Towards coronavirus medication
ExeVir Bio, a spin-off of the Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), has just assembled a broad platform of investors, including the Federal State, to develop a therapeutic treatment for coronavirus.
Last May, we reported on the discovery of effective antibodies against coronavirus developed in a llama called "Winter", raised in the Ghent region. Since then, preclinical studies, both in the laboratory and on animals, have made it possible to validate the hopes raised and move forward.
Funds of 23 million euros from private and institutional investors will enable the first human clinical trials to begin by the end of 2020. Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir Bio, is enthusiastic, "We look forward to joining the international fight against COVID-19 to support health systems and make our new treatment available worldwide."
The hybrid "llama/human" antibodies actually neutralise COVID-19 by preventing the virus from entering the cells. In addition to therapeutic use by strengthening an effective immune response to coronavirus, this new approach could, in a preventive (or "prophylactic") setting, protect caregivers and others at increased risk of severe forms of COVID-19.
For its part, the multinational biopharmaceutical company UCB is responsible for the manufacture of the drug candidate developed by VIB.
This is a great hope for improving containment of the epidemic!