Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIR) and WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK) today announced a development and manufacturing collaboration to advance and produce human monoclonal antibodies for the potential treatment of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019), a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together on the clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization of Vir’s proprietary antibodies. WuXi Biologics will conduct cell-line development, process and formulation development, and initial manufacturing for clinical development. If the antibodies receive regulatory approvals, WuXi Biologics has the rights to commercialize therapies in Greater China, and Vir has the rights to commercialize therapies in all other markets worldwide.
Vir has identified a number of monoclonal antibodies that bind to SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies were isolated from individuals who had survived a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) infection. The company is conducting research to determine if its antibodies, or additional antibodies that it may be able to identify, can be effective as treatment and/or prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2.
“We are acutely aware of the importance of moving rapidly in response to COVID-19,”said George A.Scangos, Ph.D., CEO o Vir Biotechnology.“ In the event that we are in a position to develop an antibody therapy, our agreement with WuXi Biologics enables us to accelerate advancement against this global threat.”
“Both WuXi Biologics and Vir felt the great urgency to develop antibodies to treat global patients provided they work in the clinic. Our state-of-the-art technology platform and robust global-quality supply network make us uniquely qualified in expediting the development and manufacturing of these potential treatments," commented Chris Chen, Ph.D., CEO of WuXi Biologics. "Once again WuXi Biologics is collaborating with global biotech companies such as Vir to expedite biologics development to benefit patients worldwide."