Johnson & Johnson announced the completion of the acquisition of Novira Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for curative treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The transaction was originally announced on November 4, 2015.
Novira Therapeutics, Inc. is now part of the Infectious Diseases & Vaccines Therapeutic Area of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of J&J. The acquisition includes Novira’s portfolio of innovative antivirals, including its lead candidate, NVR 3-778 which is in Phase 1b clinical trials, according to a press release. NVR 3-778 is an investigational small molecule, direct-acting antiviral, for oral administration in patients with HBV that inhibits the HBV core or capsid protein. HBV core is a promising drug target since it is involved in multiple activities required for viral replication and persistence.
“We are exploring several approaches in pursuit of a functional cure for this insidious disease. Bringing together NVR 3-778 with our own internal discoveries we will leverage our vast experience in viral diseases to develop potentially transformational medicines for HBV patients,” said William N. Hait, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head, Janssen Research & Development LLC.