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GSK and Vir Biotech amend COVID-19 research partnership

Vir will now advance new antibodies and vaccines for COVID-19 alone or with other partners


The collaboration agreement between GSK and Vir Biotechnology (Vir) has been amended, with Vir now continuing to advance new antibodies and vaccines for COVID-19 alone or with other partners.

The companies will still continue to work together on their SARS-CoV-2-targeting antibody, sotrovimab, in markets where it is authorised, as well as their experimental COVID-19 antibody, VIR-7832, and a portfolio of other therapies for respiratory diseases such as influenza.

Originally agreed in April 2020, the collaboration saw the two partners use Vir’s monoclonal antibody platform technology to accelerate research of existing antiviral antibodies and identify new antiviral antibodies that could be developed as therapeutic or preventive options for COVID-19.

This was expanded in 2021 to include the research and development of new therapies for influenza and other respiratory viruses.

Vir’s chief executive officer, George Scangos, said: “Our rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ability to provide an important new treatment option to millions of patients around the world was made possible through our collaboration with GSK. Together, we remain committed to sotrovimab and to continuing to build on our successful partnership through the development of new solutions for respiratory diseases.

“Our collaborative efforts have also yielded a compelling portfolio of next-generation coronavirus solutions that, given Vir’s infectious disease expertise, we plan to pursue independently.”

Under the terms of the amended agreement, Vir retains the sole rights to continue advancing solutions arising from the collaborative COVID-19 vaccine and antibody programmes, subject to tiered royalties to GSK.

As well as its COVID-19 programmes, Vir’s development pipeline consists of candidates targeting hepatitis B and hepatitis D viruses, influenza A and HIV.

The company announced in October 2022 that it had been awarded a multi-year contract by the US government to support pandemic preparedness for influenza and other infectious disease threats.

As part of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority’s efforts to prepare and respond to public health emergencies, the agency said it would initially invest approximately $55m for the development of VIR-2482. This is Vir’s investigational prophylactic monoclonal antibody designed to protect against seasonal and pandemic influenza.

This includes the phase 2 PENINSULA trial evaluating VIR-2482 for the prevention of illness due to influenza A, which achieved the target enrolment of approximately 3,000 participants in December.

Article by
Emily Kimber

16th February 2023

From: Research



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