Regeneron Gets US Contract for Antibodies for MERS Virus

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based in Tarrytown, New York, has agreed to manufacture and study two antibody therapies for the potential prevention and treatment of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). MERS causes severe respiratory tract infections and is associated with high death rates. Cases of MERS have been reported in the Middle East, South Korea, Europe, the US, Africa, and other countries in Asia.

HHS will provide funding to Regeneron of up to $8.9 million to support packaging and labeling of the antibodies for human use, the preparation and submission of an investigational new drug application with the US Food and Drug Administration, and a National Institutes of Health-conducted clinical trial in healthy volunteers.

The MERS antibodies have been discovered and developed pursuant to Regeneron’s antibody discovery and preclinical development agreement with Sanofi and are subject to Sanofi’s opt-in rights for development and commercialization. Regeneron previously published details on how its proprietary VelociGene and VelocImmune technologies enabled identification and preclinical validation of these antibody candidates.

Regeneron and BARDA have an existing agreement to advance a potential therapy for Ebola that was discovered and developed at Regeneron and is in a Phase I human clinical study.

Source: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

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