, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in Waltham, Massachusetts, has announced a grant of $9.3 million from the to advance the development of an antibody that targets respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the leading cause of pneumonia in infants and the elderly.
To that end, the company has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with , a biotech research firm that has discovered antibodies targeting RSV, that will enable it to focus on the selection of a lead RSV antibody candidate and file it as a new investigational drug. Under the terms of the agreement, Adimab will be entitled to receive licensing fees and a royalty on net sales.
A highly contagious virus that causes infections in the upper and lower respiratory tracts, RSV infects nearly every child at least once by the age of two and is a major cause of hospitalization due to respiratory infection in children, the elderly, and immunocompromised patients. RSV infection, which typically results in cold-like symptoms but can lead to more serious respiratory illnesses such as croup, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis and is responsible for thirty million cases of acute respiratory tract infection and two hundred thousand deaths a year.
"Arsanis' partnerships with Adimab and the Gates Foundation will allow us to apply our deep expertise in the discovery and development of anti-infective antibodies to advance highly potent human monoclonal antibodies for the prevention of RSV infection," said Arsanis president and CEO Rene Russo. "We believe this approach has the potential to address a significant global need for effective and accessible RSV therapeutics in both developed and developing countries."