AbbVie ABBV announced that it has entered into a collaboration to develop a novel antibody therapeutic to prevent and treat COVID-19. The company has collaborated with privately-held Harbour BioMed, Utrecht University and Erasmus Medical Center for developing a fully human, neutralizing antibody for treating COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The antibody, named 47D11, was discovered by Harbour BioMed, Utrecht University and Erasmus Medical Center. AbbVie will support these entities through preclinical activities. AbbVie is also undertaking preparations for development of the antibody through later stage pre-clinical and clinical stages. The antibody targets the conserved domain of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
Per the agreement, AbbVie will receive an option to exclusively license the antibody for clinical development and commercialization worldwide from the discovering parties.
Data from cell culture studies of 47D11 published online on May 4 in Nature Communications demonstrated that it blocked infection by the SARS-CoV-2 and a second coronavirus, SARS-CoV.
Meanwhile, many other large and small pharma/biotech companies are actively pursuing the development of a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19. Among the large players, J&J JNJ and Sanofi SNY are planning to develop a vaccine. Gilead’s GILD antiviral candidate, remdesivir, is in late-stage development. Lilly also began a phase I study to evaluate an antibody candidate, LY-CoV555, as a treatment for COVID-19., last week.
AbbVie’s shares have increased 5.9% so far this year against the industry’s decline of 1.4%.
In a separate press release, the company announced new data from the phase III study — SELECT-CHOICE — comparing the efficacy of JAK inhibitor drug, Rinvoq, with Bristol-Myers’ inflammatory drug, Orencia, as a treatment for moderate-to-severe active rheumatoid arthritis. Data from the study showed that Rinvoq is superior than Orencia.
AbbVie currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
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