WuXi Biologics and Vir Biotechnology Announce Collaboration for Global Development of Antibodies to Treat COVID-19
SAN FRANCISCO and SHANGHAI, February 25, 2020 – WuXi Biologics (“WuXi Bio”) (2269.HK), a leading global open-access biologics technology platform company offering end-to-end solutions for biologics discovery, development and manufacturing, and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (“Vir”) (Nasdaq: VIR) today announced a development and manufacturing collaboration to advance and produce human monoclonal antibodies for the potential treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (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 (mAbs) that bind to SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies were isolated from individuals who had survived a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) 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 of 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.”
About Vir’s Antibody Platform
Vir has a robust method for capitalizing on unusually successful immune responses naturally occurring in people who are protected from, or have recovered from, infectious diseases. The platform is used to identify rare antibodies from survivors that have the potential to treat and prevent rapidly evolving and/or previously untreatable pathogens via direct pathogen neutralization and immune system stimulation. Vir engineers the fully human antibodies that it discovers to enhance their therapeutic potential. This platform has been used to identify and develop antibodies for pathogens including Ebola (mAb114, currently in use in the Democratic Republic of Congo), hepatitis B virus, influenza A, malaria, and others.
About Vir Biotechnology
Vir Biotechnology is a clinical-stage immunology company focused on combining immunologic insights with cutting-edge technologies to treat and prevent serious infectious diseases. Vir has assembled four technology platforms that are designed to stimulate and enhance the immune system by exploiting critical observations of natural immune processes. Its current development pipeline consists of five product candidates targeting hepatitis B virus, influenza A, human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis. For more information, please visit www.vir.bio.
About WuXi Biologics
WuXi Biologics (stock code: 2269.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company, is a leading global open-access biologics technology platform offering end-to-end solutions to empower organizations to discover, develop and manufacture biologics from concept to commercial manufacturing. Our company history and achievements demonstrate our commitment to providing a truly ONE-stop service offering and strong value proposition to our global clients. As of June 30, 2019, there were a total of 224 integrated projects, including 106 projects in pre-clinical development stage, 102 projects in early-phase (phase I and II) clinical development, 15 projects in late-phase (phase III) development and one project in commercial manufacturing. With total estimated capacity for biopharmaceutical production planned in China, Ireland, Singapore and the U.S. exceeding 280,000 liters by 2022, we will provide our biomanufacturing partners with a robust and premier-quality global supply chain network. For more information on WuXi Biologics, please visit www.wuxibiologics.com.
Vir Biotechnology, Inc.
Neera Ravindran, MD
Head of Investor Relations & Strategic Communications