Vir Biotechnology Inc. is partnering with the U.S. National Institutes of Health to develop antibodies to counter the new coronavirus.
The agreement mirrors a similar collaboration Vir announced with WuXi Biologics (Cayman) Inc. to develop antibodies to counter the virus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19.
COVID-19 is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that is a close cousin to the SARS and MERS viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past. The disease is caused by a virus called 2019-nCoV. The abbreviation nCoV stands for novel coronavirus, and COVID is short for coronavirus disease.
San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology has identified certain antibodies that bind to the novel coronavirus. These targetted antibodies were isolated from people who have survived a SARS infection.
Vir Biotechnology will now develop such antibodies in partnership with NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Research Center to treat COVID-19, SARS and MERS, as well as additional types of coronaviruses.
Vir Biotechnology's stock price was up 15.05% following the announcement to $34.41 per share as of 11:20 a.m. ET on March 11, 2020.