June 5, 2020 / 11:28 AM / a month ago

Abbvie strikes partnership to develop COVID-19 antibody therapy

(Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker AbbVie Inc said on Friday it would develop an antibody therapy to prevent and treat COVID-19 in partnership with three organizations including the Netherlands’ Utrecht University.

AbbVie joins other drugmakers in the race to develop a treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus that has no approved treatment.

Biotech company Harbour BioMed and Erasmus Medical Center are the other partners and the collaboration will aim to develop an antibody that targets the conserved domain of the spike protein of the virus.

The human antibody, 47D11, was discovered by Utrecht University, Erasmus Medical Center and Harbor BioMed.

AbbVie will support through the preclinical phase, as well as prepare for later stage preclinical and clinical development work.

The company will have the option to exclusively license the antibody for clinical development and commercialization across the globe.

AbbVie shares were up 2% in light trading before the bell.

Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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