RQ Bio Launches with Goal to Transform Treatment and Prevention of Viral Infectious Diseases Through Antibody Technologies
- UK-based RQ Biotechnology Ltd (RQ Bio) launches with funding from licensing deal with AstraZeneca for RQ Bio's existing early stage monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against SARS-CoV-2 with payments of up to $157 million plus royalties
- RQ Bio will bring together founders, executives and leading scientists from academia and industry to address areas of unmet need in vulnerable patient populations
- Hugo Fry, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Imbria and former Sanofi Executive, appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Supported through continued deep collaborations with the University of Oxford and LifeArc
LONDON, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- RQ Bio today emerges from stealth mode announcing its launch as a new UK-based biotechnology company following the completion of a successful licensing deal with AstraZeneca for RQ Bio's existing mAbs against SARS-CoV-2. The Company, which is headquartered in London, is dedicated to developing treatments and preventative therapies based on potent broad-spectrum mAbs to provide instant and long-lasting immunity for vulnerable people at risk of severe disease or death from existing, emerging and new viral infections.
The RQ Bio executive team is composed of biotech and pharmaceutical industry leaders with proven expertise in end-to-end antibody generation. Key appointments include:
- Hugo Fry, CCO at Imbria and former Sanofi Executive, appointed as CEO
- Mike Westby, co-founder of RQ Bio, CSO of Centauri Therapeutics and former Pfizer R&D Executive, remains a key Scientific Advisor
- Paul Kellam, co-founder of RQ Bio, Professor of Virus Genomics at Imperial College London and Vice President of Infectious Diseases & Vaccines at Kymab UK, remains a key Scientific Advisor
- Jane Osbourn OBE, co-founder of RQ Bio, CSO of Alchemab and previous Chair of the BIA, remains a key Scientific Advisor
To maximise and accelerate patient impact, the company will continue to be supported by its collaborations with its scientific co-founders, the University of Oxford and leading UK medical research charity LifeArc. Professor Gavin Screaton, Head of the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, will continue to advise in his capacity as scientific and medical co-founder, as will Clare Terlouw, Head of LifeArc Ventures and UK BIA board member, as a member of the Board of Directors.
"Our vision is to build on our successful debut with neutralising antibody therapy for SARS-CoV-2 and develop innovative medicines to address current and evolving unmet needs in other viral infectious diseases," said Hugo Fry, CEO of RQ Bio. "By combining our expertise and innovative excellence in core areas we have created a smarter approach to antibody generation making us uniquely positioned to deliver fast patient impact."
"LifeArc is committed to backing leading UK academics and scientists, and we were inspired to fund RQ Bio because of the exceptional group of founders who are so passionately dedicated to finding new treatments and preventative therapies in areas of high unmet patient need," said Clare Terlouw, Head of LifeArc Ventures. "LifeArc provided support from across the Charity, including the venture team, scientific labs and other in-house experts to help RQ Bio execute on its business plan, and we look forward to further supporting RQ Bio as it becomes a world-leading infectious disease company."
About RQ Bio
RQ Bio's mission has been to develop medicines based on potent broad-spectrum mAbs to provide instant and long-lasting immunity for vulnerable people at risk of severe disease or death from current and future variants of viral infections. RQ Bio has achieved this by combining innovative excellence in core areas to create a smarter approach to antibody generation. RQ Bio has multiple sources of leads and a deep collaboration with the University of Oxford. RQ Bio was founded by scientific experts previously involved with the UK BIA Antibody Taskforce, which worked to build a community of infectious disease antibody experts focussed on the development of rapid and efficient delivery of highly potent neutralising antibodies to help support the UK COVID-19 response.
About AstraZeneca Licensing Deal
Under the terms of the agreement, RQ Bio has granted AstraZeneca an exclusive worldwide licence to develop, manufacture and commercialise RQ Bio's exisiting early stage mAbs against SARS-CoV-2 and a right of first refusal to take an exclusive licence in respect of any additional mAbs against SARS-CoV-2. RQ Bio will receive upfront and milestone payments of up to $157 million and will be eligible to receive single digit royalties on sales. The successful licensing deal was supported by Oxford University Innovation (OUI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Oxford that manages the University's technology transfer and consulting activities, who worked efficiently and creatively with all parties on the corresponding technology licences and the filing of intellectual properties.
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SOURCE RQ Bio