Belgian Biotechs unite to manufacture llama-based COVID antibodies

Mithra Pharmaceuticals will provide fill-finish services for ExeVir, which is developing a llama-derived antibody therapy to treat and prevent COVID-19.

The deal, of which no financial details have been disclosed, will see contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Mithra utilize its fill-finish capabilities for ExeVir’s candidate, XVR011.

XVR011 is a single domain-based anti-COVID-19 antibody. It is derived from llama antibodies, which are smaller than human antibodies and therefore can attach to parts of a virus that are hard to access for the human immune system.

Image: iStock/MayaCom

“Mithra is operating a new manufacturing facility fully dedicated to fill-finish production of complex liquid injectables and biologicals in vials, pre-filled syringes or cartridges,” Torsten Mummenbrauer, Exevir’s CEO told BioProcess Insider.

“They have invested in the most recent technology. ExeVir sees it as mutually beneficial relationship in the fight to address the COVID-19 pandemic, where both parties bring in their respective expertise. At ExeVir, we also see this as a strategic partnership and an opportunity to help the growth of the biotech ecosystem across Europe.”

An unnamed European based CDMO will be responsible for manufacturing the drug substance and will ship it to Mithra’s facility in Liege, Belgium for fill-finish activities.

Under the terms of the deal, Mithra will be responsible for upscaling and production services for filling the drug substance in aid of commercial and clinical supply of XVR011.

ExeVir came onto the scene less than a year ago and, following the closure of its $50 million Series A financing earlier this year, the firm has accelerated the development of XVR011, which has shown as effective against COVID-19  in preclinical trials.

“ExeVir plans to distribute its products globally,” Mummenbrauer told us.