Innovative Antibody Discovered by RQ Bio Enters Clinic as Part of Antibody Combination Within 12 Months of Discovery

pharmafile | December 21, 2022 | News story | Medical Communications  

LONDON, UK, 21st December 2022 — RQ Bio announces that the first of its discovered monoclonal antibodies to prevent COVID-19 in vulnerable patients, AZD3152, has entered clinical trials less than 12 months after discovery, with the start of AstraZeneca’s SUPERNOVA Phase I/III trial of AZD5156 (a combination of AZD3152 and cilgavimab) in pre-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of COVID-19.[ii] AstraZeneca licenced AZD3152 from RQ Bio in May 2022.


The potential for rapid impact on patients is a hallmark of the RQ Bio discovery process, which stretches across four key disease areas of huge patient need, including COVID-19 and influenza.


The commencement of the trial triggers a $5 million milestone payment to RQ Bio and reinforces the solid financial position of the company to execute its four scientifc programmes focused on viral diseases.


Hugo Fry, CEO of RQ Bio, comments: “We’re delighted that one of our discovered antibodies is now at the core of an innovative AstraZeneca investigational medicine reaching clinical trials. This news confirms RQ Bio’s smarter approach to antibody discovery works, fast. We look forward to helping more pharmaceutical companies develop medicines in areas of unmet need that offer instant and long-lasting immunity for vulnerable people at risk of severe disease or death from viral infections.”


Fry adds: “While vaccines remain the cornerstone of active immunisation, vulnerable populations that cannot build an immune response with vaccination can benefit from protection from a monoclonal antibody. We have seen this with Covid, and we believe that the same passive immunisation approach will be valid for influenza, and the other viral diseases RQ Bio seeks to target.


An accelerated development programme by AstraZeneca means a new COVID-19 product could be available in the second half of 2023, subject to trial readouts and regulatory reviews. The monoclonal antibody, discovered by RQ Bio, licensed and further developed by AstraZeneca (AZD3152), has excellent properties for clinical development, and was isolated from vaccinated volunteers after they had an Omicron-BA.1 infection. AZD3152 has broad and potent neutralising activity across all known SARS‑CoV-2 variants[iii], and forms part of a new investigational combination (AZD5156) for prevention of COVID-19.


The SUPERNOVA Phase I/III trial will evaluate the safety and neutralising activity of AZD5156 for the prevention of symptomatic COVID-19 in adults and adolescents 12 years of age or older with conditions that cause immune impairment, who are less likely to mount an adequate protective response after COVID-19 vaccination and therefore are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 if they were to become infected.


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