Samsung Biologics on April 10 signed a binding letter of intent worth 440 billion won ($363 million) to manufacture US-based Vir’s COVID-19 treatment, starting 2021.
It is the biggest single deal Samsung Biologics has taken since its 2016 initial public offering.
Vir’s SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody (mAb) candidates VIR-7831 and VIR-7832 have demonstrated high potency in neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 in live-virus cellular assays.
Samsung Biologics’ Plant 3 (Samsung Biologics)
The molecules were approved for fast-track development in the US, and its partnership with Samsung Biologics is a preemptive action to secure large-scale manufacturing capacity upon commercialization.
Samsung Biologics has the biggest biologics drug manufacturing capacity in the world.
“Given the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic, our expectation is that there will be a significant need around the world for antibody therapies,” said Vir CEO George Scangos. “Accordingly, we are taking proactive steps to reserve large scale manufacturing capacity to be ready to move quickly with any of our antibody candidates that prove to be clinically safe and effective. We are pleased to partner with Samsung Biologics who share our commitment to work with exceptional speed to address this pandemic.”
The LOI with Samsung Biologics builds on Vir’s previously announced manufacturing agreement with WuXi Biologics and its letter of intent with Biogen.
Vir, based in San Francisco, is a clinical stage immunology company focusing on infectious disease prevention and treatment. It is developing monoclonal antibody to treat COVID-19, using antibody derived from a patient who has recovered from severe acute respiratory syndrome, which is a coronavirus similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that is causing COVID-19.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)