Manufacturing Vir’s antibody rights for Hepatitis B acquired by Brii...

Vir’s antibody rights for Hepatitis B acquired by Brii Bio in Greater China


Brii Bio has acquired Vir’s antibody rights for Greater China two years after exercising first option. Brii Bio has taken advantage of an option and acquired the rights for marketing and development of the investigational antibody by Vir Biotechnology called VIR-3434, in Greater China. VIR-3434 is a widely neutralizing monoclonal antibody that is used for Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).

According to the agreement, Vir is entitled to the tiered royalties, rates ranging from mid-teens to mid-twenties, from Brii Bio, commercial and regulatory milestone payments and also the option exercise fee.

Founded in 2018, Brii Biosciences is a biotechnology company that is committed to scientific innovation and improving patient health. The company is particularly devoted to therapies for infectious diseases like Covid-19, HIV, Hepatitis B and others that have significant impacts on the patients globally. The company has multiple offices in China and United States.

Vir Biotechnology is a commercial-stage immunology company that was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States. The company is working multiple programs and using multiple technologies through its own development, acquisitions as well as collaborations.

The VIR-3434 antibody is given hypodermically and has the ability to hamper the entry of the 10 genotypes of Hepatitis B Virus and can also reduce the subviral and virion particle levels in the blood. It has been concocted to function as a vaccine against Hepatitis B Virus and is in the Phase II development stage as of now. 

This is Brii Bio’s second of the four available options for Vir’s infectious disease programme, meaning the company still has two more options available for exercise.

This acquisition means Brii Bio’s HBV therapeutic candidates’ clinical pipeline has seen additional growth. Resulting from the development, the company has a wider range of combination therapy options for investigation on the course to cultivate a practical cure for Hepatitis B Virus.

This option was available to Brii Bio since the companies entered into a partnership in 2018. Along with the partnership, an option and license agreement was also signed according to which Brii Bio got the exercisable rights to some of Vir’s programmes in Greater China.

Brii Bio had exercised the first option back in June of 2020, two years ago, when it gained the exclusive rights for the development and marketing of VIR-2218 (BRII-835) in Greater China.

Li Yan, Chief Medical Officer of Brii Bio, said: “Recently announced data by Vir showed that BRII-835 (VIR-2218) and BRII-877 (VIR-3434) are additive to each other resulting in a robust reduction of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), with no clinically significant safety signals for the combination. We are confident that this new asset further strengthens our HBV pipeline by providing more potent and assured reduction of HBsAg in all patients.”

He also mentioned that BRII-877 (VIR-3434) will be incorporated into the company’s strategies of innovative drug combinations, which could result in a higher functional cure rate among all patient groups.

As Brii Bio aims to use possible combination treatments to concoct a better healing agent, it is carrying out multiple studies with BRII-179 and BRII-835 combination and also both these antibodies in combination with others. Partner Vri is also working on its own evaluations of BRII-835.

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