UK BIA Antibody Taskforce Identifies Novel COVID-19 Antibody Therapy Candidates

October 29, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

The UK BIA Antibody Taskforce has identified differentiated antibody combinations that will be taken into development as COVID-19 antibody therapy candidates.

A United Kingdom consortium of biotech companies, charities, and academia, the UK BIA Antibody Taskforce, has identified differentiated antibody combinations that will be taken into development as COVID-19 antibody therapy candidates.

According to an Oct. 29, 2020 press release, the taskforce developed an accelerated and rigorous multifaceted approach that allowed them to create a pool of more than 600 novel candidates and identify a set of antibodies with the greatest potential to treat and protect against SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies are the first to be selected for the next stage of development and assessment of their efficacy as a ‘cocktail’ is on-going.

“We have accelerated the standard timelines for antibody discovery, taking seven months rather than the industry standard 18 months, establishing a pathway that can be applied to future pandemics,” said Dr. Jane Osbourn OBE, chief scientific officer at Alchemab and leader of the taskforce, in the press release. “We believe that the most effective tool against COVID-19 will most likely be a defined mixture of two to three antibodies—so the effectiveness of different combinations must also be assessed.”

“This ground-breaking taskforce has brought together UK-based industry experts who share a joint commitment to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Steve Bates OBE, CEO of the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA), in the press release. “Contributing their expertise and specialist resources, the team has worked tirelessly to identify the most promising antibodies with the potential to positively impact treatment of those affected by this devastating virus. The next stage will involve securing external funding to facilitate the further development and manufacture of the candidates.”

Source: BIA