WuXi and Vir to Collaborate on Novel Coronavirus Treatment

February 27, 2020

The companies are entering into a development and manufacturing collaboration for the advancement and production of human monoclonal antibodies for the potential treatment of novel coronavirus.

WuXi Biologics announced on Feb. 25, 2020 that it is entering into a development and manufacturing collaboration with Vir Biotechnology, a San Francisco, CA-based clinical-stage immunology company, for the advancement and production of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for the potential treatment of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Through the agreement, WuXi will handle cell-line development, process and formulation development, and manufacturing for clinical development, according to a WuXi press release. If the antibodies are approved, WuXi is permitted to commercialize the therapies in Greater China, while Vir will be able to commercialize the therapies in all other markets worldwide. Both companies will collaborate on the clinical development, manufacturing, and commercialization of Vir’s proprietary antibodies.

Vir has found a number of mAbs that bind to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes COVID-19, the press release said. Currently, Vir is researching whether or not its antibodies can be successful as a treatment against SARS-CoV-2.

“We are acutely aware of the importance of moving rapidly in response to COVID-19,” said George A. Scangos, PhD, CEO of Vir Biotechnology, in the press release. “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,” said Chris Chen, PhD, CEO of WuXi Biologics, in the press release. “Once again WuXi Biologics is collaborating with global biotech companies such as Vir to expedite biologics development to benefit patients worldwide.”

Source: WuXi Biologics