Vir Biotechnology (Nasdaq: VIR) has amended its research collaboration with GSK to reflect its ongoing efforts to develop next-generation COVID-19 therapies. The former company said it would continue developing COVID-19 therapies alone or in cooperation with other partners.
Vir and GSK will continue collaborating to ensure ongoing access to the monoclonal antibody sotrovimab, where it remains authorized.
Under the revised terms of the agreement, Vir retains exclusive rights to pursue the development of new therapies resulting from the joint coronavirus vaccine and antibody initiatives, with a tiered royalty payment ranging from low to mid-single digits to GSK.
The companies will continue working on sotrovimab (VIR-7831) and VIR-7832, a monoclonal antibody with a dual mechanism of action aimed at the spike glycoprotein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Today, VIR shares held steady, ticking up 0.11% to $26.18. GSK shares were up about 1% to $36.23.
FDA withdrew EUA for sotrovimab
In April 2022, the FDA withdrew emergency use authorization for sotrovimab due to the rise of the omicron BA.2 SARS-CoV-2 sub-variant.
The federal government has withdrawn EUAs for a range of monoclonal antibodies, owing to the rise of variant.s
The GSK and Vir collaboration centered around Vir’s proprietary monoclonal antibody platform technology.
The companies expanded their collaboration in 2021 to include R&D on developing novel treatments for influenza and other respiratory viruses.
Via Biotechnology’s other efforts
About a year ago, Vir Biotechnology announced the expansion of its partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, focusing on the development of broadly neutralizing antibodies. The aim is to provide a vaccinal effect for treating HIV and preventing malaria.
Vir Biotechnology said it would work to develop a functional cure for HIV, which it frames as “life-long control of the virus after a finite duration of therapy.”
In January 2023, Vir announced its CEO, George Scangos, would step down from his role as CEO on April 3, 2023. The board has named Marianne De Backer as his successor. De Backer now holds the positions of executive vice president, head of pharmaceuticals strategy, business development and licensing/open innovation at Vir. De Backer will also become a member of Vir’s board.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease