In an expansion of its efforts against COVID-19, AstraZeneca announced a new agreement this week with RQ Biotechnology Ltd. that will see it acquire the worldwide license to develop, manufacture, and commercialize monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Developed by the U.K.-based RQ Biotechnology, these antibodies are broad-spectrum creations targeted at the virus that causes COVID-19. Based on preclinical data, both RQ and AstraZeneca believe the antibodies could prove effective against the growing variants of SARS-CoV-2 as well and potentially allow AstraZeneca to develop additional therapies less vulnerable to future viral evolutions.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the landscape for immune therapies, including the use of monoclonal antibodies to protect vulnerable patients who can’t respond adequately to vaccination alone,” Iskra Reic, executive vice president of vaccines and immune therapies at AstraZeneca, said. “Scientific innovation is rapidly accelerating, and this agreement reflects our continued commitment to the discovery and development of new medicines to help prevent and treat infectious disease, including COVID-19.”
The deal is worth up to $157 million, plus royalties.