GlaxoSmithKline is investing $250 million in San Francisco-based start-up Vir Biotechnology to develop antibodies that could be used to treat coronavirus. The UK-based pharmaceutical company is acquiring a 6 per cent stake in Vir Biotechnology by paying 10 per cent more than the smaller group’s closing price on Friday. The announcement sent shares in Vir up almost 20 per cent to $34.75 in mid-morning trading in New York. Many companies are hoping antibodies — proteins that protect the body by attacking foreign pathogens — could be the quickest way to bolster the immune systems of the sickest patients and even help prevent healthcare workers from becoming ill… GSK said the Vir proteins had been “highly potent” when targeted at the coronavirus in the lab. While antibody treatments represent one hope for combating coronavirus, other pharmaceutical companies are seeking to develop or repurpose antiviral drugs, such as those used to treat HIV/Aids, and anti-inflammatory medicines… Vir’s antibodies bind to an area of the Sars virus that also exists in new coronavirus, which is known as Sars-CoV-2 and causes Covid-19… With regulators’ permission, the companies plan to put two antibody candidates into testing in patients within three to five months.?
Hannah Kuchler and Donato Paolo Mancini?