With the Arrival of Flu Season, Development of a Breakthrough Therapeutic for Treating Influenza and COVID-19 Co-Infections is Urgently Needed
AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XBiotech Inc. (NASDAQ: XBIT) announced today it is developing a new breakthrough candidate therapy it calls FLUVID™ for treating illness caused by combined infections with influenza and COVID-19. With the global spread of the novel COVID-19 virus, there will be added risk during flu seasons that people may be infected by both influenza and COVID-19 viruses. Co-infections with the two viruses, or superinfections, may increase severity of disease and further complicate treatment. FLUVID therapy will combine XBiotech’s breakthrough influenza True Human antibodies together with its recently discovered COVID-19 antibodies into one treatment. As flu season approaches amid concerns over a potential deadly “twindemic”, FLUVID is an urgently needed and potential breakthrough therapy to treat combined infections with influenza and COVID-19 viruses. FLUVID could be used to provide immunity to infection or to treat infections once they have occurred.
FLUVID is the culmination of years of research and development. It incorporates extraordinary influenza antibodies that target all known strains of influenza, combined with the Company’s recently discovered COVID-19 antibody, passive immunity derived from patients who recovered rapidly from the virus without serious illness. FLUVID harnesses the best in human immunity to provide what is expected to be a safe and effective therapy against both deadly viruses.
Multiple strains of influenza are responsible for the seasonal illnesses and pandemics experienced around the globe. However, among these multiple influenza strains, there are small portions of the virus that are common among all the strains. For years, XBiotech scientists diligently screened human donors for antibodies capable of targeting these regions shared among influenza viruses. By identifying antibodies that target the shared areas of the influenza viruses, XBiotech is able to develop a single therapy that could be used to treat virtually all known strains.
XBiotech’s vision paid off with the discovery of the IH201 and IH302 antibodies. Together, these two influenza antibodies neutralize seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 influenza strains as well as pandemic influenza strains, including: H1N1 Spanish Flu, which infected 500 million people and killed 50 million worldwide; H2N2 Asian Flu; H3N2 Hong Kong flu, which killed 4 million people; the more recent H1N1 California virus; the Hong Kong (H3N2) virus which has been prevalent since 2014; and the sporadic but persistent avian influenza strains H5N1, H5N2 and H7N9. In addition, the IH201 and IH302 True Human antibodies target the influenza strains H9N2 and H10N8, which are currently widespread in poultry and are speculated to have future pandemic potential in humans. XBiotech’s influenza antibodies therefore target virtually all of the known influenza strains and sub-types that have caused widespread disease over the past century, and are even expected to neutralize the avian influenza strains that are predicted to have potential to infect humans in the future. FLUVID will contain IH201 and IH302 antibodies along with the Company’s anti-COVID-19 antibody.
John Simard, XBiotech President & CEO, commented, “We believe a combination antibody therapy is the best way to prepare for flu season or a larger influenza pandemic outbreak that may occur in combination with COVID-19. XBiotech’s discovery program is unlike any other, and we now have candidate therapeutics to treat real-world infections which will involve multiple pathogens and co-infections.”
XBiotech is a fully integrated, global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to pioneering the discovery, development and commercialization of therapeutic antibodies. XBiotech currently is advancing a pipeline of therapies based on harnessing naturally occurring antibodies from patients with immunity to certain diseases. The approach to use natural human immunity as a source of new medicines offers the potential to redefine the standards of care a wide range of diseases. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, XBiotech also is leading the development of innovative manufacturing technology to reduce the cost and complexity of biological drug production. For more information, visit www.xbiotech.com.
About True Human™ Therapeutic Antibodies
XBiotech’s True Human™ antibodies are the only available antibodies derived without modification from humans who possess natural immunity to certain diseases. (Unlike all commercially available antibodies, which are called “Humanized” or “Fully Human”, XBiotech’s True Human™ antibodies are directly sourced from the natural human immune response for specific diseases without modification, and thereby have not been shown to cause immunogenicity.) With discovery and clinical programs across multiple disease areas, XBiotech’s True Human antibodies have the potential to harness the body’s natural immunity to fight disease with increased safety, efficacy and tolerability.
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Source: XBiotech Inc.