Targeting final lead therapy selection, neutralizing all known previous and current SARS-CoV2 variants of concern by end 2022
Triple mode of action dengue fever program identified for development
Industry veteran with exceptional leadership experience to support ExeVir’s new progressive pipeline against infectious diseases
Ghent, Belgium, 20 Oct 2022: ExeVir is developing robust therapies providing broad protection against infectious diseases, including coronaviruses. The company has identified high potential candidates harnessing its unique, modular Llama-derived antibody (VHH) technology platform to generate multi-specific antibodies for prophylaxis and treatment against COVID-19. ExeVir is evaluating highly potent heavy chain based antibodies that are unique in targeting both S1 and S2 subunits of the coronavirus spike protein via highly conserved epitopes. Multiple high potential binders offer the potential of heterodimer binders to the spike protein in a molecule or a cocktail.
ExeVir’s multiple candidates demonstrate strong neutralization potency and breath, neutralizing all known previous and current SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, including Omicron BA.5, currently the dominant variant circulating globally. The Company continues to monitor and screen for neutralization of emerging viral variants of concern. Its COVID-19 development program will focus on development of candidates for both treatment and prophylaxis and will be crucial for protecting the large number of immunocompromised people, approximately 3% of the general [Western] population, who remain at high risk of severe COVID-19 disease despite availability of current vaccines. ExeVir aims to select a final preclinical development candidate before year end 2022 ready for further development in 2023.
As part of its broader efforts to combat infectious diseases ExeVir has also identified a triple mode of action dengue fever VHH program for development. Dengue fever is becoming increasingly prevalent in expanding geographies and continues to get more burdensome to global health.
ExeVir is pleased to announce today the appointment of Dr Jeanne Bolger as Chair to the Board of Directors.
Dr. Bolger has over 35 years of pharmaceutical industry experience in management roles across R&D, Commercial and Business Development and Venture Investments at Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC and at GlaxoSmithKline. She has been leading investments across Europe in start-up and early-stage life science companies and represented JJDC on the Board of Directors of over a dozen companies. She is also a Venture Partner at Seroba Life Sciences Venture Capital and serves on several government taskforces and advisory boards. She is a visiting lecturer on the MSc Pharmaceutical Medicine program at Trinity College Dublin. Dr Bolger received her medical degree from University College Dublin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland (RAMI).
Dr. Torsten Mummenbrauer, CEO of ExeVir, said: “The ExeVir team has quickly developed expertise in leveraging its modular VHH platform to address COVID-19. It is now using that experience to find rapid, effective solutions for infectious diseases, particularly as interventions to protect and treat the immunocompromised population. The lack of adequate solutions in that population, leads to significant restrictions in living a normal life. We are extremely pleased to welcome Jeanne as Chair of the Board at such a pivotal time for the Company. Jeanne has an unparalleled track record in the pharmaceutical industry with exceptional expertise in leadership, driving innovation and R&D as well as bringing Commercial and Business Development and significant venture experience. We look forward to working with Jeanne to drive ExeVir’s emerging pipeline forward.”
Dr. Jeanne Bolger commented: “I am delighted to join ExeVir and support the team of leading scientists and entrepreneurs working on research to develop novel treatments for infectious diseases. As genetic pressure increases leading to potential viral mutant escape, ExeVir’s new pipeline is in an advantageous position for the long term. I look forward to adding my experience to support their mission in the international effort against COVID-19 and other emerging diseases of importance to global public health such as dengue fever.”
For more information contact:
Fiona du Monceau, COO
Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Eva Haas, Zoe Bolt
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3882 9621
About ExeVir Bio
ExeVir Bio, is a clinical stage company developing nanobody based therapeutics focusing on infectious diseases. ExeVir Bio, is a spin out of VIB, the leading Belgium-based life sciences research institute, harnessing its Llama-derived antibody (VHH) technology platform to generate multi-specific antibodies for prophylaxis and treatment of infectious diseases. ExeVir’s focus is on infectious diseases that lead to severe outcomes in a targeted population that do not benefit or are unable to benefit from vaccination, including migrating diseases due to global warming and urbanisation.
VHHs can be linked together like building blocks into a single molecule to tackle different epitopes or act through different mechanisms of actions at once, to address the “arms race” in more complex and co-evolving infectious diseases. VHHs are smaller in size giving them access to hidden epitopes that traditional monoclonal antibodies are unable to reach with potential for deeper tissue penetration and simple, cost-effective manufacturing.
ExeVir is building an exciting progressive pipeline with its initial focus on SARS COV-1 & 2 in the immunocompromised. It has progressed XVR011 from research to the clinic in less than 1 year and has completed Phase 1a and Phase 1b studies. This showed that ExeVir was able to take an asset very rapidly from its research platform through to the clinic. The compound showed good pharmacodynamics and efficient GMP manufacturability.
The Company has extremely promising molecules in preclinical development that are differentiated in targeting both S1 and S2 regions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, demonstrating neutralization of all viral variants in circulation, including Omicron BA.5, currently the dominant variant circulating globally. These molecules can be used both as a therapeutic and prophylactic.
In addition to its SARS-CoV-2 programs ExeVir has initiated research in dengue, a disease which is rapidly and progressively expanding.
ExeVir is backed by strong investors: Fund+, a leading EU Life Sciences-focused investment firm in Belgium which led the series A of € 42M pulling together a strong consortium including UCB Ventures, FPIM, V-Bio Ventures, VIB, SRIW, Noshaq, Vives IUF and SambrInvest. In addition, more recently ExeVir received in addition to its Vlaio grant, support from the SPW-Recherche and the European Union, leading to a total of €16.5M in non-dilutive funding.