Vir Acquires Humabs BioMed and Enters Six Strategic Partnerships

Transactions with biotech firms + research universities lay out pipeline to address infectious diseases

Palo Alto – January 10, 2018 Several Cooley teams advised Vir Biotechnology on its acquisition of Humabs BioMed and on entering into strategic agreements with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Visterra and four leading academic research institutions. 

Swiss-based Humabs BioMed focuses on discovering and developing fully human monoclonal antibodies to treat serious infections. The acquisition adds more than 15 antibody development candidates – including pre-clinical antibodies for the treatment of diseases such as Hepatitis B, Zika and Dengue – to Vir’s portfolio. The collaborations will drive Vir’s focus in three areas of significant unmet need, including chronic infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and healthcare-acquired infections. 

In addition, Vir has entered into exclusive license and collaboration agreements with life sciences companies Visterra, which covers up to six antibodies to treat infectious diseases, and Alynylam, which covers up to five RNAi therapeutics programs for the treatment of infectious diseases.

Supplemental to the license agreements, Vir has partnered with Stanford, Harvard and the Oregon Health & Science University. With Stanford, Vir has agreed to a licensing agreement to support the company’s efforts to use artificial intelligence to mine gene expression data for early diagnostic predictions and target discovery.

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