Shares of Vir Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ: VIR), which went public in October, are poised to trade sharply higher after the San Francisco-based company announced a multi-pronged strategy for tacking the deadly coronavirus that originated in the Wuhan province of China and has spread panic wave across the globe on a possible contagion.
Vir late Wednesday said it's working rapidly to determine whether its previously identified anti-coronavirus monoclonal antibodies, or mAbs, possess the potential to bind and neutralize the Wuhan coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV.
These mAbs, according to the company, were discovered using its antibody platform from the survivors of an infection. Some of these may have the potential to treat and prevent Wuhan coronavirus.
Vir said it's exploring the isolation of new mAbs specific to the virus.
Additionally, the company said its scientists are planning to apply whole genome CRISP-based screening capabilities to identify the host receptor that allows Wuhan coronavirus infection.
"We appreciate the threat this pathogen presents, and are utilizing our technologies to determine whether we currently have, or can identify, therapies to neutralize this virus," said George Scangos, CEO of Vir.
Vir shares were advancing 15.11% to $19.04 at time of publication.