PIONEERING biotechnology firm, ReViral is enjoying its new North East research facility at NETPark where it is developing a highly potent drug to target a common virus.
The London-based company has almost reached the clinical trials stage of its drug, which will combat Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) – a virus which infects the lungs and can cause bronchiolitis and pneumonia and is particularly dangerous in those with compromised immune systems, particularly when found in young children and the elderly.
Durham University lecturer Dr Stuart Cockerill and his former colleagues at Arrow Therapeutics combined their expertise in the areas of virology and antiviral therapies when they set up ReViral in 2011.
The company was boosted when it won a prestigious £3.4m Seeding Drug Discovery Award from the Wellcome Trust to fund its first RSV antiviral programme to the stage of filing for their first clinical trial.
Now ReViral has opened a research facility at the North East Technology Park, (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham where it will be creating five jobs. It joins scores of other high tech medical companies which are making huge advancements in the healthcare industry.
Said Dr Cockerill, who is also a senior lecturer in medicinal chemistry at Durham University: “It’s been hard work to get to this point but it’s very exciting to be here now. Treatment for RSV represents a very important multi-billion dollar market since up until very recently there’s been no effective treatment for it.”