ExeVir's COVID-19 antibody candidate neutralizes coronavirus Variants of Concern

- Data illustrates potent neutralization activity against the Gamma and Delta Variants of SARS-CoV-2

- Receives EUR3 million grant to accelerate clinical development

- Exevir one step closer in development of 'pan-coronavirus' nanobodies

GHENT, Belgium I July 13, 2021 I ExeVir, which is developing single domain antibody therapies providing broad protection against viral infections, today announces that it has generated data on its COVID-19 antibody XVR011 which demonstrate in vitro neutralization activity against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Gamma and Delta. The company has also obtained grant funding of €3 million from the Flanders Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) to accelerate clinical development of lead asset, the unique llama-derived VHH72-Fc antibody XVR011.

XVR011, is a single domain-based anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody (llama-derived VHH-Fc) optimized for stability, safety, broad neutralizing capability and excellent manufacturability. It demonstrates best-in-class potential offering breadth and potency against a range of Coronaviruses (pan-sarbecovirus neutralisation) and is significantly differentiated from other antibody treatments.

The highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant is spreading rapidly across world. The mutation initially emerged in India and is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. It is already the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the UK, Portugal, Russia and US.

Novel data generated in the laboratory of Professor Johan Neyts at the Rega institute (KU Leuven, Belgium) shows that XVR011 demonstrated strong in vitro neutralization potency against the Variants of Concern Delta (B.1.617.2) and Gamma (P.1). Previously, data was generated showing neutralising potency against Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) VOCs. Additionally, novel results from Prof Xavier Saelens and Prof Nico Callewaert (both from VIB-Ghent University, Belgium) based on epitope sequencing indicate that the potency is not expected to be impacted by any currently circulating Variant of Concern or Variant of Interest.

Support from the Flemish region: The Flemish government, following the initiative of the Flemish Minister of Innovation Hilde Crevits, supported early research on XVR011 with an initial subsidy of 350.000 euro. Now as ExeVir moves into the clinic, Minister Crevits supports this critical project, ExeVir, with 3 million euro from VLAIO, following the approval of the Innovation and Entrepreneur fund. 

Flemish Minister of Innovation and Science policy Hilde Crevits said: "Our Flemish research sits at the forefront of the fight with Corona and demonstrate the necessary entrepreneurship. Als Flemish minister of Innovation I am proud, particularly in the context of the rapid spreading of this very contagious delta variant, that we remain pioneers with the development of new treatments from ExeVir."

Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir Bio, said: "Our latest findings demonstrate the potential of our unique XVR011 antibody treatment to neutralise all circulating Covid-19 variants, including Gamma and Delta. We would like to thank the Flemish Government, which is instrumental in supporting innovative research in the Flemish region, for this funding which will be used to further progress clinical development of XVR011."

About ExeVir Bio

ExeVir Bio is a clinical stage company harnessing its VHH technology platform to generate robust antiviral therapies providing broad protection against viral infections, including pan-coronaviruses. It is a spin out from VIB, the world class Belgium-based life sciences research institute. ExeVir's platform is based on the work of and collaboration with Professor Dr. Xavier Saelens and Professor Dr. Nico Callewaert from VIB. ExeVir Bio is led by a team of experts that combines international biotech and pharma experience with a successful track record of developing and bringing products to market. It has raised over €42M from blue chip investors led by Fund+, VIB, UCB Ventures, SFPI-FPIM, V-Bio Ventures, SRIW, Noshaq, Vives IUF, SambrInvest and several Belgian Family Offices.  ExeVir has also been awarded funding from the Flanders Agency for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (VLAIO). www.exevir.com.

SOURCE: ExeVir

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