GSK and Vir Biotechnology expand R&D collaboration

February 17, 2021

Combine their expertise in immunology and infectious diseases to speed up development of mAbs for influenza

GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. have signed a binding agreement to expand their existing partnership to also include the research and development of new therapies for influenza and other respiratory viruses.

The expanded collaboration, which builds on the agreement signed in April 2020 to research and develop therapies for coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, provides GSK exclusive rights to collaborate with Vir on the development of potential monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for the prevention or treatment of influenza.

The parties will also engage in an expansion of their current functional genomics collaboration to develop potential pan-coronavirus therapeutics to include other respiratory virus targets. In addition, the companies will team up to develop up to three neutralizing monoclonal antibodies identified using Vir’s antibody technology platform to target non-influenza pathogens during a three-year research period.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will make an upfront payment of $225 million and a further equity investment in Vir of $120 million.