Vir Biotechnology and Biogen Execute Agreement to Manufacture SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies for Potential COVID-19 Treatment
“Biogen’s world-class cell line and process development expertise is a tremendous asset as we work with great urgency to develop our antibody candidates, including employing technology that is designed to maximize the yield of each manufacturing batch produced,” said
Vir’s SARS-CoV-2 antibody development candidates, VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, have demonstrated high affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and the ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in live-virus cellular assays. The execution of this definitive agreement allows Vir to advance the development of its antibody candidates and complements its existing manufacturing agreements with
Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen and Vir will collaborate to develop highly productive clonal cell lines and clinical and commercial manufacturing processes for Vir’s SARS-CoV-2 antibody candidates. These processes are designed to be transferrable to global biomanufacturing facilities designed for advanced biologics production. As part of the agreement, Vir has contracted with Biogen to conduct cGMP clinical manufacturing in the
VIR-7831 is a monoclonal antibody that has demonstrated the ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 live virus in vitro. The antibody binds to an epitope on SARS-CoV-2 that is shared with SARS-CoV-1 (also known as SARS), indicating that the epitope is highly conserved, which may make it more difficult for escape mutants to develop. VIR-7831 has been engineered to have an extended half-life.
VIR-7832 is a monoclonal antibody that has demonstrated the ability to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 live virus in vitro. The antibody binds to an epitope on SARS-CoV-2 that is shared with SARS-CoV-1 (also known as SARS), indicating that the epitope is highly conserved, which may make it more difficult for escape mutants to develop. VIR-7832 has been engineered to have an extended half-life and to potentially function as a T cell vaccine.
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.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “may,” “will,” “could,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “goal,” “intend,” “potential,” “candidate,” “continuing,” “developing” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Vir’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include statements regarding the potential benefits of Vir’s collaboration with Biogen, the timing and scale of manufacturing activities, the demand for antibody therapies, the timing of commencement of clinical trials for VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, Vir’s ability to address the current COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks of the disease, the ability of VIR-7831 and VIR-7832 to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus, Vir’s efforts to identify additional antibodies, as well as statements about the highly conserved nature of VIR-7831 and VIR-7832 making it more difficult for escape mutants to develop. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results including unexpected results during clinical trials, difficulties in obtaining regulatory approval, clinical site activation rates or clinical trial enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, delays or disruptions in the Vir’s business or clinical trials due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unexpected litigation or other disputes, challenges in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2, difficulty in collaborating with other companies or government agencies, and challenges in accessing manufacturing capacity. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Vir’s filings with the
Vir Biotechnology, Inc.Investors Neera Ravindran, MD Head of Investor Relations & Strategic Communicationsnravindran@vir.bio +1-415-506-5256 Media Lindy DevereuxScient Public Relations firstname.lastname@example.org +1-646-515-5730
Source: Vir Biotechnology, Inc.