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Vir Biotech Shares Rise on Joint Research Efforts with the NIH to Combat Coronaviruses

Streetwise Reports, Streetwise Reports
0 Comments| March 12, 2020

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Vir Biotechnology shares traded higher after the company reported that it has entered into a research collaboration with the National Institutes of Health Vaccine Research Center on antibodies against coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.

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Clinical-stage immunology company Vir Biotechnology Inc. (VIR:NASDAQ), which is focused on treating and preventing serious infectious diseases, today announced that it has entered into "a research collaboration agreement with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Vaccine Research Center (VRC) to advance characterization and development of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19."

The company advised that the joint project is scheduled to commence this week and is structured "to augment ongoing efforts by both parties to identify antibodies that can be used to prevent or treat infection with existing and emerging viruses and help inform the development of vaccines."

The agreement entails that Vir Biotech will work together with the NIAID to identify and optimize combinations of antibodies against coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, SARS and MERS. The joint research project will also investigate other antibodies that may be effective across additional coronavirus strains. The company and the NIAID have agreed to exchange antibodies and materials for testing and are also planning to implement in vivo animal studies in order to analyze immune responses.

The company's Chief Scientific Officer Herbert "Skip" Virgin, M.D., Ph.D., commented, "This collaboration expands Vir's efforts to characterize and develop antibody therapies against coronaviruses by allowing us to access the VRC's significant and broad research experience with coronaviruses, which is complementary to ours...This is one of multiple approaches we are taking to rapidly identify and test potential prophylactics and therapeutics for COVID-19 and we expect it to allow us to accelerate finding solutions to this urgent public health need."

The firm reported that "it has identified a number of monoclonal antibodies that bind to SARS-CoV-2 that were isolated from individuals who had survived SARS infections." The company is now investigating if its current antibodies, or additional antibodies from COVID-19 survivors, can be effective as treatment or prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2.

The company explained that its antibody 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." The firm indicated that its platform has already been used to identify and develop antibodies for pathogens including Ebola, hepatitis B virus, influenza A and malaria.

Vir Biotechnology is headquartered in San Francisco and describes itself as "a clinical-stage immunology company focused on treating and preventing serious infectious diseases." The company noted that its technology platforms serve to stimulate and enhance the immune system and identify and observe natural immune processes.

Vir Biotechnology has a market capitalization of around $3.3 billion with approximately 109.7 million shares outstanding. VIR shares opened more than 12 % higher today at $33.55 (+$3.64, +12.17%) over yesterday's $29.11 closing price. The stock has traded today between $30.52 and $40.99 per share and is currently trading at $34.89 (+$4.98, +16.65%).

1) Stephen Hytha compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He or members of his household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
2) The following companies mentioned in this article are billboard sponsors of Streetwise Reports: None. Click here for important disclosures about sponsor fees.
3) Comments and opinions expressed are those of the specific experts and not of Streetwise Reports or its officers. The information provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security.
4) The article does not constitute investment advice. Each reader is encouraged to consult with his or her individual financial professional and any action a reader takes as a result of information presented here is his or her own responsibility. By opening this page, each reader accepts and agrees to Streetwise Reports' terms of use and full legal disclaimer. This article is not a solicitation for investment. Streetwise Reports does not render general or specific investment advice and the information on Streetwise Reports should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Streetwise Reports does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company mentioned on Streetwise Reports.
5) From time to time, Streetwise Reports LLC and its directors, officers, employees or members of their families, as well as persons interviewed for articles and interviews on the site, may have a long or short position in securities mentioned. Directors, officers, employees or members of their immediate families are prohibited from making purchases and/or sales of those securities in the open market or otherwise from the time of the interview or the decision to write an article until three business days after the publication of the interview or article. The foregoing prohibition does not apply to articles that in substance only restate previously published company releases.
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