DOYLESTOWN, Pa., Nov. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Novira Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage privately held company developing novel therapeutic candidates for curative treatments of chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, and Johnson & Johnson today announced the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Johnson & Johnson will acquire 100% of the capital stock of Novira. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
"This acquisition will enhance the ability of Novira's research and development teams to continue to advance novel therapeutic candidates for chronic HBV infection," said Christian S. Schade, Chief Executive Officer of Novira Therapeutics. "Novira is developing important new investigational curative treatments for HBV infection and this transaction is a great opportunity for the development of those assets to benefit from Johnson & Johnson's resources, expertise and dedication to delivering innovative treatment options to the many patients with life-threatening infections."
The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor to Novira Therapeutics in this transaction and Sidley Austin LLP as its legal advisor.
About NVR 3-778
NVR 3-778 is a small molecule, direct acting antiviral drug candidate that inhibits the HBV core or capsid protein, being investigated for oral administration in patients with Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB). HBV core is a novel and promising drug target with multiple activities required for viral replication and persistence. Inhibition of the HBV core protein function by NVR 3-778 offers the potential for more efficient suppression of virus production and replication, which could lead to improved durable viral suppression and functional cure rates.
Hepatitis B infection presents a significant unmet medical need with an estimated 350 million people worldwide living with chronic HBV infection. A significant number of patients with chronic infection incur a higher risk of developing cirrhosis and cancer. It is estimated that 60% of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) is a direct consequence of HBV infection. Current drugs approved for the management of CHB include PEG-Interferon and nucleot(s)ides which can effectively suppress virus replication, but rarely lead to a cure.
About Novira Therapeutics
Novira Therapeutics, Inc., is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of first-in-class antiviral drug candidates for the treatment of chronic HBV infection (CHB), a global disease with a high level of unmet medical need. The company is employing innovative chemistry and biology technologies to discover small molecule inhibitors of the HBV core or capsid protein as well as other drug candidates with novel mode of action. The company's novel antiviral drug candidates have the potential to address the limitations of current CHB therapies when used either as mono-therapy or in combination with existing standards of care.
For more information, visit www.noviratherapeutics.com.
Christian S. Schade
Chief Executive Officer
SOURCE Novira Therapeutics, Inc.