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GSK: joint research effort with Vir on coronavirus

( - GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology announced a collaboration to research prevention and treatment options for coronaviruses, including the strain that causes COVID-19.

The partnership will use Vir's antibody platform to identify new anti-viral antibodies that could be used as therapeutic or preventative options, the companies said.

The two biopharmaceutical firms will also leverage GSK's expertise in functional genomics and combine their capabilities in artificial intelligence to research SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus vaccines, they said.

Due to the urgent patient need, the companies plan to proceed directly into a phase 2 clinical trial on two Vir antibody candidates within the next three to five months.

To gain access to Vir's technology, GSK plans to make an equity investment of 250 million dollars, at a 10% premium to Vir's closing share price on Friday.

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