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Pfizer to buy Durham-based pharmaceutical company

The agreement also would allow the federal government to acquire an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Jeenah Moon
Bloomberg via Getty Images
The agreement also would allow the federal government to acquire an additional 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Pfizer has announced it will buy a British pharmaceutical company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Durham.

ReViral is working on an oral treatment for respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. The symptoms are mild for most people. But for seniors, it can be fatal.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 177,000 older Americans are hospitalized with RSV every year and 14,000 die from it. There are few treatments for RSV, but ReViral’s sisunatovir drug has shown promise in a phase two trial. The company has another RSV therapy in early development.

“Pfizer is an optimal partner given their commitment to RSV through their ongoing RSV vaccine program, coupled with their world-class clinical, regulatory, manufacturing and commercial capabilities,” ReViral CEO Alex Sapir said in a statement. “We look forward to working with our colleagues at Pfizer to bring these therapies to patients as quickly as possible.”

Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Bourla noted ReViral’s work compliments his company’s efforts to fight all kinds of infectious diseases, including COVID-19. “We’re continuing to grow our pipeline – through our own research-and-development efforts, such as our investigational RSV vaccine programs, as well as strategic investments in companies like ReViral – with a focus on end-to-end capabilities to help protect patients from severe illness, hospitalization, and death,” he said.

Founded in 2011, ReViral’s U.K. headquarters are located in a bioscience park in Hertfordshire, about 29 miles north of London. Its U.S. headquarters is on Meridian Parkway in Durham. Pfizer has a large presence in Research Triangle Park and employs about 3,600 people in North Carolina.

Pfizer says it will buy ReViral “for a total consideration of up to $525 million” and the deal could generate $1.5 billion in revenue once complete.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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