Immune Biosolutions received C$13.44 million from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund to develop its immunotherapy whose antibodies reportedly have the potential to neutralize and eliminate COVID-19 and its variants.
The funding is intended to allow the immunotherapy approach currently in preclinical studies to progress to Phase II clinical trials. In addition, Immune Biosolutions will build biomanufacturing capacity to help accelerate the preclinical and clinical development of its therapeutic antibodies, which are complementary to vaccination.
For over a year, Immune Biosolutions has collaborated with several private and public Canadian organizations on the discovery, development, and biomanufacturing of a novel immunotherapy targeting COVID-19 and its variants. The Sherbrooke-based biotech firm has identified more than 100 unique anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies from convalescent human patients and immunized chickens, according to company officials.
Of these antibody candidates, Immune Biosolutions is currently in preclinical validation with those that have demonstrated the greatest therapeutic potential. Once administered to diagnosed patients, the antibodies discovered by Immune Biosolutions are designed to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants and accelerate its elimination by the patient’s immune system.
“This financial support will considerably accelerate the preclinical and clinical development of our promising antibody candidates,” said Frédéric Leduc, CEO and co-founder of Immune Biosolutions. “So far, these antibodies have been shown to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections in animal models and possess excellent neutralizing profiles against the current most problematic variants.”
“Canada’s biomanufacturing sector is rich in knowledge and expertise,” added The Honorable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“By investing in domestic biomanufacturing facilities and equipment, such as KABS Laboratories, Novocol, and Immune Biosolutions, we are investing in made-in-Canada solutions to fight COVID-19 while retaining and developing the expertise necessary to help us secure vaccine and therapy supply chains here at home. Our government is committed to rebuilding Canada’s biomanufacturing sector, focusing on both short-term strategic solutions and a long-term vision.”