

Deal value of up to US$525 million

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Novo Holdings A/S, a leading international life sciences investor, today announces that its portfolio company ReViral Ltd (ReViral), has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) for up to US$525 million in total deal value.

Founded in 2011, ReViral is a London, UK and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina based privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercialising novel antiviral therapeutics that target respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). 

Novo Ventures, the venture capital team at Novo Holdings, led Novo Holdings’ first investment in ReViral in July 2018 co-leading a US$55 million Series B financing.

RSV is a respiratory pathogen, which can lead to severe and life-threatening lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in high-risk populations, including young infants, immunocompromised individuals, and older adults. It is estimated to cause infections in approximately 64 million people, resulting in about 160,000 deaths, globally each year.

ReViral has a portfolio of promising therapeutic candidates targeting RSV. Its lead drug, sisunatovir, is an orally administered inhibitor designed to block the fusion of RSV to the host cell, which has been granted Fast-Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sisunatovir significantly reduced viral load in a phase 2 RSV human challenge study in healthy adults and is currently in phase 2 clinical development in infants. A second programme, currently in phase 1 clinical development, is focused on the inhibition of RSV replication targeting the viral N-protein.

The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

Naveed Siddiqi, Board Director of ReViral and Senior Partner, Novo Holdings, said: “The Covid pandemic has placed a spotlight on the huge need for effective antiviral therapeutics as well as vaccines. We invested in ReViral, backing a team of visionary and proven developers in the RSV field, an area of high unmet medical need, especially in the newborn and the elderly. The proposed acquisition of the Company by Pfizer confirms the promise of ReViral’s pipeline of novel RSV therapeutics. As a leading transatlantic investor, Novo Holdings has a 20-year record of backing and supporting experienced management teams in developing transformative therapies for the benefit of patients. Pfizer is an ideal partner to take ReViral’s important mission forward.”

Alex C. Sapir, Chief Executive Officer, ReViral, said: “Since the foundation of the Company a decade ago by Dr. Ken Powell and Dr. Stuart Cockerill, ReViral’s mission has always been to develop world-class therapies for RSV patients. This acquisition represents a validation of the deep antiviral experience of the ReViral team and our unwavering commitment to delivering therapies for patients in need. Pfizer is an optimal partner given its commitment to RSV through the ongoing RSV vaccine programme coupled with world-class clinical, regulatory, manufacturing, and commercial capabilities. We are grateful to Novo Holdings and our other investors for their support and guidance as we worked to bring these therapies to patients as quickly as possible.”

Since January 2020, Novo Ventures has helped deploy over US$1.1 billion in life science investments, including in infectious diseases. The team consists of highly experienced investment professionals who operate from Copenhagen, Boston, London and San Francisco. The team advises on investments in early-stage startups through later stage crossover financings. On the public side, the team helps catalyze IPOs and follow-on financings as well as participation in the open market. 

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings A/S is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation. It is the holding company of the Novo Group, comprising Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, and is responsible for managing the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s assets.

Novo Holdings is recognised as a leading international life science investor, with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets.

About ReViral

ReViral is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercialising antiviral therapeutics, with an initial focus on treating respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The Company’s lead product candidate, sisunatovir, is an orally administered fusion inhibitor currently being evaluated in a global phase 2 paediatric clinical study (REVIRAL1). The Company also has an RSV N-protein replication inhibitor programme currently in phase 1 clinical development.

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