Top American Biopharmaceutical Companies Collaborating with Overseas Counterparts to Combat COVID-19

At the time of the writing of this article on 4/25/20, a simple Google search reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has infected nearly 3 million people and taken over 200,000 lives. Although these are worldwide statistics, the exponential trajectory of the culprit coronavirus’ spread is alarming.

With that said, biopharmaceutical companies around the globe are putting massive efforts into rapidly developing cures for this both medically and socioeconomically devastating disease. Some are completely privately-funded, while others are in collaboration with state-run agencies.

Nonetheless, the developers of a potential cure – whether it be a treatment or vaccine – stand to win big in the biopharmaceuticals game. Thus, it is no surprise that many notably powerhouse American companies, in particular, have formed close partnerships with their overseas counterparts as well.

The following is an inexhaustive list to date of some of the biggest partnerships formed in an aggressive bid to stop the virus’ rampage, in hopes of not only making a killing for companies’ stakeholders but also possibly saving humanity:

1) Vir Biotechnology, and Samsung Biologics

o   Size of American company: mid-cap

o   Partner country of origin: South Korea

o   Science behind their work: Vir has two separate monoclonal antibody programs, VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, in development.

o   How they’re contributing: Samsung is scaling up production for Vir’s programs.

o   Progress of the cure: Vir’s antibody programs are currently in Phase I of clinical trials, and expect to advance to Phase II in the next three to five months.

2) Vir Biotechnology, and Wuxi Biologics

o   Size of American company: mid-cap

o   Partner country of origin: China

o   Science behind their work: Vir has two separate monoclonal antibody programs, VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, in development.

o   How they’re contributing: Wuxi is supporting Vir’s development, manufacturing, and commercialization efforts.

o   Progress of the cure: Vir’s antibody programs are currently in Phase I of clinical trials, and expect to advance to Phase II in the next three to five months.

3) Vir Biotechnology, and Glaxosmithkline

o   Size of American company: mid-cap

o   Partner country of origin: England

o   Science behind their work: Vir has two separate monoclonal antibody programs, VIR-7831 and VIR-7832, in development.

o   sHow they’re contributing: Glaxosmithkline is supporting Vir’s development of both existing and new monoclonal antibodies.

o   Progress of the cure: Vir’s antibody programs are currently in Phase I of clinical trials, and expect to advance to Phase II in the next three to five months.

4) Translate Bio, and Sanofi

o   Size of American company: small-cap

o   Partner country of origin: France

o   Science behind their work: Translate Bio’s vaccine is based on mRNA therapeutics technology.

o   How they’re contributing: Sanofi is both providing deep vaccine expertise of its own as well as further supporting Translate Bio’s vaccine through its external research networks.

o   Progress of the cure: Translate Bio’s mRNA vaccine is currently in the pre-clinical stage and may advance to clinical trials by the end of the year.

5) Incyte, and Novartis

o   Size of American company: large-cap

o   Partner country of origin: Switzerland

o   Science behind their work: Novartis’s treatment, Jakavi, is a JAK inhibitor.

o   How they’re contributing: Incyte coordinates access requests of Jakavi in the U.S.

o   Progress of the cure: Novartis recently announced plans to enter Phase III clinical trials for Jakavi.

6) Eli Lilly, and AbCellera

o   Size of American company: large-cap

o   Partner country of origin: Canada

o   Science behind their work: AbCellera uses its rapid pandemic response platform to identify more than 500 unique antibody sequences linked to SARS-CoV-2.

o   How they’re contributing: Eli Lilly will co-develop the most promising of those 500 antibodies.

o   Progress of the cure: Eli Lilly made announcements hoping to get into clinical trials in the next few months this summer.

7) Pfizer, and BioNTech

o   Size of American company: mega-cap

o   Partner country of origin: Germany

o   Science behind their work: BioNTech’s vaccine is based on mRNA therapeutics technology.

o   How they’re contributing: Pfizer is working to scale up production capacity now in preparation for the treatment being proved both safe and effective.

o   Progress of the cure: It is reported that BioNTech’s vaccine is currently in the pre-clinical stage in the U.S. and will be expected to advance to the Phase I clinical trials shortly.

8) Dynavax, and Sinovac

o   Size of American company: small-cap

o   Partner country of origin: China

o   Science behind their work: Sinovac is testing a chemically inactivated vaccine candidate.

o   How they’re contributing: Dynavax’s CpG 1018 will be combined with Sinovax’s vaccine as an advanced adjuvant that is not only a well-developed technology with significant safety evidence but is also rapidly producible.

o   Progress of the cure: Sinovac’s vaccine is currently in Phase I clinical trials in its native China.

9) Dynavax, and Clover Biopharmaceuticals

o   Size of American company: small-cap

o   Partner country of origin: China

o   Science behind their work: Clover’s cure is a protein-based vaccine called COVID-19 S-Trimer.

o   How they’re contributing: Dynavax’s CpG 1018 will be combined with Clover’s vaccine as an advanced adjuvant that is not only a well-developed technology with significant safety evidence but is also rapidly producible.

o   Progress of the cure: Clover’s vaccine is currently undergoing pre-clinical studies.

10)  Dynavax, and Valneva SE

o   Size of American company: small-cap

o   Partner country of origin: France

o   Science behind their work: Valneva is developing an inactivated, whole-virus vaccine candidate.

o   How they’re contributing: Dynavax’s CpG 1018 will be combined with Vaneva’s vaccine as an advanced adjuvant that is not only a well-developed technology with significant safety evidence but is also rapidly producible.

o   Progress of the cure: Valeneva and Dynavax are currently working with regulatory authorities to undergo an expedited clinical development path hoping to start clinical trials by the end of 2020.

11)  Regeneron, and Sanofi

o   Size of American company: large-cap

o   Partner country of origin: France

o   Science behind their work: Kevzara is an IL-6 inhibiting monoclonal antibody.

o   How they’re contributing: Regeneron and Sanofi both own mutual rights to Kevzara.

o   Progress of the cure: Kevzara is currently in Phase II/III clinical trials.

12)  Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Company

o   Size of American company: mid-cap

o   Partner country of origin: China

o   Science behind their work: Inovio’s INO-4800 is a DNA-based monoclonal antibody vaccine.

o   How they’re contributing: Beijing Advaccine is supporting the development of the vaccine.

o   Progress of the cure: INO-4800 is currently in Phase I clinical trials.

13)  Applied DNA Sciences subsidiary LineaRX, and Takis Biotech

o   Size of American company: micro-cap

o   Partner country of origin: Italy

o   Science behind their work: Takis’ vaccine is based on linear-DNA technology.

o   How they’re contributing: Applied DNA’s subsidiary LineaRX is scaling up PCR-based production of Takis vaccines for further development.

o   Progress of the cure: Takis’ vaccine candidate is currently in pre-clinical development.

14)  Codagenix, and Serum Institute of India

o   Size of American company: private startup

o   Partner country of origin: India

o   Science behind their work: Codagenix is a developing genome-produced live-attenuated vaccine.

o   How they’re contributing: Serum Institute of India is scaling up the vaccine manufacturing.

o   Progress of the cure: Codagenix’s vaccine is currently in pre-clinical development.

COVID-19 has brought the worldwide economy to its knees, resulting in widespread disruption to everyone’s lives. The aforementioned partnerships bring a glimmer of hope to humanity that all the largely prophylactic lockdowns will come to an end in the midterm future. Treatment or vaccine, we’ve all got our eyes on these companies to bring back a sense of normalcy… to those who actually make it through the pandemic… resulting in huge, well-deserved financial rewards for the biopharmaceutical companies’ stock owners.

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