Junshi Biosciences Announces Co-Development Agreement with IMCAS to Advance Neutralizing Antibodies as Potential Novel Treatment for COVID-19
SHANGHAI, China, March 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Junshi Biosciences (HKEK: 1877) announced that it has recently signed a collaboration agreement with the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) to jointly develop neutralizing antibodies, a potential novel treatment for COVID-19.
Junshi Biosciences and IMCAS have been working together to explore innovative treatments for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Currently, they have obtained multiple strains of neutralizing antibodies (NAb) capable of effectively blocking viral invasion in laboratory assays and have conducted animal experiments. Preliminary in vitro and in vivo studies have verified the blocking activity of the NAb strains. It is in the process of verifying the preclinical toxicology and in vivo activity of the antibodies in order to file Investigative New Drug (IND) applications with domestic and overseas regulatory agencies.
A neutralizing antibody (NAb) is an antibody capable of keeping an infectious agent, usually a virus, from infecting a cell by neutralizing or inhibiting its biological effect. It could potentially facilitate virus clearance, altering the course of infection. Antibody-based therapies have several advantages: they can be therapeutic as well as prophylactic, protecting health workers in a high-risk environment; they are generally safe given their specificity to pathogen; and compared with the serum of recovered patients, antibodies are more consistent in quality and can be readily mass-produced through biological engineering, thereby ensuring ample clinical supply for the pandemic.
As a leading pharmaceutical innovator in China specialized in therapeutic antibody development, Junshi Biosciences has established long-term cooperation with IMCAS with its proprietary antibody development platform to carry out screening for various pathogen host receptors and anti-pathogen antibodies, from patients recovered from the infection. Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, these two parties have been actively collaborating to combat the epidemic and develop neutralizing antibodies.
Dr. Ning Li, CEO of Junshi Biosciences, commented, “There has not yet been an effective antibody drug approved for treating the novel coronavirus in humans. It is our responsibility as a local pharmaceutical innovator to harness our proprietary antibody platform and R&D capabilities to diligently develop a treatment in the near-future. We believe our collaboration with IMCAS will help accelerate the clinical development of an antibody therapy. We look forward to facilitating the use of antibody-based therapy as a treatment option for COVID-19, both in China and globally.”
About Junshi Biosciences
Established in 2012, Junshi Biosciences is committed to developing first-in-class and best-in-class drugs through original innovation and becoming a pioneer in the area of translational medicine to provide patients with treatment options that work better and cost less. On December 24, 2018, Junshi Biosciences was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 1877.HK. The Company has established a diversified R&D pipeline comprising 20 drug candidates with therapeutic areas covering anti-tumor, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and neurologic diseases. Product types include monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, ADCs, and small molecule drugs. With a 33,000L fermentation capacity of biopharmaceutical production established in Shanghai and Wujiang by the end of 2019, we will satisfy the needs for commercialization and provide our partners and patients with a global supply chain network.
The Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) was founded on December 3, 1958, through the merger of the Institute of Applied Mycology and the Beijing Laboratories of Microbiology, both of which were affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). After over 50 years of development, it has become the nation’s largest comprehensive research institution of microbiological science with 5 State and CAS key laboratories. IMCAS owns the largest fungal herbarium in Asia with nearly 500,000 specimens and the largest microbiological culture collection in China with more than 41,000 strains. In addition, it possesses a microbiological information center, a core facility, a Biosafety Level-3 laboratory and other supporting platforms.
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