Pharma Focus Asia

Xencor and Vir Biotechnology Enter License Agreement for Use of Xtend™ XmAb® Antibody Technology in Investigational Antibodies to Treat COVID-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Xencor, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease, today announced it has entered into a technology license agreement with Vir Biotechnology, Inc., in which Vir will have non-exclusive access to Xencor’s Xtend™ Fc technology to extend the half-life of novel antibodies that Vir is investigating as potential treatments for patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

“The COVID-19 crisis requires urgent and coordinated action by the biotechnology industry to develop new drugs and vaccines. Xtend Fc technology has demonstrated, in multiple antibodies and through numerous human clinical trials, the ability to extend antibody drug half-life and reduce dosing frequency in patients, an important feature in anti-viral therapy for pandemic use,” said Bassil Dahiyat, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer at Xencor. “We are committed to broadly using Xtend technology, and our other XmAb® tools, to rapidly develop potential treatments for COVID-19. Vir’s antibody candidates, supported by their deep infectious disease expertise, are a promising approach for treating coronavirus infections.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Vir will be solely responsible for the activities and costs related to research, development, regulatory and commercial activities. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Xencor and Vir previously entered into a separate technology license agreement in August 2019, in which Xencor provided a non-exclusive license to Xtend technology for Vir's use in developing and commercializing antibodies as potential treatments for patients with influenza and hepatitis B virus infection.

Xencor continues to evaluate the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on ongoing and planned clinical studies. The Company is currently maintaining preestablished guidance on 2020 corporate milestones and will provide additional updates as needed.

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