The University of Utrecht (UU) and the Harbour BioMed company have sold a license to the American pharmaceutical Abbvie for clinical trials with an antibody for a medicine against the coronavirus. The university gets multiple fees for that. Abbvie starts the first phase of the study in the United States, then expands it in Europe.
If the antibody development, called ABBV-47D11, is successful, it will be produced and sold worldwide. AbbVie pays Harbour BioMed and the University of Utrecht a one-off licence fee, a fee to achieve important milestones in development, regulation and sales, and royalties on the sale of the antibody. Precise financial details were not disclosed.
A preliminary study in mice showed that the human antibody targets a certain protein of the coronavirus, blocking infection. This suggests that the antibody is probably a good candidate for a drug, and that at the same time it can address a wide range of potential mutants of the virus. The antibody will be tested in 24 patients at different study sites.
The Erasmus MC was also involved in the fundamental science around the antibody, but is not involved in the licensing agreement.