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AstraZeneca and UK-based biotech company RQ BIO sign licencing agreement

RQ BIO has developed a portfolio of early-stage monoclonal antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2

BIA


AstraZeneca has signed a new licencing agreement with UK-based biotechnology company, RQ BIO, for its portfolio of early-stage monoclonal antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2.

RQ Bio focuses on developing treatments and preventative therapeutics based on broad-spectrum mAbs that can be used to tackle medical areas of unmet need in vulnerable patient demographics.

In March 2020, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) organised the UK BIA Antibody task force.

The group were formed to identify and develop neutralising antibodies to protect at-risk groups and avoid lockdowns, and is made up of industry leaders from biotech companies, academia and charities.

Speaking on behalf of the task force, Steve Bates OBE, chief executive of the BIA, said: “The BIA was proud to bring together the scientists who formed RQ BIO during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing support to companies, academics and researchers to deliver antibody treatments to patients. I’m delighted to see the hard work of the past few years come to fruition in this licencing agreement.”

The task force has worked to create a selection of over 600 novel candidates and has also identified a set of antibodies that have the greatest potential, taking just seven months to complete this antibody discovery, compared to the industry standard of 18 months.

Bates added: “This is fantastic news to see a new company emerge with a leadership team who has a strong track record of delivering innovative products and a deep commitment to the UK life sciences and biotech sector.

“RQ Bio is a true UK success story, innovative science built upon strong collaborations with companies, academia and charities, resulting in today’s announcement of a licencing deal with a key global player in AstraZeneca.

“The work of RQ BIO will be crucial in finding antibody treatments that can tackle COVID-19 particularly for those patient groups where vaccines are ineffective against the virus.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

18th May 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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