Adimab, in Lebanon launched Adagio Therapeutics Inc., a new biotechnology company that will develop a portfolio of anti-coronavirus antibodies as both therapeutics and prophylactics against COVID-19 and future coronaviruses. Tillman Gerngross, Ph.D., co-Founder and CEO of Adimab, will serve as CEO, and Rene Russo, Pharm. D., will chair the board of directors.
"The current pandemic has reminded us of the threat that coronaviruses can pose to human society, and the question is not if, but when will the next outbreak occur," said Gerngross. "Using Adimab's industry-leading engineering capabilities we have generated coronavirus antibodies that we believe have class-leading breadth against SARS-CoV-2 as well as other beta-coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-1. By engineering these antibodies for even greater potency, our goal is to produce prophylactic regimens that will provide complete protection for up to half a year and therapeutics that can effectively treat ongoing infections."
Over the past eight years, Adimab's Antibody Science group, led by Laura Walker, Ph.D., has built B cell cloning technologies, according to a statement. Her team has published extensively on a number of viral pathogens including RSV, Ebola, Yellow Fever, Zika and most recently the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. All coronavirus-related Adimab assets were transferred to Adagio Therapeutics, which will focus on developing these molecules into effective therapeutic and prophylactic treatments.
The Adimab team developed and optimized antibodies that are broadly protective against SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1 and two additional circulating bat coronaviruses scientists are actively monitoring. The company believes these neutralizing antibodies will match the potency and coverage of competing SARS-CoV-2 antibody programs while offering protection against additional pathogenic coronaviruses that have yet to emerge.
Adimab focuses its efforts on translating biological hypothesis from partners into developable drugs. In the infectious disease area, Adimab has independently established a network of academic collaborators and the antibodies arising from those efforts have been licensed for drug development to other companies. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, Adimab was primarily focused on putting these assets into the hands of an action-oriented infectious disease development team, which ultimately resulted in the decision to spin out a separate company.