Collaborating to eliminate coronavirus

Biomanufacturing and biotechnology companies team up to develop COVID-19 treatment 

March 24, 2020

Biomanufacturing company WuXi Biologics – where chemistry alumnus Richard Soll has held a senior vice president role for nine years – is partnering with Vir Biotechnology to develop a coronavirus treatment. Research and development will take place in Worcester where WuXi is creating a manufacturing facility. It marks the company’s first site in the United States. WuXi and Vir Biotechnology plan on researching SARS antibodies to see if they could function as a potential treatment for COVID-19.  


From ‘Can WuXi Biologics neutralize the coronavirus? Meet the Chinese biotech building a $60M facility on the site of the former Worcester State Hospital’ 

Chinese biomanufacturing company WuXi Biologics has announced a collaboration with San Francisco-based Vir Biotechnology to develop antibodies for the treatment of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).  

In June of 2019, WuXi announced that its first overseas site in the United States would be located in Worcester. The $60 million investment will finance construction of a state-of-the-art biologics clinical and commercial manufacturing facility on the site of the former Worcester State Hospital. WuXi is a Hong Kong-listed company with a mission to support the acceleration and transformation of the discovery, development and manufacturing of biologics. 

An official statement released on WuXi's website reports, "Vir has identified a number of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that bind to SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies were isolated from individuals who had survived a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) infection." Further research will determine if the antibodies can be used in the treatment of the COVID-19. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "There are currently no FDA-approved medical countermeasures for COVID-19." With that, the FDA is prepared to cooperate with medical product developers to assist in rapid development of a treatment to COVID-19. 

“Both WuXi Biologics and Vir felt the great urgency to develop antibodies to treat global patients. Our state-of-the-art technology platform and robust global-quality supply network make us uniquely qualified in expediting the development and manufacturing of these potential treatments,” Chris Chen, Ph.D., CEO of WuXi Biologics said in a statement on the company’s website. “WuXi Biologics is collaborating with Vir to expedite biologics development to benefit patients worldwide.” 

 Read the full article on MassLive >> 

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